Overdue for an oil change or a brake inspection? Whatever the service, by postponing necessary maintenance, you may be causing extensive damage to your vehicle and increasing the chance of a breakdown. With National Car Care Month in April upon us, the non-profit Car Care Council suggests you stop stalling and get your vehicle serviced today.
“Many people don’t realize the consequences of putting off needed vehicle maintenance. Not only can neglecting vehicle service cause safety issues if ignored, but it can lead to costly repairs down the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “With nearly 80 percent of vehicles needing service, a new part and/or repair, chances are your vehicle could use some extra attention.”
The Car Care Council recommends following a vehicle service schedule, keeping a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide in the glovebox and performing the most common routine maintenance procedures to keep your vehicle performing at its best.
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check the brake systemannually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check the hoses and beltsto make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
- Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systemas proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and safety reasons, such as defrosting.
- Check the wipers and lightingso that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
“Be sure to fully inspect your vehicle annually, including performing a tune-up and wheel alignment,” said White. “If you suspect there is a problem, don’t stall and address it quickly before minor repairs become more complicated, expensive repairs.”
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.