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What to Know About Taking Care of Your Vehicle

Vehicle maintenance is about keeping you and your passengers safe on the road and making your vehicle last as long as possible. Even if you’re not an expert on your vehicle’s inner workings, there are some things you can do to make sure your vehicle is running as it should. Below, we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions about vehicle upkeep. If you have other questions or want more specific guidance, we’ll be happy to help you with information or maintenance services.

  • How often should I get an oil change?
    Oil lubricates the internal components of your vehicle’s engine, allowing them to work properly. As oil breaks down over time, it becomes sludgy and stops doing its job, which is why it’s important to replace it with clean oil regularly. Most vehicles need an oil change about every 3,000 to 7,000 miles (usually around every 3 months). You can also check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval between oil changes. Many newer models even have a computer system that will notify you when it’s time to change the oil.
  • Do I need to check my vehicle's other fluid levels?
    It’s a good idea to get the other fluids in your vehicle checked at the same time as your regular oil change. Engine oil tends to get all the attention, but other vehicle fluids are equally important, such as transmission fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant, and power-steering fluid. You don’t want to be caught with a low level of any of these essentials!
  • How often should I change the air filters?
    When we talk about car air filters, we’re talking about one of two things: the engine air filter and the cabin air filter. The cabin air filter cleans the air inside the vehicle where people ride. The engine air filter helps provide airflow for the engine to work properly. It must be clean to allow hot air to leave the engine and fresh air to get in. Most people find they need to replace the air filters about every 30,000 miles, but they should be checked periodically to ensure they’re not clogging up.
  • When should I replace the brake pads?
    Worn brake pads can lead to more costly repairs, so being proactive pays off by saving you money (and keeping you safe). Many brake pads begin to show signs of wear at around 20,000 to 30,000 miles, but you should know the signs that tell you something isn’t right. Schedule a check of your brake pads if you notice any of the following: your vehicle takes a longer time to stop, a high-pitched screeching sound, a grinding noise.
  • How long does a car battery last?
    Standard car batteries should last 3-5 years on average. However, usage, extreme heat, and extreme cold can affect battery health. Some signs that your battery is wearing out include dim headlights, dim dashboard lights, and difficulty starting the vehicle. If you’re seeing any of those signs, it’s time to get the battery checked.
  • How often should I rotate the tires?
    Tires do a lot of work on your vehicle and they get a lot of wear, from gripping the pavement, to off-roading, to battling Michigan’s potholes. However, how much wear each tire gets depends on where it’s located on the vehicle, especially with a two-wheel drive system. Rotating the tires around every 6 months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles will allow them to wear evenly and last longer.
  • What's the correct air pressure for my tires?
    Too much or too little air pressure in your tires can lead to problems on the road. How much air pressure is just right depends on your vehicle type, tire type, and the location of the tire on the vehicle. You can usually find the optimum air pressure level (psi) listed inside your driver’s side door on the frame. It will also be listed in the owner’s manual. Have questions? Talk to an expert!
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