Regular maintenance is essential to extending the lifespan of your car. This is especially true as the automobile ages. There are certain services that you simply must seek out to avoid costly problems down the road. This is a classic example of an area where a small expenditure today proves much better than larger expenses down the road. Here are four large services you should consider for your aging vehicle.
Change the Timing Belt
The timing belt in your vehicle is responsible for the synchronization of the rotation of the shafts in the engine. Over time, this belt wears out and requires replacement. Most manufacturers recommend changing the timing belt about every 70,000 miles, but you can check the owner’s manual for an exact figure.
If you fail to replace the timing belt as it wears thin, it could break and cause serious damage to your engine. That is why it is so important to change it before this happens.
Check the Brakes
All the miles you put on your car results in a lot of wear and tear on the brakes. If any serious problems are not dealt with, it can put you and your family in a dangerous situation. Older cars are especially prone to having brake issues. Plan to check your brakes every six months for potential problems. Make sure the brake pads are not too worn, and if the rotors or drums are excessively grated, consider having them replaced.
Replace the Automatic Transmission Fluid
While this precaution is not necessary in some newer models, for older cars it is essential. Some models only require replacement every 100,000 miles, while for others you should change the fluid and the filter after only 36,000 miles. You might also want to replace the fluid if you notice it has taken on a brownish color (it should be pink). Check the owner’s manual for more information.
Have Drive Belts and Hoses Replaced
Years of heavy use results in wear and tear on the vehicle’s drive belts. To be safe, you should consider replacing them every two or three years. If they begin to make a rattling sound, then change them out immediately.
Keeping tabs on your tires is always essential. As your car ages it becomes even more important. Make sure your tires are always filled with air and frequently check for balding. Once your car reaches the six year mark consider taking it to a tire dealer.
Cars are like people: as they age, they require tender love and care. But if you follow this advice and properly service your vehicle, there is no reason it can’t continue operating for years to come.