After only a month into her first summer of staying on campus your daughter has learned more than she ever want to know about auto repair services. In fact, what started as a simple oil change service turned into a series of auto repair services ranging from dealing with a slow leak in a tire to a discussion about when to have your brakes repaired. Fortunately, the auto repair service shop that your daughter visited was as honest as they were diligent. And while the simple oil change turned into a much bigger bill, at least you knew that the services that were provided were needed, and that your daughter was not overcharged.
You do not have to be a young college student to be overwhelmed by an auto repair service appointment. In fact, if you find yourself in a car care center and being called to the counter for further discussion, you understand the unease of finding out what is wrong with your car.
Are You Doing Everything That You Can to Keep Your Car in Working Order?
Owning a car is both fun and challenging. While it is convenient to have your own vehicle so that you are able to get where you want to go on your own schedule, the decision to own a car also involves paying attention to details and following through on basic maintenance. In fact, if you simply ignore the little signs that indicate problems and avoid the recommended manufacturer maintenance you will likely end up paying a big price down the road. For instance, if you do not get your new tires rotated as recommended they will not last as many miles as the could. Consider some of these other recommendations about car repair and maintenance:
- A tire rotation should typically be done every 7,500 miles, or as often as the car manufacturer recommends.
- Unless you follow the suggested manufacturer recommendations you can end up paying more money than you planned. A timely oil change, for instance, can keep an engine running for thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of miles.
- The Car Care Council indicates that timing belts should be replaced every 60,000 or 90,000 miles. Although this is an overall good recommendation, can owner’s should also check the owner’s manual for their specific make, model, and year of car.
- Oil needs to be changed every 5,000 miles or four months, or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for a specific car.
- Replacing clogged or dirty air filters on older vehicles can improve gas mileage by as much as 14%.
- Estimates indicate that brakes can last from 25,000 miles to 50,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer and the habits of the driver. In many cases, paying more money for a better set of brakes or paying for a warranty plan will pay off in the long run.
- Paying for a tire alignment every 6,000 miles, or whenever the car oil is changed, is recommended because a lot can happen in this amount of time.
- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% in the city.
- In the case of synthetic oils, they burn cleaner and are able to resist the sludgy deposits that are sometimes found in conventional oils. As an example, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Synthetic Oil is known for keeping pistons up to 65% cleaner than the toughest industry standards. In addition, this synthetic oil is more than 25% cleaner than Mobil 1 or Valvoline SynPower.
- Recommendations from manufacturers encourage car owners to replace brake pads if there is 1/8 inch or less of the pad lining remaining. As an alternative, these manufacturers recommend replacing them around every 25,000 miles.
Whether you are a college student living away from home for the first time or you are a retired adult who has owned many cars in a lifetime, the maintenance and service appointments of a vehicle is essential. In fact, without proper maintenance checks a vehicle, even if you paid a lot for it, may not run efficiently and, worse yet, may have a much shorter life. To protect your investment, make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s recommendations about oil changes, tire rotations, and other needed repair services.