Keeping Your Car Fresh: It’s All About Regular Maintenance

Posted 4/29/15

The Kelly Blue Book was first published in 1926 and has since become the standard in determining the value of a vehicle. These folks not only know cars, but also how to get the greatest value and mileage for the buck out of your vehicle. Want your current car to go the distance and keep going after 200,000 plus miles? The folks at Kelly Blue Book have some car maintenance words of advice, from getting regular car repair service from your local car mechanic to routine wax jobs and parking in the shade. Let’s go over a few of the basics that will help you get the most out of your vehicle.

Lubrication is Key: Regular Oil Changes Are Essential

Though it sounds like a basic, it’s also a simple and very important car maintenance job when it comes to getting the best value out of your vehicle over the long run. Every auto repair shop has heard (or seen) a horror story about a car that was run for tens of thousands of miles with no oil changes. The engine is utterly destroyed, despite the fact that nothing else in particular is wrong with the car. “No single step will help an engine last more than regular oil and filter changes will,” the folks at Kelly Blue Book confide. “Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes.” You can consult your owner’s manual or call your car mechanic to make sure your oil change routine is where it needs to be for your car.

For a Happy Radiator Flush and Change the Coolant Annually

Most people don’t think about the coolant until its running on empty. The Kelly Bluebook folks recommend flushing and changing the coolant like it’s an annual tradition, right up there with trimming the tree and hunting for Easter eggs. And when you are filling back up after your radiator flush, they recommend a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. The best way is to fill a container half way with the coolant, then top off with water, and mark the container as mixed. It’s a good idea to store the container in the trunk for roadside emergencies. This will save you some very expensive Cincinnati car service bills later on down the line. 

Don’t Forget the Basics: Change Your Air Filter Regularly

If you—or your car mechanic—haven’t changed your air filter in a while, what are you waiting for? Changing an air filter is often one of the cheapest and easiest pieces of maintenance you can do on your car. A fresh air filter can help with your gas mileage, acceleration, and emissions. It can also help your engine in the long run, because the engine has to work much harder to pull air through a dirty filter than through a clean one.

Want to Keep Your Resale Value Up? Wash it Regularly

It’s more than just about looking good. Washing your car can protect the paint job, but there’s more to it than that. Sure dings in the paint don’t look very good, but remember that road salt is an absolute killer that eats away at your exhaust system (and everything else down there) like it’s going out of style.  Pretty much anything you’ve run over, from road kill to cow patties, is probably stuck to the bottom of your vehicle. When you wash your car make sure to spray underneath, or pay for the fancy undercarriage wash. You should also apply a good coat of wax to protect the paint job, ideally every six months. 

Protect It from Sun Inside and Outside: Keep It Shady

Parking in the shade and using a window reflector screen does wonders for protecting the interior plastic of your vehicle. Not only will it help to protect from fading, but a a UV protectant can help to keep the plastic and vinyl from drying and cracking.

Talk to Your Car Mechanic for When to Replace Brake Fluid

As Kelly Blue Book points out, “Brake fluid is cheap. Calipers, hoses, and sensors are expensive.” Want to cut down on the expense of your car repair? Make sure you check your brake fluid regularly. Though brake fluid usually lasts a long time because of the nature of the system, you should always have it checked by your auto repair guy regularly. If there is a break in the system, brake fluid attracts moisture, which causes the components of your brake system to break down over time. 

Signs Your Transmission Needs a BMW Technician

When is it time to take your transmission into a BMW mechanic? If your automatic transmission slips gears or slips into neutral on its own, it’s a sign. Even if it doesn’t shift immediately but pauses for a little bit, your transmission levels are likely low. Any transmission fluid leak under a parked car is also an indication of transmission failure, and if you run out of fluid you’re in trouble. Also check to see if your transmission has a reddish color. This is a sign the fluid needs replaced. And if you have a manual transmission, be wary of burning smells, which is a sign your clutch might need replacement or adjustment.