Preventive Maintenance

The Importance of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is the care and protection of your vehicle against potential major auto repairs. Negligence is the most common and costly way to see money wasted on repairs that could have easily been prevented through regular service intervals. Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, avoiding preventive maintenance on certain parts and components has the potential to void warranty coverage. Car maintenance intervals have been designed to improve the reliability, durability, and resale value of your vehicle.

Based upon your driving conditions, these service intervals may arrive sooner than you expect. For example, short commutes can actually hurt a vehicle because most engines thrive during long drives. Driving short commutes, experiencing stop-and-go traffic, and carrying heavy cargo are all aspects of severe driving. However, severe driving can also be reinforced by your environment. Hot or cold weather, mountainous or rough roads, and dusty or salty environments can all affect your vehicle. Because of these innumerable factors, adhering to a rigid service schedule can keep your vehicle operating at maximum efficiency for years to come.

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Air Filter Replacement

An air filter allows outside air into an engine’s intake manifold, where the air mixes with fuel to power a vehicle. Playing a defensive role, air filters prevent dirt particles, bugs, and other contaminants from entering the engine and causing destruction. Unfortunately, engine air filters lose effectiveness over time and require replacements. Drivers looking to replace an air filter can choose from three common types: paper, foam, and cotton. Paper air filters are usually cheap, but they generally wear out faster than their counterparts. Foam filters are a popular choice for off-road vehicles, because they have strong filtering capabilities. However, they also tend to clog engines if used and left unchecked. Cotton filters are commonly found on race cars, but can be also used as aftermarket upgrades on everyday vehicles. No matter the type of air filter in your vehicle, it is important to replace the air filter as needed. A dirty air filter can negatively affect gas mileage and make an engine run roughly.

Fuel Injection

During a fuel injection, your vehicle’s fuel injectors are checked. Located in the intake manifold of the engine, fuel injectors use small nozzles to spray a mist of fuel that your engine can burn. Fuel injectors work with your throttle valve, which lets air into the engine whenever you use the gas pedal. When the valve opens, fuel injectors release the fuel mist so it mixes with the air. This fuel and air combination then enters the combustion chamber and helps your vehicle run. Over time, fuel injectors can become dirty. Clogged injectors can negatively affect your vehicle’s performance, leading to poor gas mileage and dirty exhaust emissions. Short trips make it especially easy for dirt and grime to build up inside the fuel injector nozzles. Because a healthy fuel injection system is important for overall vehicle maintenance, we advise you to keep watch over your fuel injectors and have them serviced as needed.

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Oil and Filter Change

Oil is a lubricant that keeps your vehicle functioning properly. Oil plays an essential role in the engine of your vehicle, where it helps alleviate friction between various moving components. Without the protective layer that oil provides, the heat created from friction would melt an engine’s parts together. As oil runs through your vehicle’s system, it also collects sludge, grime, and other contaminants that can harm the engine. In turn, the oil filter catches these contaminants and helps to prevent them from mixing with the oil. However, the filter can only hold so much. Over time, the small bits and miscellaneous muck will break down the filter’s defenses. When this happens, the result is dirty oil. In addition to being less effective overall, dirty oil can cause permanent damage to some parts of your vehicle. As such, oil and filter changes are considered an important part of vehicle maintenance.

Spring Checkup

A spring checkup helps prepare your vehicle for the hot months of summer. During a checkup, multiple components may be reviewed for efficiency. The battery, an essential component that works particularly hard during the winter months, may be tested and its age considered. If snow tires are equipped on your vehicle, a spring checkup is a good time to replace them with summer tires. In addition, the tread depth and tire pressure of summer tires may be looked at because they can affect gas mileage. Belts and hoses may also be checked to make sure they are intact and sturdy. Potholes usually become more pronounced after winter, so it is important to see if the shocks and struts are in healthy condition as well. From the starting and charging system to the transmission fluid and antifreeze levels, there is much to review during a spring inspection. However, a checkup can ultimately help keep your vehicle safe and save you money in the long run.

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Winterization Checkup

When winter is near, many motorists begin winterizing their vehicles to prepare them for the cold, ice, and snow. Winterization involves checking and changing many different components. Coolant should be changed to help ensure that liquids do not freeze and prevent the engine from starting. Likewise, the starting and charging system should be checked. It is important to keep in mind that an old battery is especially prone to failure in winter, because cold weather can slow the chemical reaction required to generate electricity. Other items that may be checked include the windshield wiper blades and tires. During winter, increased precipitation can hinder visibility. As such, it is good to have working blades. Under winter driving conditions, underperforming tires can be especially dangerous. Many motorists switch their regular tires to snow tires, which tend to handle winter conditions better than regular tires. Ultimately, during pre-winter maintenance, our service staff will make sure that your vehicle is equipped to handle the tough winter conditions.

Wiper Blades Replacement

Wiper blades are responsible for helping drivers travel safely in inclement weather. In bad weather conditions like downpours, wiper blades can be activated to help keep a driver’s field of vision clear. Many vehicles have a single pair of wiper blades located on the front windshield, but some vehicles also contain a wiper blade on the rear windshield. Because they are located on the outside of your vehicle, wiper blades are prone to wear and will require replacements in time. Even if they are not heavily used, the blades should be replaced regularly because the material they are made of has its own lifespan. Generally, it is recommended that wiper blades be replaced every 6,000 miles or every six months. However, it is worth noting that surrounding weather conditions may alter the lifespan of the blades, so it is recommended that all drivers inquire about the best time to replace their specific wiper blades.

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Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

Vehicle components and parts naturally wear out over time, and road hazards can negatively impact critical components. By adhering to the preventive maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual, you will help ensure that your vehicle always runs at optimal conditions. Depending upon the vehicle’s service interval mileage, our staff may inspect the function of your steering and suspension components, fluid filters, belts and hoses, brakes and axles, and more to help ensure that your vehicle functions efficiently.

Our staff can look at the level of vital vehicle fluids. We are also able to review exterior and interior lights, examine windshield wiper blades, check batteries, inspect hinges and locks, determine level of ball joint wear, check transmission components, fix exhaust system components, and conduct both tire wear inspection and inflation checks. It is important to schedule preventive maintenance for these and other components to ensure they continue to work as intended. Remember that environmental conditions may affect your ideal preventive maintenance schedule. Depending upon your environment, you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements. Contact us today to learn more about recommended car maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.

Colonial Tire & Automotive proudly serves the Preventive Maintenance needs of customers in Durham, NC, Morrisville, NC, Cary, NC, and surrounding areas.

Areas Served : Durham, NC | Morrisville, NC | Cary, NC | and surrounding areas

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