Regular preventative auto maintenance is the easiest and cheapest way to extend the life of your vehicle. These simple and inexpensive checks can keep you safe on the road, improve gas mileage, reduce the cost of “big” repairs, and even support a cleaner environment (and help you pass Boulder emission tests).
But how can you know what maintenance your vehicle needs? And how often should you bring your car, truck, van, or SUV to an auto repair shop?
The ASE Certified mechanics at Mountain Auto Repair in North Boulder can help you set a maintenance schedule to help keep your car running smoothly and efficiently.
“How often do I need to bring my car in?”
Our recommended maintenance schedule varies for every make, model, and driver, and the fastest way to get an estimate is to give us a call.
No matter what you drive, there are a few fast, inexpensive checks you can do to keep your car healthy.
- Fluid levels (engine oil, transmission, brake, power steering, windshield washer fluid)
- Filters (oil, fuel, air)
- Tire balance and rotation
- Wheel alignment
- Tire pressure and damage
- Lights and signals
- Brake pads
For more information about maintenance and repairs your vehicle needs, grab a copy of the owner’s manual (you can also find many owner’s manuals online).
The manual provides recommended timing for each of the different types of maintenance your car needs, from monthly checks to those you’ll only need to do every 10,000 miles or more.
Standard Auto Maintenance Guidelines
Some regular maintenance will be necessary in almost every vehicle. And it can help to have a snapshot of how often you should get your car checked. With a little planning, you can complete all regular maintenance checks in just one trip to the repair shop.
We provide our recommended maintenance schedule along with a few tips below. Keep in mind that your vehicle’s maintenance schedule may be different.
While your owner’s manual may say you can wait longer between visits, we recommend bringing your car in for an oil change about every 3,000 miles. (Oil Change)
Every month or so—and especially before summer heat or winter chills hit your engine—bring your car or truck into Mountain Auto Repair to have your fluids checked. This includes brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, and antifreeze.
Your tires are where the rubber meets the road, and under-inflated or damaged tires can reduce fuel efficiency and a possible blowout. Driving on severely under-inflated tires can also damage the rims, a much more expensive repair than replacing a tire. (Tire Service & Repair)
The lighting system should be checked frequently. Fortunately, you can do this check yourself or with a friend or family member. Turn on your car and make sure the headlights, brights/fog lights, turn signals, brake lights, and taillights are all working. Cleaning lights and replacing dim or burnt-out bulbs maximizes your visibility on the road, keeping you and your passengers safe.
Keep an eye on your windows, particularly the windshield, for cracks that could reduce visibility and increase the chances of a break. (Glass Repair)
Also check windshield wiper blades at least once a year—and ideally before long trips or high-precipitation—for cracks, tears, bends, and breaks. If you know snow is coming, you can raise your wiper blades to keep them from freezing to the windshield.
Stick to your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule to keep your engine tuned and catch engine problems early. One faulty spark plug or fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by more than 5-10 miles per gallon.
Check your battery every 3,000 miles or so—about the same timing you keep for oil changes. Corrosion can form around the battery’s cables and posts, and low battery fluid can interfere with performance.
Worn engine belts can greatly affect your vehicle’s performance. A broken belt can stop you in your tracks. And, in interference engines like those found in Subarus, failing to catch a worn belt before it breaks can cause thousands of dollars in additional engine repairs. (Belts & Hoses)
Mountain Auto Repair Preventative Maintenance
Most preventative maintenance can be completed in less than 1-2 hours when the work is scheduled. And, even unscheduled standard maintenance requests can typically be completed in the same day.
- Check/replace engine oil and oil filters
- Check/replace fuel filters
- Inspect/replace air filters
- Tire balance and rotation
- Wheel alignment
- Inspect tires for wear and air pressure
- Check all lights and signals
- Check/refill windshield washer fluid
- Check/flush brake fluid
- Inspect/replace brake pads
- Check/flush power steering fluid
- Check/flush transmission fluid
- And more!
If this will be the first time you bring your vehicle into our North Boulder shop–or if you are purchasing a new or used vehicle–we recommend getting a full inspection. This will help set a regular maintenance schedule and identify any larger repairs you may need to prepare for down the road.
Whether you are buying a new car or trying to extend the life of a classic, contact the maintenance experts at Mountain Auto Repair in North Boulder for fast, reliable service.