How Often Should You Service Your Vehicle?

By: Brenden Somerville   |   20 Jun 2016
Mechanic holding tools

Taking care of your car is almost a guarantee that you will not only get the most out of the vehicle you paid for, but arguably extend its lifespan as well. When we hear the words "preventative maintenance" our first thought is generally a car wash every now and then, or replacing your tires when Old Man Winter strikes. However, there's a lot more to it and if you're one of those drivers who tends to ignore when your engine light comes on, it' time to stop. Ignoring the early warning signs your car signals could cost you a great deal if you allow the problem to accumulate. Consider the basic necessities like that oil change or engine inspection like a trip to the doctor--they keep you car healthy, safe and dependable so that you and those around you avoid injury on the road. It's not always obvious as to when you should service your vehicle. We've made it easy for you with these tell-tale signs.

Look Inside Your Owner's Manual

Getting a new car is exciting and much like getting a new phone or computer, there are some of us who tend to toss the learner's manual aside and familiarize ourselves at our own pace. Although hands-on experience is a great way to get comfortable with your vehicle, the owner's manual contains multiple sets of important instructions, including your vehicle's service schedule. There are specific elements that must be changed on a regular, monthly and annual basis and by reading your manual, you'll save money when the time for preventative maintenance comes. Reading your owner's manual also ensures that you won't seriously damage or ruin technology or components of your vehicle due to personal error. It could be a mistake as simple as filling up your fuel tank with the wrong gasoline or installing the wrong size tire which could ultimately lead you to a repair bill much higher than anticipated.

As a car owner, the most obvious form of protection is to conduct periodic inspections on your vehicle. Listen for any unusual sounds in the engine, like rattling or clanging, and be on the look out for any strong or unusual smells like excess exhaust fumes or chemicals. Make sure all your lights are working and check the air pressure in your tires every month or so, while ensuring your brakes are not faulty or squeaky. There are certain tasks you can take on yourself without visiting the dealership and one of the most common is learning how to check your fluids. Even if you don't ever learn how to change your antifreeze, power steering, coolant, or even your wiper fluid you should learn how to check those fluid levels. In some cases, you can see the tank level directly. There are many informative and educational DIY series on YouTube that can provide assistance on most automotive maintenance.

Try DIY, But Know When To Call A Mechanic

The owner's manual that comes with your vehicle will provide a series of step-by-step instructions on how to change or replace the most common elements of your car, truck or SUV. Things like replacing the car's cabin air filter to keep the interior smelling fresh and comfortable, or changing the engine air filter are easy enough if you follow the simple instructions laid out for you in the manual. However, if the maintenance required on your vehicle is major and something looks out of the ordinary, put down your tools and call a professional mechanic. Although there's a certain sense of pride that comes with fixing up your own car, if you're not a licensed auto technician, chances are you don't have half the knowledge or tools required to complete the job, and complete it right. Most vehicles these days come equipped with computer technologies that need special programs to configure the errors and unfortunately, home mechanics do not have the resources to address these issues. To avoid further damage to your vehicle and a hefty service fee, leave it to the experts. But, whatever you do, never ignore preventative maintenance!

At Somerville Auto, our certified auto technicians are equipped to handle any situation, from a simple tire rotation to a mechanical breakdown. See our pricing menu and give us a call at 1-(877) 503-5102 to book a service appointment today. 


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