What is the difference between maintenance and repairs?
Repairs are services that are required or necessary when something on your vehicle is not working properly or may have worn to the point where a replacement is required to maintain the performance of your vehicle.
Maintenance is the routinely scheduled services, inspections and part replacements that your vehicle manufacturer recommends based on the age or mileage of your vehicle.
The schedule for performing these maintenance services varies from vehicle to vehicle. You will find the schedule for your vehicle in your owner's manual. Following this schedule is the best way to make sure your vehicle is performing as it should.
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- Brakes. If brake fluid is low, do not top off as this may mean that sufficient wear has occurred to indicate a brake inspection should be performed. Brake fluid should not be topped off because it can cause the brake warning system to not alert the driver when the brake pads are worn to the point of replacement.
- Belts and Hoses. To see if belts need replacing, check the underside for cracks. Radiator hoses need replacing when they become hard, brittle, or develop soft spots that can cause the hose to bulge. These should be checked with every oil change.
- Wiper Blades. Replace wiper blades when they fail to properly clear the windshield within two passes (either during rainy conditions or when using washer fluid to remove grime from the windshield).
- Lights. Lights are one of the most overlooked safety items on an automobile. Lights are not only for driver convenience, but also signal other drivers as to the intentions of the motorist. All lights (headlights, fog lights, tail and brake lights, turn signals, hazards) should be inspected at every oil change.
- Fluids. Change oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or as recommended by the manufacturer. A multi-viscosity oil is best for most driving conditions. Today's vehicles run on a fine film of fluids, so make sure you service all fluids on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations.
- Battery & Tires. Have your battery tested by a certified professional at least once a year or during seasonal weather changes. Also check tire pressure (recommended air pressure is posted on the driver's door or in the glove compartment).manufacturer
- Filters. Replace air and fuel filters as recommended by your vehicle's to keep your vehicle running right. Many new vehicles also have cabin air filters that filter air drawn in by the heating and A / C system, which should also be inspected and replaced as needed.
- Engine Performance Analysis. A thorough engine analysis should be performed once a year to ensure ignition and emission system components are functioning properly. This analysis can determine if sufficient spark plug wear has occurred, requiring the vehicle to be "tuned up."
- Leaks. Low fluid levels could be a sign of a leak. Maintaining proper fluid levels helps determine by visual inspection if a leak may be present. Remember, brake fluid gets low due to normal wear of brake pads and shoes.
- Certification. Always have your car serviced by a reputable certified technician. Obtain a written estimate of detailed services in advance. If facing costly repairs, consider a second opinion.