It is easy to take your car for granted. However, underneath the seemingly basic operation, there are a lot of moving parts that all need to be maintained properly so you can reach your destinations. Some components are more likely to break down sooner than others, so make sure your car gets plenty of routine maintenance to stay in great shape.
You are not going anywhere if your tires have worn out. The longevity of your tires will ultimately depend on the brand. Some are able to last 20,000 miles, while some can go as long as 50,000 miles. You also need to get tire rotations frequently to ensure your vehicle’s performance remains optimal. It is recommended you get these rotations done once every 7,000 miles or once every 6 months, whichever comes first.
Timing belts are only found in about 33 percent of all cars in the United States. If yours breaks, your engine will be unable to start. If you suspect your timing belt is wearing out, you can visually inspect it to see if the belt is crimped or if the teeth are misaligned. Timing belts need to be replaced anywhere between every 60,000 and 100,000 miles. Taking your vehicle to a mechanic often will allow a professional to spot when yours needs a replacement.
Spark plugs give your car’s engine the spark it needs to get moving. Without that initial ignition, you will be unable to start your vehicle and take it on the road. Symptoms your spark plug is on its last legs include inferior fuel economy, poor acceleration and trouble starting your car. Any one of these symptoms is a good enough reason to see a mechanic to see if you require a spark plug replacement. Getting your plugs inspected once every 30,000 miles is recommended, but you generally do not need to replace them until 80,000 miles.
Your engine contains an air filter in order to send air away from the mechanism. Over time, this component can get clogged with dirt, which means your engine cannot run as effectively. You need to make sure you replace this filter frequently. Most of the time, it is recommended to replace the filter once every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. However, if you consistently drive over rural roads, you may need to replace it more often.
Oil keeps your car moving. Sufficient oil levels ensure all the components are properly lubricated. Over time, the oil running throughout your vehicle will lose some of its luster and need replacement. A general rule of thumb is that all cars need an oil change once every 3,000 - 5,000 miles or every 3 - 6 months. Additional fluids that need frequent replacement include:
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluid
For the most part, you just need to keep an eye on how well your vehicle is performing and take action whenever something seems to be going on. Regular maintenance will ensure your car holds up perfectly fine, including the parts prone to wear.