What Are the Common Car Parts That Are the Most Important to Maintain Properly?
For cars to stay in good shape, car owners should schedule regular maintenance. You may also want to schedule maintenance if you notice your vehicle running slow or has poor performance. With proper maintenance, you can extend your vehicle's life and your vehicle's value.
Most Important Parts for Routine Car Maintenance
While all parts of your car are important and should be regularly maintained, there are a few systems that need special and more frequent attention. Each of these engine components contributes to the power and performance of your vehicle.
There are several filters that are essential for the proper functioning of your car, including the air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, and cabin air filter. The engine air filter is designed to keep dirt out of the engine. When the engine air filter is compromised, it disturbs the flow of air in your engine, which causes your engine to perform poorly.
The filters in your engine will typically need complete replacement since cleaning these filters may not be enough to optimize your vehicle's engine. Replacing the air filter is one of the most common service needs for any vehicle.
Brakes are also an important car part to have serviced regularly since brake parts wear down rather quickly. Brake pads may need to be replaced as often as every 10,000 to 20,000 miles, while you can replace brake rotors every 50,000 to 70,000 miles.
If you have a bad habit of riding the brakes on your car, you may need to have your brake pads checked out more frequently. The wear indicator on your brake pad can also tell you when you need to replace the pad.
As for automotive fluids, most drivers know the importance of a regular motor oil change. However, there are many other fluids that are used to keep your car in good condition, such as brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and much more. These fluids must be regularly changed to prevent other parts from breaking down.
When automotive fluids are being changed out, it's also a good idea to check the water pump in your vehicle. The water pump is responsible for circulating coolant and various fluids between the radiator and the engine to prevent the car from overheating. If your water pump isn't working properly, your automotive fluids may be used up more quickly.
To keep you safe on the road, you should regularly check your tires, especially your tire pressure. When you take your vehicle in for service, a mechanic may recommend tire rotation to even out the wear of each tire, which allows your tires to last longer before they need to be replaced. Other parts of your tires may also need to be replaced, such as the wheels if they are significantly worn down or damaged.
Some drivers may prefer changing tires based on the season. All-weather tires are generally the most adaptable tires, but some harsh climates may require winter tires to stay safe on the road.
Your engine has several belts that keep your car running, such as the serpentine belt and the timing belt. When these belts break down, it can cause other parts of your car system to break down. A worn-out timing belt can be especially harmful to the health of your engine.
If you notice any significant changes in the performance of your car, you may want to ask a mechanic to inspect your engine for any corrosion or damaged parts. There are a few signs that your car's engine could be in trouble, such as your engine going through oil very quickly.
If the oil filter is okay, then the underlying problem for your car's engine could be the spark plugs. Spark plugs are responsible for sparking the ignition of your engine, but if these spark plugs are corroded or damaged, your engine might continually misfire.
A failing car battery can make it impossible to drive your car, even after a jump. Two of the most common causes of battery failure are acid stratification and low charge on the battery, both of which can interfere with the way the battery works with the rest of your car. You can also run down your battery by leaving the air conditioner on and leaving lights on when they aren't needed.
Sometimes, if you're having trouble with your battery, you might also be having trouble with your alternator. Typically, batteries should be replaced every four or five years depending on how often you use your car.
Another essential aspect of keeping your vehicle running smoothly is your radiator, which is part of the coolant system for your engine. If this part of the car is malfunctioning, it could allow extra heat to linger over the engine, which can eventually hamper vehicle performance.
Fuel Tank and Related Parts
The fuel tank or gas tank is the reservoir in your vehicle that stores the gas for your engine. It's rare for a tank to need total replacement. Instead, most often the fuel filter or fuel pump will need replacing.
It's also critical to check your transmission frequently. Aside from regularly replacing transmission fluid, you should pay special attention to this part of your car if you have an automatic transmission. A sign this part of your vehicle needs maintenance is if you notice leaking fluid or difficulty shifting gears.
There are a few other important parts of your car that may need regular maintenance to work properly. These parts can include windshield wipers, turn signals, headlights, internal lights, and more. Even the safety technology and GPS of your vehicle will need updates every once in a while.
Some parts of the car that are commonly overlooked are the door handle and car lock. You may not realize it, but manual entry can cause door locks to wear down over time. You may need to replace door locks if your key is getting stuck.
How Often Should You Schedule Maintenance?
In general, most of these car parts should be maintained in accordance with your owner's manual. However, depending on your driving habits and driving frequency, you may need to have these parts checked more often.
A standard driver should only need to schedule maintenance every 6,000 miles or every six months, while a driver who doesn't use their car as frequently may only need to visit a mechanic every 12 months.
Special Exterior Service
While all the various components inside your vehicle are important, it's also good for cars to have regular polishing or professional waxing. Not only will these professional services properly remove dirt from your car, but when the dirt is removed, you may discover scratches that need to be fixed, as well.
Can You Inspect Your Car Yourself?
Most drivers don't realize it, but when you are driving your car, you are inspecting the safety and performance of the vehicle in real time. Driving gives you ample opportunity to notice key performance and safety details. When you notice problems, it's best to schedule a professional service to inspect your car and replace important parts.
Even if you're tempted to do simple tasks like changing the vehicle oil yourself, the best way to keep your car in good shape and comply with your owner's manual is to schedule professional service. This is particularly true if you own a vehicle that requires specialized parts.
Car maintenance is crucial if you want to keep cars and trucks running in optimal condition. If you notice problems such as slow acceleration, grinding noises, or unusual odors, you should schedule service as soon as possible. Contact Landmark DCJR at 816-836-0100 or visit our scheduler here to set up an appointment at the dealership service center or body shop today.
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