Oil changes and tire rotations are some of the most common maintenance services drivers know about. But what about other services that can hinder your car’s performance if overlooked? Ignoring a maintenance schedule can cause your vehicle to malfunction and possibly even break down. This can cost you more time and money than necessary, as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Here are 10 often overlooked services that can extend the life of your car.
1 – Wheel Alignment
The alignment of your wheels affects how your car handles and how long they’ll last on the road. Wheel alignment can get knocked out of whack after hitting a pothole or a curb. You can tell if this is the case if your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Misaligned wheels will promote premature and uneven tire wear. Annual wheel alignments are recommended to ensure your wheels are all pointed the same way and on an even wear schedule.
2 – Timing Belt Replacement
Not all vehicles have timing belts. Timing belts are not to be confused with the accessory drive belt. The purpose of the timing belt is to connect the crankshaft to the camshaft and is incredibly important to the function of your engine. Each vehicle manufacturer has specific maintenance schedules for their timing belt, but a rule of thumb is to have your timing belt inspected every 50,000 – 60,000 miles.
3 – Transmission Service
Transmission fluid should be checked every 10,000 miles. Failure to do so is a recipe for disaster. Transmission fluid can easily be changed with every oil change.
4 – Power Steering Service
This is an overlooked service that rarely comes up before it is too late. The fluid in your power steering system will pick up dirt and excess moisture over time. This can clog steering components and eventually cause failure. Adding a power steering fluid additive can help maintain your system’s function.
5 – Fuel System Cleaning
Sludge and dirt will build up in your fuel system. This is standard practice when the engine is running. As the build-up grows, the amount of fuel passing through the system reduces. This causes your engine to receive less power and reduces fuel efficiency as a direct result. However, there are ways to combat the build-up. A fuel system cleaning can restore the performance of your engine and should be performed twice a year.
6 – Differential Service
The differential transfers input from the transmission to the wheels of your vehicle. Over time, the gear oil will break down and reduce its ability to properly lubricate the differential and wheel bearings. Most vehicle manufacturers have a set maintenance schedule for the differential. You should also have your transfer case serviced on the same visit as your differential.
7 – Cabin Air Filter
Does the air coming out of your AC vents smell funky? This could be the result of a dirty cabin air filter. These filters absorb moisture and are responsible for keeping the air circulating within your cabin fresh and free of harmful particles. Cabin air filters are easy to replace. If you need a replacement cabin air filter, visit our store to purchase one and have our ASE-Certified technicians install it.
8 – Engine Coolant
Over time, the additives in antifreeze can wear out. This will reduce its ability to regulate your engine’s temperature as well as its ability to protect against corrosion and sludge buildup. We recommend flushing your engine coolant every 40,000 miles.
9 – Brake Fluid Service
Like transmission fluid or engine coolant, heat negatively affects brake fluid. Over time, brake fluid can absorb moisture and lose its ability to evenly transmit the force of the system’s master cylinder to all four wheels. This can deteriorate brake components. Sticking to a regular brake fluid changing schedule is an excellent way to ensure working brakes. We can also inspect your brake system at this time to see if any other components, like brake pads, need replacing.
10 – Air Conditioning Service
A working air conditioning system is a ‘must-have’ for Atlanta drivers. One way to ensure your A/C system is ready for whatever temperatures are thrown at it is with an annual A/C system flush. This will replenish the oils within your AC compressor and point out any leaks that may be hiding within your A/C system.
Schedule A Multi-Point Inspection With McCullough NAPA Auto Care
Keeping track of all these services on your own may seem like a headache, but with McCullough NAPA’s scheduled mile maintenance programs, you’ll never need to worry! Our expert technicians will keep track of what services your vehicle has received and when inspections should be performed. Contact us today to get started on a maintenance plan for your car!