Would you rather spend a half hour every three months getting an oil change and taking care of any other preventative maintenance measures or spend thousands of dollars a year (not to mention putting your car out of commission for several days) every year?

The answer should be simple – and that’s exactly why preventative maintenance like oil changes, transmission flush, tire rotation and tune ups are crucial to keeping your car running well for longer. Preventative maintenance takes time out of your day, yes. And it can be an inconvenience, that’s true too. But if you want to prolong the life of your vehicle, its importance cannot be underestimated. What’s more is that regular preventative maintenance can also catch potential safety hazards before they become too dangerous. For example, a mechanic performing a tire rotation also checks on the ball joints and tire rods to make sure such components aren’t worn to where they could break and become dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds.

Here’s a look at some preventative maintenance basics and why they’re important:

  • Oil change: Get your car an oil and filter change every three months or 3,000 miles. Fresh oil ensures that your car runs well and keeps all components working efficiently. What’s more is that a technician will also be looking under the hood of your car while he’s completing this task, topping off your fluids, checking your belts and hoses and making sure everything looks OK. Oil changes typically take about 30 minutes to complete and should not be putt off if you want to get the maximum life out of your vehicle. They’re also one of the least expensive preventative maintenance measures.
  • Tire rotation: Have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles or every other time you get an oil change. Tire rotation is important because tires typically wear unevenly as you drive. Rotating them ensures that they’re all wearing at pretty much the same rate, eliminating the need to replace certain tires before others and further ensuring that your tires don’t wear prematurely. During a tire rotation, a technician will also check for proper tire tread depth, air pressure and balancing. The brakes can also be easily inspected during rotations, potentially nipping repair issues in the bud before they become bigger, more expensive issues.
  • Transmission flush: Aside from your vehicle’s engine, the transmission is the next most important part of your power train. Sludge and grime typically build up in the transmission over time so adding new fluid replaces the old dirty liquid to help your transmission perform better. While you should check your owner’s manual to determine how often you should have this service completed, it’s typically recommended every 30,000 miles or so. To save time, this can also be completed at the same time as an oil change or tire rotation.
  • Tune ups: Car tune ups consist of routine inspection and systems diagnosis to make sure that your car is running up to par. Car tune ups typically consist of inspecting and/or replacing the likes of air filters, fuel filters, spark plugs, valves and gaskets, sensors, belts, lubricants and coolants, tires and car batteries. It’s recommended that a full tune up be completed every 30,000 miles or so. After a tune up, your mechanic might recommend other measures, such as front-end alignments or having your fuel tank cleaned.

Owning a car is expensive, especially after you factor in the preventative maintenance. But owning a car can be a lot more expensive if you’re not properly taking care of it. For more information on the aforementioned services and more, contact City Garage in the Dallas/Fort Worth area at 972-283-2489 or by visiting www.citygaragedfw.com.

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