How Often Do I Need to Get My Vehicle Serviced?
Your car will last longer and run better if you take it in to get serviced regularly. But few people know exactly how often they need to get it serviced to keep it in tip-top shape, especially when the car is no longer under warranty. To find out how often you need to get your vehicle serviced, follow this short guide below.
When You’re Still Under Warranty
If your car is under warranty, simply follow the maintenance schedule that is provided to you by the dealership or that is listed in the owner’s manual. In most cases, the schedule will be mileage-based. Newer vehicles will often have an alert system on the dash that will light up to remind you it’s time to change or inspect a component.
It’s also wise to review what is under warranty and what is excluded. Certain items you may assume are being checked and maintained by the dealership may not be. This can be a costly error. Anything that is not covered under the warranty should still be checked, even if that means paying for it out of pocket.
When You’re Warranty Has Expired
Eventually, the warranty will lapse and it will be up to you to schedule the maintenance of your vehicle. After the warranty expires, the routine maintenance should be done more frequently, not less, to avoid costly repairs. If you’re not sure how often you need to check things over or bring it in for service, follow the below schedule to keep your car in good working order:
When the warranty has expired, you should take your car in every 6 months to have a mechanic do a safety check on the vehicle. If you notice any problems yourself, don’t wait, even if you’re only a few weeks away from the 6-month mark. Small problems can quickly escalate, so it’s important that you take your vehicle in as soon as you notice anything out of the normal.
A good rule of thumb is to check the pressure of your tires once a month. Tire pressure can lose a pound per square inch of pressure every month and underinflated tires can impact the handling and cause you to skid out on slippery surfaces.
Oil and Fluid Check
The fluids in your vehicle should be checked the most often. To ensure you’re not running on low oil or brake fluid, check the dipstick every month to see if the fluid levels are low. The oil should also be transparent, not murky.
Worn out wipers can leave streaks that prevent you from seeing clearly. Most wiper blades will work optimally for up to one year. However, if they start to squeak, skip or smear, it’s time to replace them early.
If Your Car is Over 100,000 Kilometers
Older vehicles will need more care than newer ones. Eventually, things will start to go around the 100,000-km mark and need to be replaced. You can follow the above guidelines to maintain the major components, but you should also have some of the other parts regularly checked for wear and tear. This includes components like the belts, tires, battery, brake lines, water pump, and cooling system. It’s also likely your vehicle will have a number of scratches as time goes on. Fixing these now will prevent those blemishes from growing larger and even rusting.
Although it might be easier to wait until a problem arises, it’s never a good idea. Many of the parts and systems work in tandem, and once one goes another will go soon follow suit. You can save yourself a lot of time, money and aggravation by scheduling an annual service at your vehicle’s dealership to take advantage of the service packages that will take care of all the repairs and changes at once.
Is it time to get your GM serviced? Contact us at Seaway GM today to schedule your next maintenance appointment.