Don’t Forget These 3 Important Maintenance Items That Aren’t Oil Changes

Want your vehicle to remain in top shape for the long haul? The best way to do that is to maintain it as well as possible, and that includes performing some of the easier-to-forget maintenance items. Here are three forgettable maintenance items that can lead to big mechanical issues if forgotten.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

The automatic transmission seamlessly transfers power from the engine to the wheels, and this is a complex process. Inside your transmission are clutches, planetary gears, and other electrical and mechanical components that do a highly engineered dance to make your car move. Facilitating this dance is transmission fluid that is responsible for acting as a hydraulic oil, a lubricant, and a cleaner.

Over time, heat and time take a toll on the fluid, causing it to wear out or become contaminated to the point where it cannot perform its key functions. If left in this condition, your transmission could get damaged, forcing you to spend hundred or thousands of dollars on a repair.

To help prevent these costly repairs, check out the recommended transmission fluid service interval in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Most manufacturers recommend a flush or a filter and fluid replacement once every 40,000 to 60,000 miles.

Brake Fluid

The braking system uses a hydraulic fluid known informally as brake fluid. This fluid deals with extreme temperatures from the friction created when stopping your vehicle. When the fluid is new, this is not an issue because it has a high boiling point. Unfortunately, this fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it retains water, and this water lowers its boiling point. Over time, this water can cause the boiling point to lower to a temperature that allows it to boil from the heat the brake system generates. This boiling can introduce air into the brake system and cause failure. Also, water can cause problems with the brake lines and seals, also resulting in brake failure.

Many manufacturers do not list a recommended service interval for the brake fluid, but most technicians will suggest swapping it out every 60,000 miles.

Engine Coolant

Keeping your engine cool is a mixture of distilled water and antifreeze that’s known as coolant. This coolant flows through the engine, absorbs heat, and returns to the radiator for cooling. The cooled coolant then flows back into the engine and reduces its temperature. Besides cooling, the coolant also keeps the cooling system free of debris and lubricates any moving parts. Over time, the heat and debris takes a toll on the coolant, limiting its ability to fulfill its responsibilities. The only way to rectify this is to change the coolant or flush the system according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Every manufacturer varies, so check your owner’s manual for details, but most recommend changing the coolant every 60,000 to 80,000 miles. Failure to maintain the cooling system can cause overheating and engine damage.

Need one of these maintenance items taken care of on your vehicle? Come by Garber Chevrolet Linwood and see what specials we have for you. And no, you need not own a Chevy vehicle to take advantage of our top-notch service offers.

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Justin Cupler

Justin Cupler

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