Many car owners know very little when it comes to auto repair. Some may feel a bit uneasy when it’s time to bring their vehicles in to an auto repair service. Many people are scared that they will be preyed on due to their lack of knowledge. Everyone dreads accruing a massive bill when all needed was a five-dollar fix.
The truth is that most mechanics are honest people who are eager to repair your car. The reason some people accrue a large bill at the mechanic is they have neglected to follow the recommended auto repair service schedule.
Bringing in your car for regular maintenance can save you from a headache and financial strain in the long run. Professionals know that cars need consistent care and that if they are neglected they can develop compounding issues.
Here is a list of regular repairs and their recommended frequency. Keep this on hand before your next maintenance appointment, so that you can feel confident and savvy.
1. Know Your Tire Rotation and Replacement Facts
When a mechanic rotates tires, they remove them from the car and swap them around. This ensures that your tires wear down at an even rate and actually saves you money as it keeps your tires rolling longer. A mechanic should rotate your tires every 6 months or 5,000-8,000 miles – whichever comes first.
Many professionals recommend replacing tires at the 5-6 year mark, regardless of how many miles you have driven on them. When a mechanic rotates your tires, they can also update you on the wear and tear on your tires and give you an estimate of how much longer they may last.
2. Know Your Brake Facts Before Your Next Auto Repair Service
Ideally, a mechanic should inspect your brakes every 6 months. This is a great service you can ask for when you rotate your tires (see above). Bringing your car to a mechanic regularly for a brake check is crucial to your safety and the safety of everyone on the road around you.
There is much more to a brake inspection than checking to see if you still have padding on your brakes. A mechanic will thoroughly inspect your brakes, which includes hoses, lines, the brake pedal and fluids.
3. Know Your Oil Change Facts Before Your Next Auto Repair Service
Depending on what kind of oil your car takes, the time between oil changes will vary. With the efficiency of modern lubricants, many vehicles need an oil change every 5,000-7,000 miles (but engines on full-synthetic motor oil may go longer).
The guideline used to be every 3,000 miles, but advancement in oil quality has moved that number up a bit. Mechanics will always know the oil that is best for your car. They can also recommend a rough number of miles before you should come back.
Note: It’s important to make sure you are keeping up with your oil levels between oil changes. You can do this by checking the oil dipstick once a month to check the oil level. If you’re not sure how to check you oil dipstick, ask your mechanic next time you are in the shop.
4. Know Your Filter Facts Before Your Next Auto Repair Service
Did you know you might have several different filters in your car? You can breathe clean air because of the cabin air filter, which you should replace every 15-30,000 miles. There’s the engine air filter, which should be replaced every 12-15,000 miles. Then you have fuel filters, which can be replaced every 20-40,000 miles or 1-2 years. Lastly, you have the well-known oil filter, which is replaced during the oil change process (see above).
Note: Not all cars have all 4 of these filters.
If your car is in need of a routine check-up bring it to the National Budget Muffler nearest to you for your next auto repair service.
Bel Air: 410-836-1706
Havre De Grace: 410-939-8460