One of the biggest reasons that a car gets junked is the owner’s failure to do regular maintenance. If you can’t “speak” automobile and basically have no idea about the whats and whens of car maintenance, this guide is for you.
There are two main advantages of doing regular preventive maintenance on your car, the first being the prevention of inconvenient and expensive problems that can occur if the vehicle has little to no upkeep. The second is the improvement of resale value when a good car maintenance schedule is maintained.
For the maintenance of cars from Subaru and other manufacturers, a 30-60-90 maintenance schedule is recommended. In simple terms, certain parts or things in the car should be inspected, changed, or replaced after it runs thirty, sixty, and ninety thousand miles, respectively.
But of course, this schedule doesn’t apply to every aspect of car maintenance. Here are the things you need to do on your own or with the help of a mechanic:
Oil and oil filter. It will save you a lot of time and money if you know how to check and change the car’s oil by yourself. Learn the difference between clean and muddy oil so that you’ll see when you need a change or if there’s anything wrong with your engine. There is no rule of thumb when it comes to changing oils, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Other car fluids. Aside from motor oil, check brake and transmission fluids, coolant, and washer fluid, too.
Tires. Checking your tires every month or so will let you know if the air pressure is off and help you make sure they have enough tread.
Before Thirty Thousand Miles
Fuel filter. Clogs in the fuel filter can make the engine run rough or not at all. Check your manufacturer’s recommendation on when you need to replace your fuel filter, but most recommend replacing it before the car hits 30,000 miles.
Air filter. How do you know when you need to replace the engine air filter? Well, if it’s dirty, replace it. A dirty air filter can affect the engine’s performance and possibly cause problems if left unchecked.
Before Sixty Thousand Miles
Timing and serpentine belts. Most manuals will tell you to replace timing belts every 60,000 miles and serpentine belts every 40,000 more or less. Belts that are too worn out can cause the car to break down while also causing damage to other parts, making repairs more expensive.
Brake pads. When your brake pads start to make screeching noises, have them checked to see if they need replacing.
Battery. Batteries usually last around fifty to sixty thousand miles, which can last an average of four to five years.
Before Ninety Thousand Miles
Spark plugs. An ignition system failure will usually earn you a “check engine light.” When this happens, have the car looked at so the mechanic can determine which parts need replacement. Most spark plugs can last ninety to a hundred thousand miles unless they are made of cheap material, which needs to be replaced more often.
Don’t be a penny pincher when it comes to car maintenance. If you fail to maintain your car, it will eventually break down and cost you hundreds, even thousands more than what you would have paid for preventive maintenance. Besides, most car maintenance procedures can be done the DIY way, so it’s best that you learn more about your car.