Service Page

General service intervals and guidelines

One of the most important, and often overlooked, subjects for car owners is preventive maintenance. Drivers know that they are supposed to change their oil or get a tune-up in order to keep their car running, but usually they will not take a car to a shop unless they notice a problem. That is the whole point to preventive maintenance--to keep the car or truck serviced so major problems do not occur.
The purpose of this page is to advise drives as to what they can do and when in order to avoid more expensive repairs.

Keep in mind, much of the information here is subject to driving conditions, habits and manufacturer's recommendations. There is information contained in every owners manual about their vehicle's requirements. What kind of oil to use in the engine for example.
Some engines can be damaged if the wrong SAE rating or "weight" oil is used. There is also an API rating that tells if the oil is suitable for use in a gasoline or a diesel engine:

Generally, a higher second letter in the API rating supersedes previous ones, so a car requiring SC-rated oil can use SJ.

Most vehicles today use automatic transmission fluid for automatic or manual transmissions, but some manuals require special lubricants. Todays computer-controlled transmissions are more sensitive to fluid break-down and contamination, so it's imoportant to keep up with the recommended service intervals.
Not all power steering systems use ATF. Using the wrong lubricant can be as bad as not servicing the system at all.
Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold as the pressure do increase as the tires get hot. Maximum air pressures listed on the side wall of a tire is just that, the maximum for that tire, not necessarily the correct pressure for the tire when installed on your vehicle.
As the vehicles suspension settles and components wear, the alignment is going to change, so it does need to be checked periodically. Of course, driving off road, on rough roads or "curb-hopping" is going to affect the alignment as well, requiring more frequent checks.
Extreme driving conditions shorten service intervals as the vehicle is subject to increased stress. Examples of extreme conditions can be constant stop and go traffic driving, driving in hills, towing, dusty or off-road driving, and constant hot ambient temperatures. The fluids in your vehicle are affected by these conditions, and break down faster necessitating more frequent servicing in order to prevent a mechanical failure.

Enough about service guidelines, on to a basic service interval schedule. Mine contains some things that are overlooked by many drivers which I see almost on a regular basis, as well as personal recommendations.

Click HERE for the following in Check List form.

The above services can be done by yourself (excluding those requiring special equipment) or by any shop, not necessarily the dealer. Some shops offer free multi-point inspections and services that cover many of the above items. However, it is a good idea to check with the dealer service department as they have access to bulletins and recalls that others may not know about.

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