What basic maintenance is required for any vehicle?

Every month, or every few refuels of gas and especially before any long road trip, it's a good idea to get under the hood of your car and inspect the oil and coolant levels while the engine is cold. Low levels of either can cause engine problems if left unchecked. Consult the owner's manual to find both in your specific vehicle. The engine air filter is what regulates the air that flows into the engine and helps keep debris and particles out.

By ensuring that the air filter flows properly, you can improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and help ensure engine life. This can be easily done at home, so refer to your owner's manual for instructions and how often you should change it. When you need to change the oil in your car depends on the type of oil you use. If your car uses conventional engine oil, you'll likely change it every 3,000 miles or every 3 months.

If your car has synthetic oil, you should probably change it every 5,000 to 10,000 miles or between 6 and 12 months. Consult your owner's manual or contact your dealer if you are unsure what type of oil is recommended for your specific vehicle. It is recommended to rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. The professionals at the Toyota Service Center are experts in maintenance, and tire rotation is just one of the many services they can offer you.

All tires leak air, so checking them monthly is an essential part of basic car maintenance. Always use the same tire gauge and check air pressure first thing in the morning, not after driving with them or sitting in the sun. Inflate to the pressures indicated on the car manufacturer's decal (on the driver's door or jamb), NOT to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire. Recommended tire pressure is based on the weight of your particular vehicle, not tire brand or tread style.

Regular maintenance makes tires last longer. Virtually every mechanical system in your vehicle can affect fuel efficiency if not properly maintained. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for checking engine, cooling and ignition system, brakes, drivetrain and emission control system. You should consider your vehicle front to back, bottom to top.

And of course, it's important to remember that car maintenance costs, while not always cheap, can help you avoid costly repairs in the future. Taking care of your car by performing preventive maintenance helps ensure you have safe and reliable transportation. Between work, family events, and dozens of other obligations people have, basic car maintenance can get in the way. Remember that basic car maintenance can save you a lot of money and maintain the value of your car in the long term.

When you perform car maintenance at regular intervals, it keeps your trip in good working order and helps avoid costly mechanical repairs in the future. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual and find out when recommended car maintenance services should be scheduled. Proper car maintenance has many rewarding advantages that don't have to do with getting from point A to point B. Changing oil at home may seem intimidating at first, but once you master it, it's just basic car maintenance that saves you a lot of money.

Basic car maintenance typically involves overhauling or replacing parts such as spark plugs, cables, fluids, and serpentine belts. Sticking to a car maintenance program and keeping a good record of what you've done can help extend the life of your vehicle and protect it from breakdowns, costly repairs, and other unwanted surprises. .

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