Everyone who drives is familiar with this situation: you're cruising along and all of a sudden, there's a noise coming from the engine that you haven't heard before, or maybe the feeling in the gas or brake pedal seems a bit off, or there's smoke, or a funny smell. There are many tell-tale signs that your car needs servicing and the best thing to do is to bring it in before the problem escalates. But what is equally important, is to bring your vehicle in for regular checkups and tune-ups even if everything seems to running smoothly. Similar to our own health, we don't always visit doctors when we feel ill, but have regular checkups to mark our physical development and watch for problems. Regularly-scheduled visits to the auto mechanic are just as important for maintaining a healthy engine and a safe ride.
How often you should bring your car in to the garage is based either on elapsed time, or the amount of kilometers driven since your last checkup. Not every aspect of the vehicle will be inspected on every checkup; but there are different recommended tune-up periods for different parts of the car. Knowing which order of priority to give to each part is an essential module in mechanic colleges.
Every Three Months or 8,000KM.
This is the basic checkup. The most important thing here is the engine oil. While one could read engine oil levels themselves and add more oil if needed, with this checkup it is recommended to change the oil and clean the oil filter. It used to be believed that the oil should be replaced twice as much, but today this is seen as unnecessary and wasteful.
Other parts of this checkup will include checking other fluid levels, like brake fluid, washer fluid, and coolant fluid.
Every Six Months or 16,000KM.
All of the previously mentioned checkup points are included here as well. One new aspect is the wheels and the tires. Fist, the alignment is checked and reset. Then, the tire pressure and the depth are checked. Related closely to the wheels is the braking system, which should be thoroughly inspected.
A basic cleaning of some of the engine's components is also done, like the battery and the spark plug wires.
Every Year or 25,000 KM.
This is considered the most important checkup, and it is recommended with new cars to bring the vehicle in to a licensed dealer service shop rather than any garage. The above aspects are checked again. Most parts that are often simply cleaned should be replaced at this point, like the spark plugs and the windshield wipers.
Further cleaning of the engine takes place, like the fuel filtration system, the brake pads, and the radiator. Basic nuts and bolts are checked and tightened as well.
Every car is different and every service shop or garage has varying methods for checking and maintaining a vehicle. Skilled auto technicians are graduating from mechanic programs all the time to work in a variety of shops to guarantee each car is given the service and attention it needs for a long life on the road.