11 Tips to Car Maintenance | Full Guide


As of 2017, there were more than 270 million registered cars in the United States, with that number increasing by roughly 4 million every year. People depend on cars to get to work, visit friends and family, explore the natural beauty of America, and even as a hobby to explore the open road. The thing that unites all of these cars and their drivers is that no one escapes the need for regular car servicing. 

Even if you don’t have any experience working with cars, you can still keep yours in good condition. Over time, car maintenance techniques have changed, and the result is that today, you can easily find qualified mechanics such as those in the Glenn Polk Ford Service Center in Gainesville

Why Car Maintenance Is Worth It

In the past, cars were designed with greater simplicity, and it was easy for car owners to handle all the regular maintenance needed to keep them running well. As computers became more common to improve vehicle efficiency, maintenance gradually became something that you couldn’t do in the garage at home. Nevertheless, the need for that maintenance increased, as the sensitive equipment in cars became more susceptible to mechanical problems.

Today, people must bring their cars to a car service center for maintenance. Search for a ‘Ford Service Center near me to conduct a car check that will find any problems with your car and provide thorough solutions that address the source of the issues. There are three main benefits of effective car maintenance:

  • Saving Money - Preventing a problem is always less expensive than fixing it after the fact, and this is as true with vehicle maintenance as it is for anything else. If you stay up to date on regular maintenance, you’ll avoid equipment failures that require expensive replacements.

  • Retaining Value - Potential buyers want to know that your car has always been well maintained. If you neglect routine maintenance, your car becomes less valuable in their eyes as it may suggest that serious problems are lurking under the surface.

  • Performance - Of course, you’ll also want your car to work safely so that you can drive it where you need to go without it breaking down. Many of the problems that could afflict your car also impact how comfortable it is to drive.

Common Vehicle Maintenance Techniques

There are as many maintenance techniques as there are car parts, but most drivers don’t need to know about the unusual cases. We’ve assembled a car maintenance checklist that covers all the common issues that you’ll face. Get familiar with each of these techniques so that you’re prepared to bring your car in before a problem gets worse:

  • Brake Adjustment
    As your brake pads wear down, you’ll need to depress the pedal further to slow down. Similarly, you may need to pull or press the hand brake more firmly to get the same effect. You may notice that replacing the brake pads solves most of the problem, but over months and years, your brakes fall out of alignment with the brake pedal and handbrake. Brake adjustments restore these systems to proper order and make it easier to use your brakes effectively.

  • Air Conditioning Repairs
    Your car might run fine without functioning air conditioning, but you probably won’t. Many air conditioning issues stem from either not having enough freon (the refrigerant that helps cool the air) or your car’s fan not working. In either case, cool air can’t make it to your car’s interior. Of all the repairs listed here, air conditioning repairs are the ones that are safest to delay, but it will depend on how comfortable you are with heat and sweating in the Texas sun.

  • Tire Balancing and Rotation
    It’s hard to notice when you’re regularly driving on smooth roads but driving anywhere puts uneven pressure on your tires. The difference is minimal after a few rides but stretch that out over months and many miles to get an idea of what a small variance can mean. Rotating your tires lets you even out the wear so that they last longer while balancing them ensures evenly distributed pressure.

  • Coolant Flush
    Over time, coolant breaks down and fails to perform its essential function: maintaining your engine’s temperature. Additionally, contaminants accrue in the coolant flow and can form a clog, which shuts down your coolant system. If your engine overheats severely, it can become damaged and need significant repairs. Even dealing with a coolant clog without other engine damages can cost hundreds of dollars as an emergency repair. Periodically flushing your coolant eliminates the built-up contaminants and keeps your coolant system operating at peak efficiency. 

  • Transmission Flush
    Your transmission is what gets you between gears, regardless of whether your car is manual or automatic. Unlike gas and oil, you don’t often change your transmission fluid, so small particle buildups can accumulate over time that must be cleaned out. The best way to accomplish this is with a flush, which drains out the old fluid and replaces it with fresh, clean transmission fluid. The pressure of draining and refilling the fluid also helps to clear away debris that has entered the transmission.

  • Engine Tune-Up
    Tune-ups are a bit of preventive maintenance that can save you a lot of money over the long haul. Your vehicle depends on a high-functioning engine in which everything moves perfectly in time. When any component is out of position or fails to work correctly, it adds additional strain on the rest and can eventually break an engine system. A quick tune-up shortly after a problem appears can prevent the need to replace your entire engine down the line. 

  • Front-End Alignment
    Most people don’t realize how much of an impact alignment has on your vehicle’s structural performance. It usually shows up as the car slightly turning when the steering wheel is in a neutral position, which often indicates that there’s something off between at least one of the car wheels and the steering wheel. It may not seem like much, but a few degrees discrepancy between your wheels gets multiplied by the distance you cover. If there’s a difference of a couple of feet every mile, that translates into strain on your axles that can weaken the metal.

  • Oil Change
    The conventional wisdom is that you should change your oil every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. Think of your car’s oil like water for the body: you don’t get your energy from water, but without it, you wouldn’t be alive very long. While gasoline powers your car to make it move, it needs oil to function optimally. Without regular oil changes, engine parts will rub against each other, prompting the need for expensive engine repairs.

  • Muffler Replacement
    Exhaust issues can create serious performance problems for any vehicle. The early signs include visible smoke, but after a problem develops further, you might not be able to drive anywhere at all. Muffler repairs or replacement address most of the common issues that affect cars.

  • State Car Inspection
    The State of Texas requires motorists to conduct an annual safety inspection to prevent serious issues from compounding. Your mechanic can test for common hazards and safety issues that affect cars. Some risks must be addressed before your mechanic can conclude the inspection and approve your car for road safety, such as sufficiently thick brake pads and correctly aligned wheels. A thorough inspection can help you catch issues before they become serious. 

  • Interior and Exterior Detailing
    Your car might not need to be clean to run, but detailing is still a significant component of good car care. If trash or spills accumulate in your vehicle, it can pick up strange scents, mold, and serious discolorations. Eventually, seat fabric will lose quality, and it will start to fall apart. Exterior damage can also pile up and become a significant problem. What starts as a small scratch can become a rust spot that affects exterior integrity and even creates a hole.

Glenn Polk Ford Service Center in Gainesville: Your Home for Proper Maintenance

The Glenn Polk service department is staffed by experienced mechanics who understand and care about cars. We take our work seriously and enjoy taking troublesome vehicles and restoring them to peak condition. Our team can talk you through the aspects that require attention and why it matters. After you bring your car in, you’ll understand precisely what happened and how to stay on top of your maintenance in the future.

The Glenn Polk team can help you with car sales, car servicing, and anything else you need to find and drive new and used Ford vehicles. We always have an extensive inventory, so no matter what kind of car you like to drive, we have the right one for you. Contact us to schedule servicing or bring your old car in and upgrade to a new model.
Categories: Parts, Service, People
; ;