10 Essential Car Maintenance Services You Should Have Performed Every Year

Vehicles are machines and, like any machine, they need maintenance. To ensure your car is running smoothly and safely, it is important to follow a regular car maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance helps to extend the life of your vehicle and protect it from breakdowns, costly repairs, and other unwanted surprises. Let's look at 10 maintenance services you should have performed at least every year.

At a minimum, you should have your car inspected every 12 months by a qualified mechanic for problems. Always follow the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations found in your vehicle's owner's manual. Note that many vehicle manufacturers have replaced the printed owner's manual that you may be familiar with for an online version available through the manufacturer's website. Engine oil and oil filter should be changed regularly, because as the engine runs, small pieces of metal, dirt and carbon end up in the oil and can cause excessive wear on the engine. Non-synthetic oil that was traditionally used in the past always had a general rule of 3,000 miles, but most cars today run on synthetic material, which can safely last between 5,000 and 10,000 miles between oil changes, depending on the type.

Remember to also check the engine oil level regularly. Once every two weeks and before any long road trip should be enough. A clogged air filter makes it difficult for the engine to breathe and that can negatively affect performance. Changing your air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles is a good rule of thumb; if you park or drive in a dusty environment, change the air filter closer to 15,000 miles. If the fuel filter becomes clogged, the engine will run abruptly or not run at all. The manufacturer's suggestions for fuel filters vary widely, but some recommend replacing the filter as soon as 30,000 miles.

The best option is to ask your mechanic to perform a pressure test to determine the condition of your fuel filter. For most vehicles, regular maintenance starts at 5,000 miles and continues from there every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Of course, checking your car more regularly is even better. Change the air filter every 15,000 miles. Inspect battery and coolant every 20,000 miles.

Most 25,000 mile maintenance services require fuel filter replacement. Every 30,000 miles, replace the air filter and power steering fluid. Inspect coolant, radiator hoses, HVAC system, brake pads, and all components. Taking care of your car by performing preventive maintenance helps ensure you have safe and reliable transportation. Specialized detailing clay helps remove contaminants from hard water stains to tree sap and tar while polishing removes the small scratches and swirls you gave your car when you went to a contactless car wash. Cars that use a timing belt instead of a timing chain need to worry about this little maintenance. If you can't see a belt - and in many cars today they're hidden under covers and other components - you can remove the cover with just a few screws or if you're not sure about doing it there's no shame in having someone else check it the next time you take your car to change its oil (which they should anyway).Not only that but maintaining a detailed vehicle maintenance history can also help improve the resale value of your car.

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. Now that you know the maintenance of the vehicle 101 you are on your way to ensuring that your car continues to safely navigate the road for miles. Detail your car well and any future buyer will be inclined to think that it is the stereotype of a car owned by an elderly woman who only drove it to the grocery store and church on Sundays. Sticking to a car maintenance schedule 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. The following guidelines are the approximate intervals that many car manufacturers suggest car maintenance service should be performed. Carefully follow your car manufacturer's recommendations for scheduled vehicle service and use qualified mechanics to perform work on your car. The owner's manual provides a routine automatic maintenance program based on engine mileage for most cars. Driving in the city tends to be more difficult in cars than on the road and many of the elements in your car are designed to wear out so you should keep these consumable parts in mind.