- Change your oil every 3 months or 3000 miles whichever comes first. This will maintain proper lubrication for the engine to protect wearing parts.
- Check the air in your tires once every month and keep them inflated to the proper pressure for better gas mileage and longer tire life.
- Have your tires rotated every 5000-6000 miles to maximize tire life.
- Vehicles that have custom wheels installed will often have different size lug nuts or a wheel lock key that is a different size from the original set, so the lug nut wrench that came with the vehicle will not work in the event of a flat tire. In this case, a replacement lug wrench should be carried in case an emergency occurs on the road.
- Vehicles with factory locking hubcaps, factory wheel locks or custom wheels that have wheel locks should always have the key in the vehicle in order to remove the lock in the event of a flat tire or a vehicle repair.
- Check your lights and wiper blades monthly for all around driving safety.
- Check oil and all other under-hood fluids monthly.
- Check your antifreeze every 6 months and replace it every 12 to 24 months. Antifreeze not only protects the coolant from freezing, it raises the boiling point of the coolant for increased cooling capability in the summer and also contains additives to protect against corrosion, rust and electrolysis. These additives will wear out.
- Check the brakes at every tire rotation and have them repaired immediately at the first sign of decreased performance, unusual noises or illuminated Brake or ABS lamps.
- Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) were designed to help maintain control of the vehicle in a sudden-stop situation. They were not designed to decrease stopping distances and will, under some circumstances, actually lengthen the amount of space required to stop the vehicle. Vehicles with the ABS warning lamp illuminated should be inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Always drive with caution and maintain adequate stopping distances with any vehicle.
- All-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles should have the same brand, type and size of tire on all four wheels. Tire diameters vary slightly from different manufacturers and tire types. Most transfer cases have a slight amount of allowance to account for slight variances, but mis-matched tires can cause catastrophic failures on these vehicles.
- Exhaust leaks should be repaired immediately since they may allow deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter the passenger compartment. This gas is odorless and can cause drowsiness, queasiness or under very prolonged and extreme conditions, even death.
- If your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter, it should be replaced regularly to ensure that your heating and air conditioning system work efficiently.
- Check the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle and perform the services at the proper intervals. Maintenance is critical for all vehicles and will help in preventing breakdowns and costly repairs.
- Have your vehicle serviced by a qualified repair facility. A qualified technician that can alert you to potential trouble areas and necessary service should perform even oil changes and other basic maintenance. For example: when we perform an oil change here at All Around Automotive, Inc., we not only replace the oil and filter, we also lube the chassis as required, check and adjust tire inflation pressure as required, top off all under-hood fluids (except brake fluid) and perform a visual inspection. We also have state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, trained and certified technicians, up-to-date vehicle information including maintenance schedules and a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty to give you value for your dolllar.
- Always have at least one spare key for every vehicle. It is best to keep an original key and use it any time you need a spare or duplicate made. If a copy is made from a worn key, the dimensions will not be correct and over time, will cause wear in lock cylinders.
- Replace worn keys. Keys wear during normal use and can damage door or ignition lock cylinders if they are bent or worn. Like spare keys, it is best to have them duplicated from an original that has not been used.
A few safety tips:
- If you have a garage door opener, do not leave the remote in plain sight. Thieves can steal the remote, get your address from the registration and gain access to at least the garage, if not the rest of the house.
- Do not leave house keys in the car or hang them in the garage. Even if you, lock the pass-thru door, a key would allow quick entry either through that door or the front door.
- If your garage door has windows and a garage door opener, be sure the opener release cable is not hanging near the window. It is easy to break the small garage door window, pull the release string and open the door.
- If you use a GPS, put an address at least several blocks away from your house as the "home" address. This way your directions will be close enough to get you where you want to go, but if a thief were to steal the GPS, from your car, it would not lead them directly to your door turn-by-turn.
Here is a list of some recommended items to carry in your vehicle in case of Emergency:
- Spare tire - Do you have one? Do you know where it is and how to access it? Does it have air in it? If you are pulling a trailer, does it have a spare?
- Jack & lug Wrench - Do you have a jack and lug wrench? Are they in good working order?
- Wheel lock key - for locking lug nuts or hubcaps.
- Gloves - A good pair of gloves comes in very handy when changing a tire.
- Rain gear - A small poncho in a pouch is very portable and will keep you dry.
- Jumper cables - A quality set with heavy duty wires is best.
- Flares or reflectors - Use flares and/or reflectors to warn other drivers if you are stopped.
- First aid kit - Even a compact one with a few basic items for emergency.
- Flashlight - There are various styles, some will stand by themselves to be hands free. Make sure the batteries are good and check them regularly.
- Maps - Have a map or GPS that are current and for the areas you are traveling.
- Cell Phone - Make sure you also have a charger in case the battery is low.
- Phone numbers - Keep emergency phone numbers on hand like towing assistance, etc.
- Change - You should always keep some extra change in the vehicle in case you need to use a pay phone.
- Tool kit - A small tool kit with a few basic items can come in handy.