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Top-4 Preventative Maintenance Tips To Boost Vehicle Longevity

“When a vehicle exceeds 320,000km you are riding on borrowed time and the car is paying you back,” says John Ibbotson at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center. May we all be so lucky!

Today’s post shares the top-4 preventative maintenance tips to boost your vehicle’s longevity and help you reach that coveted “pay-back” point.

Get To Know Your Owner’s Manual

Every car is wonderfully unique, but they all come with owner’s manuals—something that many Canadians drivers seem to have forgotten, or at least neglected. In fact, according to one study published in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings, which measured the self-reported use of owner’s manuals for automotive vehicles, 41.1% of drivers never read the manual. Moreover, the 58.9% who do only get through about half (52.7%)!

While we’re not suggesting you study the owner’s manual as though you were going to be tested on the material, you should get acquainted with its contents. Not only will the owner’s manual give you tips and schedule suggestions for preventative maintenance, it also details all your vehicle’s features so you can get the most out of your ride. A quick 30-minute flip-through will teach you about:

  • How often to change your oil
  • What type of oil your vehicle runs on
  • When to swap out filters and belts
  • Tune-up checklists
  • The meaning of different dashboard indicators and warning lights, and more

Of course, if you don’t have your owner’s manual anymore, your local TIRECRAFT expert can fill in the gaps.

Regularly Check Engine Oil In Your Vehicle

When you get an oil change from your local TIRECRAFT, we place a sticker on your windshield with a future odometer reading indicating when you should return for your next service. And though estimates vary depending on your vehicle, oil type, and driving habits, we usually recommend an oil change after every 5,000km or 3 months of driving.

However, it’s still a good idea to check engine oil before you hit that future odometer mark. Use a dipstick or electronic gauge. If it looks dark or muddy in texture, it’s time for a change. When in doubt, feel free to contact your local TIRECRAFT for unbiased advice.

Check The Battery Frequently, Especially During The Winter

Approximately 50% of premature car battery failures come down to lack of preventative maintenance. We recommended cleaning cables, checking electrolyte levels, and wiping out any water regularly.

Additionally, while performing your maintenance, check your battery for signs of damage, such as:

  • Loose hold-down
  • Dirt or “dust” on the battery
  • Cracked cell covers
  • Signs of corrosion
  • Frayed or broken battery cables
  • Cracked battery casing
  • Water in, on, or around the battery
  • Cell connector corrosion

If you notice any of these problem signs, contact your local TIRECRAFT expert for help.

Check Tire Tread Regularly

Worn tires not only decrease your grip and traction on the road, but also increase the wear on other components.

Use the “Toonie Test” to check your winter tire tread. Simply place the outside edge of the toonie in your tire tread, right-side up. If the tread reaches the bear’s paw, your tires are probably in good shape. If the tread reaches all the way to the silver, they’re about 50% worn. And if the tread reaches the lettering, it’s time for new tires.

Book Preventative Maintenance At A Local TIRECRAFT

Use the Find a TIRECRAFT tool to find a local car maintenance shop. With more than 220 locations around the country, help is closer than you think!