We drive our family car or SUV year round without thinking about it much. We use it in the summer and winter like it was nothing. As the seasons change we need to make sure that our vehicles receive the attention they deserve. There are season specific safeguards we must take. Important components like the battery and the wiper/washer system are adversely affected by extreme temperatures. Other components like brakes, tires and struts/shocks should also be checked to insure safe ride control for any time of year.
The first thing we need to do is to make sure the vehicle is getting a good inspection at least once a year. If you check the maintenance guidelines in your owner’s manual it will help you understand what is required. Most intervals call for a comprehensive inspection every 15,000 or 30,000 miles. Once a year is a good rule of thumb. I am not talking about a quick oil change with a quick inspection, but a thorough inspection by experienced personnel. This inspection includes a road test, checking the brakes, testing the battery, inspecting belts & hoses, inspecting for leaks, checking lights, analyzing tire wear and many other things. The maintenance guidelines for your vehicle may also include milestone maintenance items like spark plugs or timing belt. It is good to know when these maintenance items are required so you can plan and budget for it. The other items your family wagon may require are noticed as the results of the inspection. A competent inspection can identify things that could affect reliability and much more importantly, safety.
The first step is to identify when your car, truck or SUV is due for a service. This task falls into the hands of the owner/operator. It is better to plan the service in advance instead of the day before you are going out of town. By planning a “well baby visit” for your vehicle you can eliminate the chaos that goes along with last minute car planning. You also want to be prepared before you visit your favorite car care provider. Have a good idea of when the last service was done.and what your car may need based on the maintenance intervals spelled out in your owners manual. As usual I encourage you to be part of the solution when it comes to vehicle’s car care.
Below is an outline of your year round car care routine: