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Automotive Maintenance

Automotive Maintenance and Avoiding Pricey Repairs

Automotive Maintenance:

Many people do not know the value of automotive maintenance. They seem to think vehicles should not cost money to maintain, and things should just keep rolling. Until something major happens, then they are left in a bind and act surprised.

A lot of Drivers overlook recommended services unless they can get them free from the dealer through a maintenance plan, otherwise, they do not want to pay extra for services on a vehicle that they are most likely still making payments on and think everything should be covered by the warranty. But, this is not how things go. If we ignore the smaller maintenance costs, it opens the availability of even more expensive repairs.

The owner’s manual will have a maintenance schedule/calendar that you can refer to so you know what to be ready for. There are also different classifications for the type of environment you are in, and the type of driving you do. A lot of off-road driving and towing is considered a severe duty driving condition. Severe-duty driving conditions require more aggressive maintenance intervals.


Automotive Maintenance

Severe Duty Maintenance Schedule from Kia


All vehicles have recommended service intervals from the manufacturer. If these services are not performed, damage to the individual systems may occur. It is not fun when that happens.

A bad issue I see is vehicles that go 15k-20k miles before having the oil changed, this is NOT good for the engine, no matter what type of oil you are using. You’ve got to get your oil changed. A lot of new vehicles take synthetic oil, and that can get pricey, but it has to be done. Don’t buy the car if you cannot afford the maintenance without feeling uncomfortable.

Fluids, Lights, and Filters:


Light function tests are another safety check that you should be performing often. It is very scary when someone is stopping in front of you and they do not have working brake lights to let you know they are stopping. Turn signal operation is another one that you should make sure is functioning correctly on your vehicle. Sometimes it is hard to tell if we have a light out from inside the vehicle.


Automotive Maintenance

Example of a burned-out Light that you would not notice inside the vehicle


Monitor your vehicle’s fluid(Engine, Transmission, Coolant, Power Steering, Differential)levels and conditions. If any fluid starts to get low or contaminated it will cause system malfunctions and improper operation. Low fluid leads to friction, the friction causes heat, and heat can result in some bad problems.

Pay attention to warning lights. Don’t ignore the check engine light until the engine stalls. Don’t ignore the Brake light until the brakes start acting up on you. Get the codes scanned. Fix the problem. I know you’re thinking about it, but don’t just cover the Check Engine light with black tape. Check this article out for more warning light info.

Replace the engine and cabin air filters when they are recommended, don’t be a cheapskate. Do it. If an engine filter is clogged it will cost you more money in wasted fuel than it would have costed to just replace the filter. Dirty cabin(pollen) filters can lead to a funky smelling vehicle, as well as contribute to allergy issues. If these filters become plugged, the air coming into the vehicle has a harder time passing through, which results in stale cabin air.


Automotive Maintenance

Old and New Cabin Filter

Brakes and Tires:

Make sure you get your brakes checked around every other oil change service. Doing this, you can monitor to make sure that nothing is wearing unevenly. If the calipers develop an issue then you can get one brake pad that wears way faster than the rest. Perform brake inspections when needed and you will often catch the issue before a pricey failure occurs.

Always keep good tires on your vehicle and have the wheel alignment set when you get your tires replaced in order to prevent premature wear. Due to potholes, I advise checking your alignment about every 6 months. Maintain proper air pressure in the tires. If the air pressure is not inflated correctly then it can cause bad fuel mileage, as well as premature tire wear and a rough ride. Tires are expensive, don’t be lazy and cost yourself money, just check the pressure!


Alignment Tire Wear


Another nice thing about performing routine inspections and maintenance is you can check for nests and the presence of rodents. Usually, you will spot them before too much damage has been created. They might seem small, but those little suckers can create a pretty expensive bill once they start chewing on harnesses.


Rodent nest in car

A Squirrel decided to make it’s home in a friend’s client’s car. Nice and warm!

Find a Repair Center:

Find a reliable mechanic you can trust if you do not want to go to the dealer for services, as that can get pretty pricey when they are charging $130/hr+. Make sure you keep documentation of all the services that you have performed in case any warranty issues arise. I have seen dealers try to decline engine repair because a customer did not have their oil change receipts saved. Sometimes it may seem shady on their end, but it is a valid requirement. Otherwise, nobody would take care of anything.

Taking care of a vehicle is a pretty simple task, but can seem frustrating sometimes, especially on vehicles that have more expensive maintenance costs. If you are thinking about a new vehicle, make sure you factor in the average maintenance cost for that vehicle make and model. Some are a lot more pricey than others.

If you are unsure about the maintenance that your vehicle requires, please let me know and I will do what I can to find you a maintenance schedule and let you know what your vehicle is due for.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any questions below!


  • Jonah says:

    Hi Mate,

    one of the best websites I’ve seen so far how much we put into the  AIR Suzuki Kizashi 2.4 sport it does not like 20MPH so I try to burn her out up county roads she loves fresh air. great post BTW. Most of what you mention we know. Been stuck on a bridge with ni indicators could get you in some trouble, Thanks for sharing with us

  • erich2000 says:

    It’s great your providing articles for this because very few people see the importance of this. You provide good tips for people who don’t know about cars very much and makes life easier for people like us. I know many people who would use this article because its beginner friendly and gets to the point very well.

    • Gabriel G. says:

      Thanks a lot! That is kind of my goal at the moment, to simplify things to the point most people can understand and work with the information provided. Take care!

  • XRJamesRS says:

    Definitely some general and helpful information. I have had issues with my previous vehicles, thinking to myself “it’s just a clunker anyways” or “I just drive it to work and back” Sure enough, when things broke down they would do so in a huge way.

    I don’t do that anymore. I try to get my vehicles in as close to the recommended date as possible, as well as listen to what my vehicle is trying to tell me.

  • godspowerbrown992 says:

    Hello there! This is an amazing article you’ve got here. First of all, I must commend your writing skills and the manner at which the website was designed, the color combination, etc. as readers will find it easy to understand everything you’ve written here.

    Thanks for sharing this with me, I’ve learnt a lot and will adhire to it. 

    • Gabriel G. says:

      Hey thanks, I appreciate that. It is always nice to know things are easy to read and understand. Take care brother!

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