No matter the age of your car or truck, keeping it running and driving safely requires taking the time for basic car care and service. Some things that seem trivial can impact the vehicle more than you would think, and understanding what needs doing is vital. 

Service Needs

The first step in keeping any car in great shape is changing the engine oil and filter regularly. The interval suggested by the vehicle manufacturer typically falls between three and ten thousand miles, depending on the oil used and how you drive your car. 

The best resource for information about your car is the vehicle owner's manual that came with it when it was new. It will provide engine oil change milestones, transmission service details, and tire rotation tips and schedules.

The information in the manual helps you get started on your maintenance routine. However, other factors can impact the need for service, and finding a car care center or dealer service center to work with is essential. They can help you determine when you need to take your vehicle for service or repair.

Tire Care

Tire service is one of the things many people put off or don't feel is crucial, so it often falls low on the list when service is necessary. Tire care is essential for many reasons, starting with tire wear and life. A tire with low air pressure not only wears out sooner but causes resistance on the vehicle and reduces the ability for it to coast smoothly.

Tire rotation and pressure checks should be part of your regular car care regimen, and including them with the oil change can make it easier. Check the tires weekly when you fill up your gas tank, and if you are unsure how to check them, many tire shops offer free tire checks and inflation that take a couple of minutes and often do not require you to get out of the car. 

Chassis Lubrication

Another commonly overlooked car care item is chassis lubrication, which includes greasing all of the suspension and steering components on the vehicle. Broken or worn ball joints, tie rod ends, and u-joints are often the result of under-lubricated parts on your vehicle and can be prevented with chassis lubrication every time you take the car for service. 

Most service centers lube the chassis while they change the oil change, so it is automatically part of the maintenance for your car or truck. If you are handling the service for your car at home, take the time to grease all the fittings under the car with a high-quality grease designed for automotive use. 

The vehicle will ride smoother and make less noise, and the chassis and suspension parts will last much longer on a car with proper chassis lubrication.

For more information about car care, visit a local auto shop.