Having car trouble is very frustrating. To make matters worse, it usually happens during the most inconvenient times; more often when you’re on your way to work, far from a car repair shop or headed for a vacation.All these can be prevented though by just simply having your car serviced regularly.
Since the invention of cars, manufacturers always remind their customers to have their units undergo regular check-ups and maintenance for a trouble-free driving experience and to prolong the life of the car as well. With modern engineering, car manufacturers have been able to determine the life expectancy of a certain car component or part, thus enabling them to come up with a list of a systematic schedule for the car wherein the fluids, lubrication and parts of the car have be topped-up or replaced. This list is called the Preventive Maintenance Schedule (PMS), which if followed to the letter, will prevent frustrations caused by car trouble and prolong the usable life of any vehicle.
The manufacturer’s PMS is usually written on the warranty booklet of the vehicle, with the maintenance visits usually done at the dealership where the unit was purchased. Every visit to the dealership costs money, as the car owner has to pay for parts and labor.
PMS varies per manufacturer and every visit will stipulate a different car part to be checked for replacement.
Aside from the rudimentary oil change, the PMS requires the regular topping-up or replacement of fluids (brake, clutch, steering, cooling), filters (fuel, air, oil, transmission, air-con), oil (engine, transmission and differential), lubrication (wheel bearings), belts (timing, fan, air-con and steering), bulbs, clutch, bearings and brakes. The PMS also requires the regular rotation or replacement of the tires.
Oil change schedules
Manufacturers of smaller cars usually require new car buyers to have an oil change upon reaching the first 1,000 kilometers. As the engine goes through its first few hundred kilometers (usually called the break-in period), the tolerances in the engine block are removed and the parts begin to meld perfectly together. As this happens, small metal parts that break off from the new components usually mix with the oil. Those small debris should be flushed out immediately to prevent it from causing premature wear and tear to the engine. Another oil change is schedule to be done after another 4,000 kilometers, then after every 5,000 kilometers.
For diesel-powered engines, the usual maintenance schedule requires an oil-change every 5,000 kilometers. Although some oil brands claim that it can last 10,000 kilometers between changes, it will still depend on the air quality where the vehicle is driven. If regularly driven on dusty roads, it would be best to change the oil every 5,000 kilometers.
Replacing other oils such as gear and transmission oil should always be replaced on time. Not doing so may cause the poor operation of the mechanism and lead to severe damage.
The oil filter should always be replaced together with the oil. People on a tight budget usually skimp on replacing the filter, or they buy a cheaper one with inferior quality. Remember that metallic parts or any other foreign debris not caught by inferior filters can cause severe damage to an engine.
The typical engine usually has several belts that make the car run properly. These include the drive belt, fan belt, power steering belt and timing belt. Belts are usually made of rubber and thus degrade in time. These belts should always be replaced as often as the manufacturer suggests, to prevent problems like overheating, loss of electrical power, heavy steering and mechanical breakdown. Not replacing the timing belt on time may cause severe engine breakdown that will be very costly to repair.
Aside from its power rating, car batteries now come with an end-of-life period. Batteries that come with brand-new cars usually last between two and three years. Replacement batteries have different end-of-life ratings with some having 12-, 15- and 21-month life cycles. The price usually goes up depending on its guaranteed lifespan. To prevent suffering from a dead battery, make sure to replace the battery as soon as its warranty expires.
The transmission is an integral part of any vehicle. Regular checkups and oil flushes will keep it in good shape.
Always remember that the brakes keep you and your family safe. Regular check-ups on your car’s brakes will ensure you don’t cause any damage to your rotors, saving you money down the road.
We are in a tropical country. A functioning air-conditioner is very important in our daily drive, especially with the daily gridlock we have in our roads.
Tires are made from rubber and do wear out after several thousand kilometers. To make them last longer, the five tires (including the spare) should be rotated (change in position) every 5,000 or so kilometers to make sure that each wears out evenly. Always make sure that tires have the correct pressure to extend its life. Also check with the tire manufacturer what the tire’s life is and make sure to replace them accordingly. Take note that tires, even if sparingly used, tends to fail because of to age.
When driving and you hear a foreign sounding noise, or experience any form of car trouble, make sure to bring your car to the shop for a check-up at the soonest possible time. By doing so, it will prevent further damage to your car and keep the repair cost down.
Never take car repair and maintenance for granted. By following preventive maintenance schedules, you will surely get to enjoy the most out of driving your and save you from frustrations and high repair costs.