Part of being a responsible car owner is staying up to date on the maintenance that your vehicle needs to run smoothly and efficiently. That means learning the ins and outs of your particular car so you can keep it in the best condition possible.Get a free quote
Some cars require more frequent maintenance, while others have a longer period in between repairs. This article will cover general car maintenance, as well as the differences between vehicles manufactured in a variety of countries.
To learn more about American, German, Japanese, and European vehicle maintenance, read on!
What is General Car Maintenance?
General car maintenance consists of many small things, but they add up. Taking care of your daily driver should be a priority of yours. Not only does regular car maintenance make your car last longer, but it saves you from costly repairs—or worse, needing to buy a new car.
General car maintenance includes actions such as checking your tires, changing your oil and filter, examining belts, removing battery corrosion, and more! Some are easy enough to accomplish alone, yet some require a professional auto mechanic to get it done right.
When a car is new, it takes about 5,000 miles before you should begin routine maintenance. This first check-up is important because the car parts are "breaking themselves in." For example, the oil pan may release some metal fragments that need to be drained with the oil. It will also be checked to make sure all valves and hoses are not leaking anything straight from the factory.
After the first scheduled maintenance, you can go from 5,000 to 10,000 miles between check-ups. To find out what is best for your car, seeking out the owner's manual for answers is always one of your most valuable resources.
Let's take a look at the nuance between car maintenance for vehicles produced in different regions of the world.
American Car Maintenance
Domestic car maintenance may be some of the easiest and simplest tasks compared to foreign vehicles, but it is just as important! For oil changes, you should follow the standard every-5,000-miles rule.
Tire tread wear is not much different on American cars compared to others because all types of tires are used on all cars. You should stick to getting your tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, but always keep an eye on the tread for major wear. If it is becoming hard to see the tread pattern on any part of the tire, have it double-checked by a mechanic.
If your fuel filter becomes clogged, it will seriously impact the performance of your engine. It is widely disputed how long you should wait between fuel filter replacements, but at the very least, you should consider swapping them out every 30,000 miles. When that time comes around, ask a mechanic to perform a pressure test to make sure.
German Car Maintenance
Your battery is responsible for many, many systems in your vehicle. Luckily for German auto owners, Gel AGM batteries are standard for most German automakers. These particular batteries have a warning system to let you know when they are on their last leg, but it's in your best interest to check it yourself. They are built to last 4-5 years, but corrosion can build up from any number of causes.
Another perk of German cars is the number of useful electronics on board. Your German vehicle likely has over 90 different computers running at once! For this reason, it's helpful to have your electronics and wiring inspected by a professional to diagnose any issues that may complicate your driving experience.
The mileage for oil changes varies by model. You should schedule a basic oil service every 5,000 miles for turbo and supercharged engines like the 1.8T, 2.0T in VW and Audi, and every 7,500 for all other late models.
Japanese Car Maintenance
Japanese vehicles, like any other foreign manufactured cars, share a similar routine of maintenance and upkeep, but there are slight differences. For example, most American vehicles are expected to have regular oil changes at 5,000 miles. However, Honda recommends the oil should be changed every 3,000 or so, depending on driving conditions, slightly more often.
Although this differs between makes, it is slightly more common for Japanese cars to run into belt and hose issues. They degrade at a quicker pace, so you should keep an ear open for funny, cyclical noises from the hood. It's always smart to have a professional take a look regularly as well.
When it comes to tires, most Japanese import cars also have tread wear indicators. If your tire tread is level with the indicator, it's time to call your mechanic for a replacement. This is something that you can do even without an indicator, but Japanese manufacturers have made it that much easier for you!
European Car Maintenance
When it comes to European vehicles, there are a few slight differences in the way you should approach general maintenance. For example, timing belts need to be replaced somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. If you let a timing belt issue run on for too long, you'll be facing some serious repairs.
Most vehicles follow the same standard maintenance calendar of 30/60/90. In other words, you should be doing a full check-up every 30,000 miles. When it comes to European makes, it probably won't need a tune-up for years once it rolls off the assembly line. But once the odometer eclipses 100,000 miles, it's best to start getting tune-ups every 10,000 to 20,000 miles thereafter.
Contact The Pros At Wrench For General Car Maintenance Tips and Check Engine Light Help
General car maintenance is incredibly important. Your vehicle gets you to and from every shift, hobby, and meetup. You should be giving your daily driver all the care it needs. That means putting it in the hands of mechanics you can trust.
Wrench is a full-service auto repair shop without the shop! Our mobile mechanics service all types of cars and trucks, offering everything from oil changes and tune-ups to brake jobs and no-starts. Our certified mechanics can perform most jobs right in your driveway or at your workplace parking spot, giving you the freedom to spend your time on more important things.
To see a full list of Wrench services, click here!
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