People often wonder whether certain maintenance items that may be recommended to them by a shop are really necessary. Others want to do a good job of maintenance on their car but aren’t sure how except to just take it in for oil changes when the sticker that was placed on the car the last time the oil was changed says it is time.

Speaking of oil changes, how do you know when the oil really does need to be changed? Can it go a couple of thousand miles longer than the sticker says and does the mileage due on the sticker really mean that’s the mileage it is due for an oil change or did they just put it to a shorter time to get you back in sooner?

By far the best way of knowing all of the above is to simply consult the owner’s manual of the car you are driving. Always use the oil type that is recommended by the manufacturer. You can upgrade to synthetic oils to extend the life of the oil change but you must be certain that the oil meets the specifications given by the manufacturer.

Also in your owner’s manual are the answers to whether you really need to do the maintenance items that have been recommended to you. All routine maintenance items are listed there for you such as when to replace the timing belt, the spark plugs, filters, etc. It also lists when to change the various fluids in the car such as transmission, differential, coolant, etc. If you’ve been recommended maintenance services, always check the recommendations against your owner’s manual. You may be very glad you did.

It is always wise to follow the owner’s manual and do these services on time. Doing so will greatly extend the life of the various components of the car and help prevent extremely costly breakdowns that could easily be avoided by proper maintenance.

In Yuma, Arizona, there are a few items that might be wise to change a bit more frequently than the owner’s manual recommends due to environmental conditions. Primarily those are fuel filters, air filters, and cabin air filters. Yuma is a great place to live but we do have to put up with sand storms and blowing dust from time to time. These take a toll on filters.

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Posted in Car Advice