Proper Maintenance Helps Extend Vehicle Life!
- Change your engine oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles
- Check your tire inflation pressure monthly
- Rotate your tires every 6 months or 5,000 to 8,000 miles
- Change the engine air filter annually or when visibly restricted.
- Inspect Brake System every 12 months or 15,000 miles
ARTICLES ON VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
Checking Under the Hood
Whether or not you pump your own gas, your car probably receives less attention
than it should. Regular maintenance checks and simple service can greatly reduce
the expense of car ownership. Most of the checks and services described here can
be done at little or no cost. Best of all, they are quick and easy to do and save
time, money and inconvenience now and later. Always refer to your owner's manual
when performing any maintenance task on your vehicle. Periodically your car should
have a thorough inspection by a qualified technician. For maximum fuel efficiency
and cleaner air, keep your engine in top operating condition. For safe driving,
keep brakes, steering and suspension systems in A-1 shape.
1. Check the antifreeze/coolant level monthly. Some cars have transparent reservoirs
with level markings. Fill to level marking with 50/50 solution of anti-freeze/coolant
and water. Caution: Do not remove the pressure cap when engine is hot.
2. Inspect belts and hoses monthly. Replace worn, glazed or frayed belts. Tighten
them when more than 1/2" of slack can be depressed between the pulleys. Vehicles
with spring loaded belt tensioners require no adjustment. Replace bulging, rotten,
or brittle hoses and tighten clamps. If a hose looks bad, or feels too soft or too
hard, it should be replaced.
6. Check brake fluid monthly. First, wipe dirt from the brake master cylinder reservoir
lid. Unscrew plastic lid or pry off the retainer clip and remove the lid, depending
on which type your vehicle has. If you need fluid, add the approved type and check
for possible leaks throughout the system. Fill to mark on reservoir. Caution: Do
7. Keep windshield washer fluid reservoir full. When topping off, use some windshield
washer fluid on a rag to clean off the wiper blades. In winter months, pay attention
to the freezing point of the washer fluid.
3. Check transmission fluid monthly on a level surface with the engine warm and
running, and parking brake on. Shift to drive, then to park. Remove dipstick, wipe
dry, insert it and remove it again. Add the approved type fluid, if needed. Do not
4. Check oil every other gas fill up. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean. Insert
it fully and remove it again. If it is low, add oil. To maintain peak performance,
change oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. Replace oil filter
with every oil change.
5. Check the air filter every other month. Replace it when it's dirty or as part
of a “tune-up”. It is easy to reach, in a rectangular box at the forward end of
the air duct hose assembly; or right under the big metal "lid" in a carbureted engine.
8. Use extreme caution when handling a battery since it can produce explosive gases.
Do not smoke, create a spark or light a match near a battery and always wear protective
glasses and gloves. Have it checked with every oil change. Cables should be attached
securely and be free of corrosion.
9. Check power steering fluid level once per month. Simply remove the reservoir
dipstick. If the level is down, add fluid and inspect the pump and hoses for leaks.
AROUND THE CAR
10. Inspect windshield wiper blades whenever you clean your windshield. Do not wait
until rubber is worn or brittle to replace them. Wiper blades should be replaced
at least once per year, and more often if smearing or chattering occurs.
11. Be sure all your lights are clean and working, including brake lights, turn
signals and emergency flashers. Keep spare bulbs and fuses in your vehicle.
12. Keep tires inflated to pressure recommended on placard (it helps to own your
own gauge). Check for cuts, bulges and excessive tread wire. Uneven wear indicates
tires are misaligned or out of balance. Keep a record of tire rotation. Rotate your
tires every 6 months or 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
13. Look for signs of oil seepage on shock absorbers. Testing has shown that most
OEM hydraulic and gas charged shock absorbers degrade measurably by 50,000 miles.
Worn or leaking shocks should be replaced. We suggest replacing shock absorbers
14. Look underneath for loose or broken exhaust clamps and supports. Check for holes
in muffler or pipes. Replace rusted or damaged parts. Have emission checked at least
once per year for compliance with local laws.
AMRA/MAP believes that this information is accurate and reliable and does not endorse,
approve or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness,
efficacy, or timeliness; reliance on it should only be undertaken after a detailed
review of the applicable OE publication(s). AMRA/MAP is not responsible for, and
expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind or consequences thereof,
arising out of use, reference to, reliance on, or performance of such information.