10 maintenance tips to extend the life of your vehicle

If you’re looking to prolong your car’s life, it’s important to keep it in its best condition by taking preventive measures and performing monthly check-ups. So, whether you want to do it yourself or if you prefer to bring it to John Harvey Toyota’s professional service department, check out these 10 things you should do to keep your car in its best shape for longer:

Every few months:

1. Inspect your car:
          - Look for signs of wear and tear on your vehicle and make sure everything is working properly. Ensure that all your lights are working, check your tires’ air pressure, be alert to any sound that’s not normal and check tire wear indicators. If there’s anything out of the ordinary, address it promptly.

2. Check your fluids:
          - Take a look under the hood and make sure you have enough fluid. Be sure to check your oil, antifreeze, power steering, coolant and wiper fluids. Whatever your findings, never ignore a leak.

3. Look at your battery and its contacts:
          - Newer batteries don’t require much maintenance, but it’s important to be aware of the state of your battery. Make sure there’s no build up on your battery’s contacts and check if it needs to be recharged. If there’s buildup or your battery is leaking, grab a brush and battery cleaner to remove it.  As an important side note, always have jumper cables handy in case you need to recharge your battery.

4. Windshield fluid and wipers:
          - Replacing your wiper blades and making sure you have enough windshield fluid is an easy fix and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Prevent your windshield from getting permanently stained or scratched by replacing them every so often.

5. Replace cabin air filter:
          -Improve the air quality inside the cabin of your vehicle by periodically changing the air filter.  It’s not critical to the vehicle’s operation, but it will sure improve your ride.

6. Have the oil and filter changed
         -People often say that you should replace your oil and filter every 3,000 miles. That’s the general rule for some vehicles but take a look at the owner’s manual or contact our service department to find out exactly how long you should wait until you bring your vehicle in for service. Some models can go up to as much as 10,000 miles!


7. Tire rotation, balance and alignment:
          - Bring in your vehicle to have your wheels aligned and balanced, and your tires rotated every year. This will extend the tires’ lifespan by wearing them evenly, key to a smoother ride. Review the owner’s manual to see, if not yearly, how often you should bring it in for service.

8. Change spark plugs
          - Call and schedule a visit to our service department to have your spark plugs looked at and potentially replaced. By making sure you don’t have buildup and replacing worn out plugs you can save on fuel. If not taken care of, bad spark plugs can cut the efficiency of your vehicle. You can also prevent potential costly engine breakdowns related to faulty or damaged spark plugs.

9. Flush your radiator
          - Remove buildup from the radiator and cooling system that was created over time. Flush the radiator and add coolant in order to keep them working in peak condition. But before you commit to DIY this project, check that you have everything required (tools and products) by consulting the owner’s manual.
          - Replace your brakes
          - Changing your brake pads on time will help you save a lot. Replacing the pads before they’re too thin will keep you from damaging your rotors and may save you from a costly accident.

We know you’re capable of handling some of this preventive maintenance at home. However, make sure you own all the required tools and are prepared to tackle the job. It’s always a good idea to consult with our experts as well before diving into DIY. But if you’re not planning on making this your next project, our expert service department is here to help. Take a look at our service specials or contact us to schedule your appointment today. 

Categories: Service
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