Auto Maintenance or Vehicle Maintenance is one area that can be nightmarish to a car owner. If not handled properly, it can cause havoc not only to the well-being of the car but also to its owner, in addition to leaving him or her down by a few thousands.
Vehicle Maintenance generally describes the inspection and testing of car condition and subsystems, which means everything under the hood of the car, including repairs and servicing. Regular vehicle maintenance is absolutely essential for ensuring the following critical factors:
• reliability and
As part of vehicle maintenance, several parts may be replaced in accordance with ‘wear and tear’ conditions to avoid further damage as well as for safety reasons.
The scheduling of vehicle maintenance checks depends largely on the model and make of car, year of manufacture, mileage driven, driving conditions and last but not least, driver behavior. Why, it may be asked. A majority of drivers drive rashly treating their vehicles in a negligent manner resulting in faster wear and tear that could cause serious accidents and reg check disability. While sedans and small-sized cars may not be called on for period vehicle maintenance if they are used and maintained in regular condition by the owner, others like SUVs and CUVs for example may be recommended ‘ideal servicing schedules’ by the vehicle manufacturers based on what they call ‘impact parameters’, which are:
• number of trips a day and distance travelled
• extreme weather or climate conditions
• drives on bumpy or mountain roads, or dusty roads that do not have smooth upper surfaces
• long-distance cruising vs. stop-and-go trips
• towing another vehicle or a load
Scheduling of service check-ups
Experienced vehicle maintenance advisors in auto dealerships recommend what is called ‘schedule intervals’ which are periods in between ‘ideal servicing’ and ‘extreme servicing’ schedules.
Earlier, several vehicle check-up factors that had service intervals were combined into a single service schedule known as a ‘tune-up’. The tune-up served to check for factors that may or may not show up in regular scheduled maintenance checks and have sometimes known to pinpoint a recurring problem before it got out of hand. Essentially, it was a way of getting a ‘car back on track’ in terms of engine performance relating to mileage and better fuel efficiency.
Most of today’s cars and automotives have installed electronics that control several functions. The technology innovation of embedded software in many cars is designed to check sensor signals, clogged filters, worn-out spark plugs etc. Where in earlier days, an engine breakdown would have meant stalling the car and calling for help, today’s modern cars have the ‘limp-home’ function that allows for getting the car to a designated location on limited power.
Service maintenance of vehicles is usually recorded in a service book by the service centre on completion of vehicle maintenance checks. This service history is known to significantly enhance the resale value of vehicles.
A vehicle maintenance check-list could look like this.
• Brakes – check frequently, replace every two years
• Tires – once the treads reach minimum safety levels or approx. five years
• Coolant – every two years
• Engine belt and timing belts – 3 years or 30,000 miles for engine belt; 60,000 miles and above for timing belt
• Spark plug – approx. every 30,000 miles driven
• Air filter – replace every year
• Battery – typically every four to five years
• Power steering fluid – check level with every engine-oil change
• Automatic trans fluid filter – every two years
• Checking fuel filters – usually every two years