Auto Repair Services

Scheduled Maintenance

Your car’s scheduled maintenance is a regular checkup to help prolong the life of the vehicle’s parts. Taking your car in for scheduled maintenance not only helps keep your car on the road longer, but it also gives you the opportunity to address any potential vehicle issues before they turn into costly repairs.

Many people neglect to perform scheduled maintenance on their vehicles. Low or dirty engine oil, low or contaminated brake fluid, dirty air filters and torn belts are all addressed during routine scheduled maintenance. Preventative maintenance will keep your car in great shape and save you money on future car repairs.

What is scheduled car maintenance?

Scheduled car maintenance is routine automotive service and is also known as preventative maintenance. As you drive your vehicle, parts of the vehicle start to wear down, and they need to be replaced or serviced so the vehicle can operate effectively. Each make and model vehicle has different scheduled car maintenance. Vehicle manufacturers to determine the recommended maintenance schedule based on the vehicle type and, often times, driving conditions. The service occurs at predetermined mileage intervals. Performing car maintenance at the correct times ensures your vehicle stays running and you avoid expensive repairs down the road.

How do I know what the scheduled maintenance is for my car?

The best way to determine the routine maintenance schedule for your vehicle is to read your owner’s manual. Your owner’s manual is where you can find all the information you need to know about your car including when you should perform routine and preventative maintenance. It’s important to understand your vehicle’s service intervals. Some manufacturers may recommend changing your car’s oil every 10,000 miles while others recommend changing the oil at 7,500 miles. Knowing when all of the scheduled maintenance should be performed will help you make informed decisions when getting your car serviced, and it will help you keep your vehicle on the road longer.

What types of services are performed during scheduled maintenance for my car?

  • Depending on the type of vehicle you own, different services are performed based on the scheduled maintenance recommended by the manufacturer.

    Some of the services performed during scheduled maintenance include:

    Checking your vehicle’s fluids: Your vehicle has lots of critical fluids which make engine operation and driving possible. An automotive technician will check your vehicle’s power steering fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. If these fluids are low, they will be filled up to the recommended levels, and if they are dirty, a technician may recommend a flush service to replace it with clean fluid.

    Replacing serpentine and timing belts: On the outside of your engine, there is a rubber belt called a serpentine belt, which drives different vehicle components such as the power steering pump, alternator and water pump. There is also a timing belt, which synchronizes the movements of internal engine components for perfect operation. These belts are made of rubber, and they eventually wear down. At some scheduled maintenance intervals manufacturers will recommend these belts be replaced. You should refer to your owner’s manual to find out at what mileage this service is performed.

    Checking and changing your engine oil: As you drive, your engine oil becomes dirty and needs to be changed to keep the moving parts of the engine properly lubricated. Your owner’s manual will indicate when this service should be performed.

    Replacing your engine air filter: Replacing an engine air filter is an important scheduled maintenance item. Your car relies on clean air to combust with fuel and drive the vehicle; if the air is dirty, your car may lose power. Refer to your owner’s manual for when this scheduled maintenance item needs to be performed.

    Rotating, balancing, and wheel alignments: Having your tires rotated and balanced and your wheels aligned helps your car drive straight and smoothly, which increase fuel economy, reduces uneven tire tread wear and improves traction. Some manufacturers recommend rotating tires during oil changes or other car maintenance service intervals. However, it is important to refer to your owner’s manual, where you can find information on when to rotate and balance your tires.

    Replacing spark plugs: Spark plugs sit inside the combustion chamber of your engine and ignite the fuel/air mixture which powers your car. Over time the spark plugs fail and can no longer power the engine properly. As part of scheduled maintenance, these sparks are replaced to ensure proper combustion. Spark plug replacement intervals vary based on the vehicle. Your owner’s manual will state when the spark plugs need to be replaced on your vehicle.

What if my car is under warranty?

Typically when your vehicle is less than 3 years old or has less than 36,000 miles, you are still in the warranty period. This means any engine or mechanical problems are covered by the manufacturer. However, this does not apply to scheduled car maintenance items. You still have to pay for maintenance items like brake pads and rotor replacement, oil and filter changes, tire rotations and other routine services. When the warranty period is over, routine car maintenance usually becomes more involved and more expensive.

What should I do when I need to bring my car in for scheduled maintenance?

Before bringing your car in for service, you should review your owner’s manual to find all of the scheduled maintenance items which need to be performed at your vehicle’s age or mileage level. Dealerships will present you with a list of “dealer recommended” car maintenance services on top of your scheduled maintenance. Their recommendations will not be the same as they are in your owner’s manual, and they can be very expensive repairs.

At Virginia Tire & Auto we service all major automotive brands, and we can perform scheduled car maintenance on any make and model based on the manufacturer recommendations. We only recommend services as stated in your owner’s manual. These car maintenance services include oil changes, spark plug replacements, brake services, timing belt services and more. Schedule an appointment today, and we will help keep your car maintenance right on schedule!

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