Preventive maintenance on autos makes them safer, pays dividends in time, money

  • Published
  • By Regina Coffey
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Ground Safety
Many people neglect to perform preventive maintenance on their vehicles because they have little knowledge, are intimidated, or simply avoid doing such maintenance. Whatever the reasons, there are many benefits to regularly checking and maintaining a vehicle's brakes, tires and other parts.

Benefits of performing preventive maintenance

, owners can easily prolong the life of a vehicle if they take the time to have critical parts maintained. Like a person's body, a vehicle can become "unhealthy" to the point where it simply stops performing.

By maintaining a vehicle's health, operators can help ensure that they will be able to drive the car for many years.

Second, many owners will likely end up selling the vehicle at some point.

A properly-maintained vehicle will attract a higher selling price than a vehicle that is in disrepair. Usually, the small amount of time and effort it takes to maintain a vehicle is well-compensated by a higher resale value.

Third, performing preventive maintenance on a vehicle can save money over the years. For example, having the oil changed every 4,000 to 5,000 miles often helps a vehicle use fuel more efficiently. This increased efficiency can result in better gas mileage and save money in the long run.

Similarly, maintaining the correct air pressure in tires and checking them for uneven wear or bald spots can prevent a tire from blowing while on the road. This helps drivers avoid costly tow truck expenses and time while they are out and about.

Areas of focus

As mentioned, regular oil changes every 4,000 or 5,000 miles should be at the top of a driver's preventative maintenance list.

Also, be sure to have the vehicle‟s cooling system flushed and antifreeze levels maintained. Ensure coolants are added to the vehicle to help maintain the integrity of the water pump and radiator.

Be sure to also have a vehicle's belts and hoses inspected every 40,000 miles. Replace them when needed.

A vehicle's brake system needs an inspection each year. Those who drive a lot may want to have their brakes checked more often - every 12,000 miles is a good idea. Regularly inspect tires for bald spots and ensure that pressure levels are maintained, as this will extend the life of the tires. Have them rotated twice a year.

Also, make certain the vehicle's filters are working properly. Their ability to keep contaminants from harming a vehicle's engine and transmission is critical. If new filters are required, have them replaced.

These are just a few of the steps drivers can take to ensure their vehicles last a long time and don't leave them stranded on the side of the road.

Doing a little preventive maintenance regularly can pay big dividends in both time and money, and the small amount of effort required to do these maintenance tips will definitely be a worthwhile investment.

The base Auto Hobby Shop offers summer and winter preventive maintenance classes and other automotive classes. Please contact Jesse at 275-AUTO (2886) for details.