The automotive industry is a critical part of America’s infrastructure and economic landscape. Americans love their vehicles and use them every single day. The pressure for auto manufacturers to make long-lasting vehicles is greater than ever before as consumers stick to the brands that they trust.
While some automakers have better reputations than others, the fact that a vehicle has moving parts means that eventually, certain things will break down. Let’s go over some of the vital systems in your vehicle that you should be checking often to make sure that your vehicle is running safely and efficiently.
The first thing you should actively monitor on your vehicle is the safety systems it comes equipped with. Here in America, it is required of every vehicle to have blinkers, stop lights as well as headlights. These lights allow other drivers to be signaled when you are stopping or turning, or allow them to see you when the sun has gone down. Automotive light bulbs are cheap, especially if you buy them from an auto manufacturer like Patrick James Trico, and can be replaced in minutes.
Another safety system to check often is that of your brake pads and brake fluid. A runaway vehicle that can’t stop leads to accidents and injury, both of which can be greatly reduced if the brake system is working properly. No matter what type of vehicle you buy, brakes will eventually wear out, so having them checked often is important. If you go too long without replacing your brakes, the brake pads can completely wear out which makes the clamp start to wear our your rotors. Rotors are much more expensive than brake pads to replace, so making sure that you replace your brakes when there is still a little bit left on the brake pad will help you to save money in the long run. An easy way to make sure you keep your brakes checked is to just ask the tire shop to inspect them every time you have your tires rotated, which should be every 3-5K miles.
Tires are also part of your safety system as worn out tires can greatly affect the way that you drive or the type of control you can have over the vehicle. Most tires should be rotated every 3-5K miles. The purpose of this is to avoid unusual wearing of the tires which can cause the tread of the tire to wear unevenly. Tire tread must be at least 2/32″ deep in order to be safe to operate in most states. If the tire tread is less than this measurement, it’s time to replace your tires. Also, if you live in a climate that gets hot and cold, switching your tires out for a better all-terrain or winter tire during the cold months can also help you to increase the control you have of your vehicle when there is snow, water, or ice on the roads.
Engine And Transmission
While it is important to keep tabs on your safety systems, it’s also important to keep track of the heart of your vehicle, which is its engine and transmission. Without these two things operating correctly, your vehicle is just a heavy paperweight that won’t be able to go anywhere.
- Oil Changes – Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing out your oil every 3-5K miles. This helps to ensure that the oil in your engine is clean which helps to reduce buildup in your engine. The buildup can lead to engine failure, and engines are one of the most expensive parts to replace in your vehicle. Changing the oil frequently can help to prolong the life of your engine as well as give you the performance you desire.
- Timing Belts – While the engine may be operating, the belts are what help other systems in the vehicle work such as electronics and climate controls. Making sure that these belts are in good shape can help to avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Some of the tell-tale signs of a belt going bad are squeaking sounds or visual signs of fraying or splitting. If these signs are presenting themselves, make sure to get your vehicle into an auto shop to get these belts replaced, as not doing so can lead to more expensive repairs down the road.
- Transmission – Transmission inspections are important to see if there is unnatural wearing which is evident with metal shavings being present when flushing the transmission. Flushing the transmission does not need to happen very often, but it is typically a part of a manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for most vehicles.
As you can see, there are several moving parts in a vehicle that needs constant supervision and maintenance in order to run smoothly. By keeping tabs on these systems in your vehicle, you can avoid costly repairs down the road which ultimately save you time and money.