Dave’s Muffler Answers the Most Commonly Asked Auto Maintenance Questions
Your vehicle is a complicated piece of machinery; one that you’ll invest a lot into. Understanding the importance of auto maintenance and acting on it will help you save money and increase the lifespan of your car or truck. Below are frequently asked auto maintenance questions and answers to help you manage your auto care needs. We’ll update this FAQ frequently, so check back often for new questions!
Contact Dave’s Muffler if you need to schedule auto maintenance in Kenosha, WI.
1. Why should regular auto maintenance be a priority?
Aside from the most obvious benefits of auto maintenance – like increased longevity and maintained safety – there are a number of other benefits to reap from having your car or truck regularly serviced. You’ll enjoy a smoother, more controlled drive when your wheels are correctly aligned and tires properly inflated and balanced. Taking care of your engine also results in improved fuel economy and peak performance at any age. Most importantly, seeing your mechanic regularly for check-ups helps catch minor car problems early so parts can be replaced or repaired before a major and costly malfunction occurs.
2. How often should I get my oil changed?
Consult your owner’s manual to find out exactly how often your vehicle’s oil should be changed and what type of oil to use. In general, conventional oil should be changed every 3,000 – 5,000 miles; synthetic oil can last almost twice as long as regular motor oil, so you can go 7,500 – 10,000 miles in between each oil change.
3. What type of oil should I use?
Most vehicles manufactured after 2013 require synthetic oil. While it does cost more than conventional oil, it lasts much longer; resulting in fewer auto maintenance trips. Synthetic motor oils are also a good choice for vehicles with high mileage, those used for towing, or operated in extremely cold or hot climates.
4. How often do I need to check my antifreeze?
Antifreeze is more important than you may think. Also known as “coolant”, antifreeze plays a major role in maintaining the optimal temperature of vital parts under your hood. It helps prevent your engine from overheating and keeps water from freezing in the winter; so your car can operate fine year round. Checking your coolant level every month is good practice. However, your vehicle’s antifreeze fluids should be changed completely every 30,000 miles or 2 to 3 years.
5. When do i need to replace the fuel filter?
Fuel filters should be replaced every 20,000 – 40,000 miles; check your manufacturer’s manual for the exact requirements of your vehicle’s make and model. You can often couple this service with spark plug replacement, which is necessary every 30,000 miles.
6. How often should I change my wiper blades?
Replacing windshield wipers really depends on use and need. For Wisconsin vehicles, it’s important to replace your wipers at least twice a year – once when you are switching to winter wiper blades (blades more capable of withstanding freezing weather conditions) and again when you are switching back to normal wiper blades. Frequently used cars and trucks may need to change their blades more often. Signs that you need new wiper blades include:
- The blades rubber is cracked, split, or pulling away from the wiper
- Streaks are being left behind after use in rain or snow
- Wipers are dragging across the windshield and making a chattering noise
- Damaged frames keep the blades from coming in proper contact with the windshield (wiper frames are often bent when roughly cleaning away ice or snow)
7. My check engine light came on; do I need to see my mechanic right away?
If your check engine light comes on, you should be fine to continue to your destination. However, a mechanic should be seen for a diagnosis sooner rather than later to ensure it isn’t a serious problem. Some common causes of a check engine light include: a loose gas cap, bad O2 or mass air flow sensors, faulty spark plug wires, or even a catalytic converter problem.
8. When should I change my timing belt?
Depending on the year your vehicle was manufactured, recommendations for timing belt replacement can range from 60,000 – 100,000 miles. It’s best to consult your owner’s manual to find out exactly when your manufacturer recommends replacement. It’s always smart to ask your mechanic to check belts for cracks or any other visual damage during your regular maintenance appointment too.
9. When should I rotate and balance my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles; and can often be done alongside your regular oil changes if you are using synthetic oil. You should balance your wheels anytime new tires are mounted or after you’ve replaced a flat tire.
10. What is the recommended tire pressure?
Check your owner’s manual or the tire placard (often located on a vehicle’s doorpost, door edge, glove box door, or fuel door) for the correct air pressure of your tires. For many cars, proper air pressure is in the range of 30 – 35 PSI.
Check back later for more FAQs or contact Dave’s Muffler to schedule auto maintenance in Kenosha, Wisconsin.