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How Do I Maintain My Car or Truck?

Next to the purchase of a house, your vehicle is one of the biggest investments you’ll make. When you make such a large purchase, your hope is that your investment will last. How can you make your car or truck last? The answer is simple – maintenance. Maintaining your vehicle is crucial to the longevity of your vehicle as well as the overall resale value. Now that you know that you should maintain your vehicle, you’re probably asking, “What should I be maintaining on my car?”

The answer to that question is more difficult than you might think. You see, vehicle manufacturer’s owner’s manuals have become vague and less specific regarding required maintenance intervals. In order to be more appealing to vehicle buyers, manufacturers began promoting less maintenance costs before the 100,000 mile mark. This sparked a competition between vehicle manufactures; igniting the change in vehicle service intervals. Yet, the reality is that the required maintenance periods have changed very little over the past 20 years.

Your owner’s manual may suggest different types of maintenance categories with varying intervals, which might include “Normal” or “Severe” driving conditions, and “Timed Intervals”. Normal driving conditions are actually defined as “Minimal” driving conditions. Minimal driving conditions include infrequent driving, mild year-round temperatures, and that the vehicle will not be used for towing. Since we live in the Southwest, our driving habits and climate conditions place us under the Severe driving conditions category. Dust, stop and go traffic, and extreme heat are all examples of conditions that place us in that category, which requires more frequent maintenance.

How often do you change your oil? The answer should be every 3,000 miles, not to exceed 4,000 miles. Stop and go driving conditions, short trips, and frequent highway driving require more use of lubrication for engines, thus, a need for more frequent oil changes. Changing your oil often also allows you to monitor the overall condition of your vehicle. How about other fluids your vehicle requires? Other fluids may differ and you will want to consult your owner’s manual as well as a knowledgeable automotive expert. Did you know that transmission fluid heats up from friction inside the transmission and actually burns over time, rather than getting dirty, as one might think? Burning transmission fluid will eventually lead to wear. In most cases, transmission, coolant, and power steering fluids (if applicable), should be flushed and/or changed every 30,000 miles.

The more proactive you are with your vehicle maintenance, the less often you will experience unexpected repairs – which can help save you money in the long run. You can depend on Sun Auto Service to assist you with your vehicle maintenance from oil changes to fluid flushes. Our professional, expert technicians and service advisors can answer any of your questions. Give us a call and let us help you determine your vehicle’s maintenance schedule today!