Auto maintenance tips for the everyday driver

Your car is your lifeline. That’s why you should always take care of it. Here are some general car maintenance tips for vehicle owners.

Routine maintenance

The long-standing tradition for oil changes is to change it at 3,000 miles. Within the last 20 years, that tradition has become more of a forgotten memory among new vehicles. New vehicles can often go 5,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes. This decreases your overall maintenance costs. Cars.com suggests that you should rotate your tires around the same time you get your oil changed – around 7,500 miles or every six months – whichever comes first. Balancing tires can be done at the same time you rotate them – some tire dealers offer package deals to do both at the same time – or on an as-needed basis if you feel a vibration.

Long-term major maintenance at 100,000 miles

Be prepared to spend some money on long-term maintenance once your car hits 100,000 miles. Most cars at that point need the following services done:

  • Fluid flushes – brake, transmission, power steering and coolant fluids.

  • Part changes – spark plugs, timing belt and water pump
    (NOTE: often times, you don’t need to change the water pump for a few more thousand miles, but most mechanics suggest changing at 100,000 miles to avoid greater labor charges later).

  • Filter changes – air and fuel filter and a potential valve adjustment, depending on the make and model of your car.

  • Other potential maintenance items – valve adjustment, alignment.

Prepare cars for the summer

Depending where you live, you’ll either store your car for a considerable amount of time due to harsh winter weather or you’ll swap out summer tires for winter tires. The latter is rather simple and can be done yourself. Removing a car from storage to prepare it for summer drives is more complex. You’ll have to – among several things – give it a visual examination, place fresh gas in it or octane booster if you have old gas in it, change the oil, etc. A car that sits for a few months collects dust internally in its engine. Don’t expose it to months’ old gas when you turn it back on for the first time in months.

Travis Credit Union provides auto loans and auto refinancing options to its members. Are you ready to buy a new car or save money with a lower interest rate? Visit our website or stop by a branch to apply!

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