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Top Vehicle Maintenance Items to Keep Your Car Running at Its Best

Good vehicle maintenance is essential when it comes to preventing major repairs and also ensuring that your vehicle runs smoothly for many years to come. For all of your general and preventative maintenance needs, bring your vehicle into the experts here at Dave's Automotive. Let's look at some of the most important maintenance items that will keep your vehicle running at its best throughout the years. 

Fluids are a key maintenance item for all vehicles. Your vehicle runs on many different types of fluids throughout parts of your vehicle. Fluids have an important job that includes protecting components and ensuring that systems run smoothly. We will always check each of your vehicle’s fluids to make sure that the fluid looks clean and that lines are working properly. 

Engine oil needs to be clean and cool to protect your engine parts against corrosion and seal combustion chambers. Lubricating mechanical components is extremely important because it reduces friction between moving parts and prevents wear. Dirty or low engine oil can cause damage to the engine and can also lead to overheating.

The brake fluid is a vital part of the brake system. The brake fluid has the job of transmitting the force of the brake pedal to the wheels. The brake cylinder will convert the pressure from the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure which will then be transmitted via brake fluid through the brake lines. Leaking, dirty, or low brake fluid can cause brake issues which can lead to complete brake failure. 

Similar to engine oil, transmission oil is also needed to provide lubrication to transmission parts. Without proper lubrication, your vehicle’s transmission can begin to wear down rapidly. Transmission repairs can be extremely costly, and maintaining clean transmission fluid can help you avoid those issues. 

Transfer case fluid also needs to be replaced roughly every 30,000 miles or so, depending on your driving habits. The transfer case is a gearbox found in 4WD vehicles that helps to bring power from the engine to the front and rear axles. Transfer case fluid is what keeps its gears cool and turning smoothly.

Differential oil lubricates the ring and pinion gears in your vehicle’s drivetrain that transfers power from the driveshaft to the axles. This fluid is also very important and needs to be replaced regularly. Without lubrication, metal-to-metal contact occurs and will begin to wear down surfaces, and overheating from friction will cause gears to weaken and fail.

Coolant is another important fluid within the engine. When your engine runs, it emits heat that needs to be pushed away from internal components. The engine cooling system has this job. The coolant absorbs the heat and conveys it to the radiator, which gives off the heat. Without coolant, the heat wouldn’t be transferred from the engine and overheating will occur.

Certain parts of your vehicle also need to be properly maintained in order to prevent major repairs and unwanted breakdowns. Certain belts, such as the drive belt, timing belt, and serpentine belt can wear down and crack over time with regular use of your vehicle. These belts have important jobs and help the rotation of specific parts that power your vehicle. We recommend that belts are inspected at every visit to ensure that there is no obvious damage to any belts. A damaged belt should be replaced as soon as possible. If a belt were to snap while driving, it would cause total vehicle failure. 

When we check your belts, we will also look at timing chains within the timing system. Although these chains usually last the lifetime of your vehicle, in some cases they do need to be replaced, sometimes due to lack of lubrication. Our shop has timing chain kits which contain all necessary parts including chain tensioners, rails and wheels that would need to be replaced along with the timing chain. 

Spark plugs are another vehicle component that needs to be replaced at certain intervals, indicated by your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations. Good quality spark plugs are important when it comes to ensuring your safety on the road. 

If your vehicle is due for service or maintenance, bring your vehicle to the experts at Dave's Automotive. Give us a call with any questions or stop by our shop today! 

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