4 Most Important Maintenance Items
Everyone's trying to get more out of a dollar today, including their automotive dollars. At BIGTEX Tires & Offroad, we'd like to suggest some of the best ways to do that. By staying on top of these four important vehicle maintenance items, you will save money in the long run.
Your engine relies on motor oil for lubrication -- without a film of oil between moving parts, the engine would quickly seize as parts overheat to a point where they actually weld to each other. Oil picks up carbon, acids, metal shavings and other contaminants, however, and starts to lose its lubricating properties over time. If left too long, sludge deposits and carbon can start to accumulate on moving parts, shortening engine life. Depending on your vehicle and the type of oil you use the distance suggested between oil changes vary. Keep a strict oil change schedule.
Brakes are obviously vital to your safety, but the friction material of brake pads can go 40-60,000 miles before brake service is needed. Since they wear so slowly, it can be hard to notice a drop in braking performance -- that's why brake pads should be inspected at least a couple of times a year. Many designs of brake pads feature a spring-steel tab on the backing plate which is designed to drag along the brake rotor when the pads reach a minimum thickness. This wear indicator creates a loud squeal to alert drivers that it's time for brake service. Letting brake problems go too long is not only very unsafe, it'll lead to ruined rotors and cost a lot more money when you finally have brake service done.
Like brakes, tires wear very slowly...but are also vital to your safety. Be sure to check tire pressure regularly, since underinflated tires hurt fuel economy, are more prone to failure and affect handling and braking performance. Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles for even wear, and inspect them for damage, bulges, cracks and foreign objects. The minimum safe tread depth for tires is 2/32" -- insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln's head down. If the rubber reaches Lincoln's head, your tires are at 2/32". Tires also feature a wear bar molded into the rubber at a right angle to the tread. If the wear bars are at the same level as the rubber, it's definitely time to replace the tires.
Lastly, your engine's air filter prevents dust, pollen, and other contaminants from being sucked into the fuel system. A clogged, saturated air filter will obstruct air flow into the engine, compromising horsepower and fuel economy, so be sure to inspect and change the air filter at about a 7,500 - 10,000 mile interval.
Got any questions? Make an appointment with us at BIGTEX Tires & Offroad!