Having breakdown insurance or an extended warranty can be extremely valuable if your vehicle requires major repairs. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances under which the insurance or warranty will not pay out. Those circumstances usually include owner neglect of routine maintenance.
Routine Maintenance for Your Vehicle
Routine maintenance includes all those small trips to the repair shop, the ones that are probably going to cost less than the deductible on your insurance or warranty. Our lives are often filled with small financial obligations such as credit card payments, school lunches, work lunches, union dues, or even your membership in an online game or at an exercise club. It becomes too easy to say, “I’ll get the oil changed next week with I don’t have so many things due.” Auto mechanics will tell you that those routine maintenance tasks are an important part of keeping your vehicle in good repair and running correctly.
Topping Up Fluids
Topping up the fluids in your car is easy and you can do it yourself. A clerk at a gas station remarked to a customer who was buying oil, “I just listen to the motor, and when it starts making a tapping sound I tell my husband. Sure enough, it is usually low on oil.” If you are waiting for the “tapping sound” you are probably waiting too long. Make it a practice to check the oil and look at the coolant in the overflow reservoir each time you fill the gas tank. Keep a little notebook with the owner’s manual and track the oil and coolant as well as the gasoline and mileage. You’ll be glad of the information when you talk with your mechanic
Oil Change and Lube
One of the least expensive vehicle repair and maintenance events, and one of the most important. Even if you are keeping the fluids in your vehicle topped up, eventually the oil will become dirty. The dirt includes environmental crud as well as tiny metal filings that are the result of metal parts moving against each other. Your oil filter will catch some of these things, but eventually, it will become clogged and will begin to choke down the flow of oil. This is also true of the fuel filter. Moving parts that are not directly affected by the motor oil or transmission fluid might also need attention. Your auto mechanic will check all fluids and moving parts when doing a routine oil change and lube. If you sign up with your auto shop, many will now send an email or text message when it is time for this maintenance event.
Tires, Brakes and Wheels
Tires, brakes and wheels are other parts where just driving your vehicle normally will create wear. Tires need to be rotated frequently to make sure they are wearing evenly, and the wheel alignment needs checked. Of course, there is no need to emphasize the importance of good stopping power! The world is full of small children, dogs, cats, squirrels and other motorists who do the unexpected.
Importance of Maintenance
When you attend to regular maintenance on your vehicle, you help the engine to run with less strain and you prolong its life. In addition, you meet the requirements of your warranty or breakdown insurance policy. If your insurer finds that the mechanical failure of your vehicle was due to neglect, there is a chance that your claim will not be honored. If you make regular maintenance visits and keep a record of them, your insurance company will see that you are doing your best to maintain your vehicle in good condition.