There are hundreds of moving parts inside your vehicle, and each one has an important role to play. And as long as you take care of it, your vehicle will continue to perform for decades to come. But just how are you supposed to do this? Well, don’t be the person that just drives until something major goes wrong. Trust us, the last thing you want is to be driving down the highway and have a belt finally give up its ghost and rip off. Replacing a belt is inexpensive compared to the kinds of damages you might sustain. But don’t worry. Following proper vehicle maintenance isn’t all that difficult. You just need to know the difference between good and bad maintenance habits and ask for a vehicle checkup report after a visit get maintenance done. Here at Kings Quick Lane Tire and Auto, we’ll help you throw it all.
This is about as basic as it gets with vehicle maintenance. It’s one of those things you absolutely need to do and should not put off. You might not want to take your vehicle in after you hit the 5,000 miles since your previous oil change (hey, we’ve all been there), but you need to. Over time the oil in your engine is subjected to heating and reheating, as well as some exposure to debris. This leads it to becoming thicker, and it collects bits of gunk along the way. Your oil filter can only do so much, and, eventually, this gunk will create blockages in the engine. It’s best to think of it like the veins in your body running to your heart. If it isn’t taken care of, cholesterol will start to cling to the walls of your veins, and if this blockage becomes severe enough, you will have real health problems. With your vehicle, real health problems mean catastrophic issues with the engine, burst gaskets, and so on. All of this can be avoided by simply staying on top of your oil changes.
Follow your owner’s manual to know the frequency of your oil changes. Older cars will need one every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Some vehicles, depending on the used oil, may be able to go between 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Your owner’s manual will indicate this.
When you take your vehicle in, make sure they replace your oil filter. Some super discount oil change locations use inferior oil and don’t change your filter. Failure to change your filter greatly reduces the length of time you can use the new oil as it won’t collect the small particles of debris. And, if you’re someone who enjoys changing your own oil, make sure you change the filter as well. Then, when you’re done, bring your used oil either to us, another oil change location, or you can bring it into most auto parts shops as they will take it off your hands. Never throw the oil away.
Washing your car is more than a cosmetic thing. It’s about washing away the gunk that collects on your vehicle over time. This is especially important during the winters in Cincinnati. There’s a reason Ohio is part of the Rust Belt. Because metal, when not taken care of, rusts like a wildfire. You can probably look out your window right now and see a 1990s pickup that has quite a bit of rust damage. Washing your car will prevent this.
During the summer, you can hand wash your vehicle yourself. But during the winter, make sure to take it into a car wash. It can help get all of the salt off your vehicle that’s collected from the roads. Do this every other week during the winter. Many of the car washes around town offer subscription discounts to help save money. Or you can just go to one of the drive-through options that give you a discount on gas when you buy a car wash.
Check your owner’s manual. Typically in the very back of it, you’ll find a mileage listing of when you should bring your vehicle in. Not everything in your vehicle is designed to last forever. Take the belts spinning around your engine block. These will start to wear down and crack. So the belts will need to be replaced more frequently than other parts. When you hit a mileage marker, give us a call and schedule a service time.
Your owner’s manual will give you bullet points on what might need to be replaced, so you have a heads up, but it isn’t always the case. If your belts are in fine working order, this won’t be needed. And perhaps your air filter still looks good, so you can maintain what you have. It’s just a good idea to follow the recommended servicing, so you can stay on top of your vehicle performance.Tires
The old rule of thumb for tires was if you could put a penny in the tread and see Lincoln’s head, you needed new tires (we’re sure old Abe would be thrilled to know his face is now being used as a gauge for rubber tires). However, that’s outdated. In reality, you should be using a quarter, and if you can see Washington’s hairline, it’s time to spring for new tires. This is especially important in Ohio, where you’re dealing with snow, ice, hail, and slick driving conditions. It’s also construction season 365 days a year, so you need that extra tread to handle the roads. So make sure you stay up on your tires.
At the same time, you’ll want to rotate your tires. This prevents one set of tires from wearing down faster than the other tires. Michelin recommends having your tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (which happens, on average, every six months or so).
If you have different sized tires on the front and rear of your vehicle (which is more common on larger SUVs and pickups) the tires will only swap sides, but regardless, staying on top of your tires will extend the life of your rubber and help prevent the car from pulling in one direction or the other.
Keep Your Vehicle Serviced at Kings Quick Lane
Most of the general maintenance steps you can do just about anywhere. From changing the oil to car washes, these are easy enough as there are hundreds of spots in metro Cincinnati that provide these services (we provide oil changes, so we’ll be happy to help with this as well). But for the more extensive servicing, such as when you reach a mileage landmark and your owner’s manual suggests taking the vehicle in for inspection, it is important to take it into an auto center with brand certified mechanics. Here at Kings Quick Lane Tire and Auto, we specialize in all makes and models. Whether you’re driving a Ford or a Kia, our certified staff of expert mechanics is here to help. So make sure to follow all of these good maintenance tips. As long as you do, you’ll extend the life of your vehicle while handling everything the Cincinnati roads and weather can throw at you.