Owning a vehicle is awesome, but as the saying goes, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. In addition to having to keep the tank full, regular maintenance is the key to optimal vehicle health and performance. The good news is that taking proper care of your vehicle isn’t too difficult. Having “expert eyes” on your vehicle at every Oil Service is the best way to ensure that your vehicle’s components are functioning properly and stay on top of normal wear and tear.
Everyone knows there are various rules-of-thumb for vehicle maintenance based on time or mileage. These intervals change based on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of driving that you do. We’ve come up with a set of guidelines to help you stay on top of your regular maintenance schedule, and to help you know what to expect from your next visit to the shop.
Time-Based Maintenance Routine
All maintenance depends on a variety of factors, but here are a few things you can mark down on your calendar to regularly check.
Every Month (or Every 2nd Fuel Tank Fill)
- Oil level
- Brake Fluid Level
- Top up Windshield Washer Fluid
- Tire pressure and overall condition
- Coolant/antifreeze level
Every 8,000 km’s or (Annually, regardless of mileage)
- Change the oil and oil filter
- Top up or change windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid
- Condition of battery terminals and cables
- Proper function of running lights, headlights, taillights, and indicators
- Exhaust system
- Condition of brake pads and rotors
- Shocks and suspension
- Wiper blades
- Spare tire condition and pressure
Some of these checks, like wiper blades and checking the oil level, are easily accomplished at home with a little know-how. Others are more difficult unless you have the right tools, facilities, and skills.
Mileage-Based Maintenance Routine vs Time-Based
While it’s a good idea to check things based on the passage of time, as listed above, most vehicle maintenance tasks come down to mileage. Your transmission fluid probably doesn’t care if it’s been a month or a year, but most transmissions perform best with new fluid every 50,000km.
It is especially important to pay attention to mileage on older vehicles, as they won’t have automated dashboard reminders to let you know when to bring the vehicle in. Make sure to pay attention to your vehicle’s mileage and use your owner’s manual as a reference. Or, just text us at 403.398.9833 with details of your vehicle and service history and we’ll be happy to assist.
An important note is that mileage-based service recommendations are generally determined based on the assumption that you are driving your vehicle under normal conditions. You might have to deviate from the suggestions in your owner’s manual if you drive under special circumstances or have unique driving habits. Examples of conditions that would affect your maintenance routine include:
- Regular performance driving
- Regular heavy towing or heavy loads
- Regular short trips under 10km
- Extreme weather conditions (especially hot, cold, dusty, or sandy)
- Constant stop-and-go city driving
Mileage should be seen as a guide for your maintenance schedule that is more precise than time, but it should still be taken with a grain of salt. Your vehicle is unique, and you should treat it as such – The Tunerworks Service team treats your vehicle like it was our own.
The manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and automated dashboard reminders are greet helpers, but they shouldn’t be the only things you pay attention to. The type and quality of components and fluids that are used in your maintenance will impact the amount of time or driving you can do between services. For example, extended life synthetic motor oil specifically approved for your vehicle may be an option for vehicle, and will typically will last longer than a low-cost option offered by a quick lube oil change shop.
The best piece of advice we can give you is to stick to some kind of regular schedule and pay attention to what your vehicle is telling you. If you notice something behaving strangely, or even a funny noise or smell, it’s certainly in your best interest to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. A little preventative maintenance is better for your vehicle, and your wallet, than dealing with neglected issues that have snowballed.
Tunerworks Keeps You On Track
Staying on top of regular maintenance is easy when you have a regular shop. We’ll get to know you and your vehicle so we can help you get the most out of your driving experience. Our expert mechanics have taken care of thousands of unique cars and owners, and we look forward to working with you.