Avoid Unexpected Breakdowns With These Easy Preventative Maintenance Tasks

Unexpected auto repair costs are always unpleasant, but they’re easily avoidable. These quick preventative maintenance recommendations will help drivers avoid unexpected breakdowns and poor vehicle performance.

  • Every 3,000 to 10,000 miles: Change the oil. That 3,000-mile rule doesn’t always apply, as many can go 10,000 miles between oil changes. The owner’s manual will give the manufacturer’s specific recommendation.
  • Every 5,000 to 10,000 miles: Rotate and balance tires; check alignment. This ensures that the car drives smoothly and the tires wear evenly and last longer.
  • Every 30,000 miles: Check spark plugs and replace to improve engine efficiency.
  • Every 40,000 miles: Replace serpentine belt.
  • Every 60,000 miles: Replace timing belt.

As needed: Replace windshield wipers when windows get streaky; replace the battery when it leaks or dies (it’s wise to carry a backup or a charger); replace the engine air filter as recommended in your owner’s manual.

Periodically: Perform a general inspection of the car to check that all lights are working, tires are properly inflated, the battery is not leaking, and fluids are filled to the appropriate level.

Always: Listen and watch for anything out of the ordinary and have it addressed by an auto repair mechanic as soon as possible.