How often should I have my car inspected for problems?
Keeping a car well maintained and in working order is an important responsibility of car owner. One of the easiest ways to prevent accidents or major damage is to have your car inspected for problems on a regular basis.
Here are some of the things you should have inspected to ensure your car is functioning properly.
A car’s radiator should be inspected every six months or anytime you notice a problem with it. Check for erosion around the caps and hoses. Check the ground where the car is parked to see if any radiator fluid has leaked out. You can also take the vehicle to a mechanic to have it inspected and repaired if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.
Brakes and Rotors
Brakes should be checked every three months, every 10,000 miles or anytime they feel as if they are slipping, not stopping properly or are making a noise. Check the rotors to make sure they are smooth and do not have deep grooves. Check that the brake pads are not worn down. If the brakes need to be changed, take the vehicle to a repair shop so they can be serviced properly.
Heating and Cooling Unit
Heating and cooling units should be inspected before they are used each season. Heating units should be inspected in the fall and cooling units should be inspected in the spring. If the heater is not working, it may need to have a heating core replaced. If the air conditioner is not working it may need to be charged with freon. Not all vehicles use freon and may need to be serviced differently.
Oil should be checked on a regular basis or at least once a month and changed every 3,000 miles unless otherwise stated in your vehicle owner’s manual. It should also be checked before going on a long trip. If the oil is reading low on the dip stick, new oil should be poured in the reservoir. If the oil is too thin or too thick it will need to be changed. Many people choose to change their oil themselves. Others choose to take their vehicles to lube shops to get the oil changed by professionals.
Air filters should be checked and changed every six months or sooner if they become dirty or clogged. Some air filters can be rinsed and reused. Others will need to be changed. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, the air filter may be easy to change yourself. Vehicles with hard-to-reach air filters will need to be inspected and serviced by a mechanic.
Have the following aspects of your car checked out, especially before a long trip, so that your car will be in working order.
• Brakes and rotors
• Heating and Cooling Unit
• Air Filter