11 Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly in Between Maintenance Visits

The average car lifespan for today’s vehicles is approximately 12 years or 200,000 miles. The best way to ensure your car reaches or even exceeds this limit is to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and use these simple car maintenance tips between maintenance visits.

Check Your Car’s Battery 

Your car battery powers the many electrical systems found in modern vehicles, from your sound system to your starter and internal sensors. Regular battery checks reduce the risk of battery failure, which can prevent your engine from starting. When checking your battery, watch for the following signs of a failing battery:

  • Corrosion on battery connectors
  • A swollen, cracked, or bulging battery case
  • Sulfurous, rotten egg smells
  • Battery fluid leaks

If you have any concerns about your battery, drop by participating Grease Monkey centers for a thorough car battery inspection. 

Rotate the Tires

Front and rear tire treads wear down at different rates, impacting how well your tires make contact with the road. Periodically rotating your tires allows for even wear and weight distribution, improving your vehicle’s handling and extending the life of your tires. 

Grease Monkey offers tire rotation services at participating service stations. We inspect tires for damage during the rotation service, which takes less than 60 minutes for most vehicles. 

How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires? 

Your owner’s manual will explain how often to rotate your tires. Have your tires checked outside of this recommended schedule if you detect cracks, bubbles, or signs of uneven wear. 

Check Your Tire Pressure

Regularly checking your tire pressure is the best way to ensure your tires are properly inflated. You can do this yourself, or if you prefer, you can drop by Grease Monkey for a multipoint oil change service, which includes a tire pressure check and set. Properly inflated tires wear evenly and improve your fuel economy. Your steering and brakes are more responsive with correctly inflated tires.

Keep Engine Fluids Topped Off

Oil isn’t the only engine fluid your car relies on. Transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and more all play essential roles in engine maintenance, whether they lubricate moving parts, regulate engine heat, or keep your windshield nice and clean.

At Grease Monkey, we top off power steering, transmission, and window washer fluid during multipoint inspection oil changes. Participating locations also offer free top-offs of these engine fluids between oil change intervals (to a maximum of ½ quart). 

Get a Routine Oil Change

Scheduling routine oil changes is one of the most effective car maintenance tips we can recommend. Oil is an essential engine fluid, lubricating moving parts while cooling your engine. Periodically replacing dirty oil with new oil is crucial for a smoothly running vehicle. 

Check your user’s manual for a recommended oil change interval time and schedule servicing based on this recommendation. While you can arrange to simply have your oil replaced, a better option is to take advantage of a multipoint oil service, which includes the inspection of several important vehicle components. 

Check Your Brakes Often

Your brakes are vital for safe driving and, as such, should receive periodic inspections and servicing. Signs your brakes may need servicing include:

  • Brake fluid leaks
  • Vibrations while braking
  • Squeaking noises when you apply the brake
  • A “soft” brake pedal
  • Pulling to a side while braking
  • Burning smells
  • Illuminated brake warning lights

If you experience any of these signs, arrange a brake inspection. Otherwise, check your owner’s manual for a recommended brake inspection schedule. 

Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers deteriorate with use until the blades no longer make full contact with windshield glass. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your wipers every 6 to 12 months or whenever you see signs of damage or impaired performance.  

Replace Your Air Filter

Air filters restrict debris from enteringyour engine while providing proper airflow. As filters age, dirt and debris reduce their effectiveness. A dirty air filter makes the engine work harder, reducing fuel efficiency and increasing the risk of overheating. 

Your owner’s manual will recommend when to change your air filter. Typically, air filters are replaced during routine oil changes. 

Keep Your Car Clean

Cleaning your car does more than leave it looking good. Cleaning protects against rust and corrosion and protects the vehicle’s interior and exterior from damage. 

Never Ignore Car Warning Lights

Your dashboard lights play an important role in car maintenance. An illuminated light indicates something is wrong and requires attention. Often, an illuminated warning light indicates a minor issue that, left unresolved, will worsen over time. Visit your local Grease Monkey for professional diagnostics if any dashboard light turns on. Our experienced service technicians can quickly isolate the cause. 

Stick to Advised Service Schedules 

Finally, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for car maintenance tips and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance, inspection, and replacement schedule. Following recommended oil change intervals and maintenance schedules helps keep your car operating at optimum performance levels. 

Looking for engine services or multipoint oil changes in your area? Check the Grease Monkey Location Page for service centers close to you!

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