Make It Last
What you can do to help your vehicle last longer
Purchasing a vehicle is a huge investment, usually our second largest, and the best way to protect that investment is to follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Of course, maintenance isn’t what it used to be.
Even though you don’t replace spark plugs until 100k miles or more, vehicles are far from maintenance free.
The main point to remember is to pay attention to your fluids and filters.
Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant should be flushed out every 30,000-50,000 miles. Always use synthetic fluid if you can afford it.
Air filters and cabin filters need to be checked and replaced as needed. Once again, use good filters. By the way, the aftermarket oiled cotton filters aren’t as good as they say. Stick with a good quality paper filter. It’s hard to go wrong with the OEM filter.
Always use quality parts and have your oil changed every 4,000-6,000 miles. I would go ahead and rotate the tires at the same time. While the tires are off, have the shop check the brakes. Most shops do a quick check of your vehicle at every oil change anyway. And most do it for free. Some charge for the tire rotation, and some don’t.
Auto maintenance isn’t an exact science; each person’s driving habits are different. You need to go with what works for you. Be conservative, but cutting corners will only cost you in the long run. Remember that the average vehicle on the road is almost 12 years old.
The new generation vehicles are well engineered, but they have to be maintained. If you do your maintenance, you will have a vehicle you can depend on for years of reliable service.
Mike Herzing is an ASE Master Technician, Former Automotive Instructor, and Current Host of Let’s Talk Wheels with Mike Herzing heard on ESPN 97.5 Houston and The Lets Talk Wheels Radio Network. Saturday Mornings.
Email Mike: Mike@letstalkwheels.com