Car care can be a confusing process. It usually seems inconvenient and pricey, and we usually put it off until the last mile possible. We normally take our car to the mechanic only when something is wrong. But at that point, it may be too late. See, our cars are like us. During flu season, you may get a flu shot or eat more Vitamin C – treating the symptoms before getting sick is more bearable and cost effective than having to go to the doctor. Our cars need preventative maintenance, too, and service intervals can help you know when your car is at risk.
What are Service Intervals?
You probably know that your car’s oil needs to be changed on a regular schedule. This is an example of a service interval. Any fluids, filters, or other vital parts need to be replaced every so often, and they each have a service interval that outlines how often you need maintenance. This is usually dependent on your car’s manufacturer, and can be found in the owner’s manual of your car, or by calling your trusted auto technician.
Why Should You Follow Manufacturer-Recommended Service Intervals?
When building a vehicle, the manufacturer employs the latest available technology, and know the ins and outs of that car. They know how quickly that engine will burn through a standard oil, as well as synthetic. Based on their extensive knowledge, they create service intervals for maintaining the car in its best shape.
By disregarding your manufacturer’s suggestions, you’re risking worse and more expensive damage. You wouldn’t risk your health by ignoring a doctor’s recommendations. Yet, without regular service intervals, the fluids in your car can wear down, causing the once-lubricated metal to grind on itself. Your tires, without routine rotations and alignment, can cause hazardous road conditions for you and other drivers. If your fuel filter loses efficiency, it could allow dangerous debris into your engine, causing severe issues.
How Driving Conditions Can Change Service Intervals
It is important to note that these recommended service intervals are with average driving conditions and use. So, if you drive more than the average person – about 12,000 miles per year – you’re going to go through your fluids and wear down your tires more frequently. The opposite isn’t exactly true, though.
As your engine cools, water in the air condenses into the engine. When the engine heats up, that water evaporates off. But when most of your trips are less than 4 miles, the engine doesn’t have enough time to heat to the point of evaporation; this causes a buildup of sludge, which can eventually clog your engine. Driving less than the average amount, and in short bursts as described, requires more frequent maintenance – similar to those who drive over 12,000 miles a year.
Extreme temperatures, including the cold winters we see up in the Northern Midwest, can also cause stress on your vehicle, demanding more frequent service intervals. Additionally, driving through dusty or polluted areas can increase the frequency of preventative maintenance needed for your car.
Stay on Top of Service Intervals with Kennedy Transmission
Even though there are many factors that go into how often your vehicle should get maintenance, it’s always good to start with your manufacturer recommended service intervals. If you are worried about the driving conditions along your route, you can trust us to develop a plan to keep your car in tip-top shape. Find your nearest Kennedy Transmission service center to schedule a preventative maintenance service, stay on top of your regular service interval, and prevent potential costly damages.