long haul car maintenance tips


Your car takes you from point A to point Z and everywhere else in between. Taking good care of it is essential to making sure that your car lasts as long as possible. If you want to get the most out of your car while avoiding costly repairs, it is important to perform preventive maintenance on a regular basis. This article will go over ways to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape for years to come. 


Preventive Maintenance

  • Oil changes: Oil is essentially the lifeblood of your vehicle. Without it, your engine would be damaged instantly. This is why it is important to make sure your vehicle receives oil changes when they are due. Oil changes vary from car to car and it is crucial to know when to get your car serviced. A good rule of thumb is to get an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles if you are unsure of when to get an oil change for your specific vehicle. 
  • Brake pads: Depending on how you drive, you'll want to replace, or at least check, your brake pads every 25,000- 50,000 miles. You'll also want to check your brake fluid every two years to make sure it is not a dark black color. If this is the case, it is best to get it serviced as soon as possible. Maintaining your brake pads and fluids will help avoid costly repairs and potential accidents. 
  • Tire changes: At some point or another, you won't have enough tread on your tires to maintain traction on the road. Without the proper traction, it's easier to lose control of your car and hydroplane across surfaces. If your tire tread dips below 2/32 inches, you should get your tires replaced ASAP. 
  • Coolant and transmission fluid: Much like checking your oil, checking your coolant and transmission fluid is essential, as well. These specific liquids can greatly impact your vehicle's performance and reliability. You won't be going anywhere fast without the proper transmission fluid. It is best to consult your owner's manual or take your car to get serviced to make sure your car receives the right components. 

General Car Maintenance


  • Air filter: An air filter helps prevent harmful debris from passing through the engine compartment. Naturally, the filter will need to be replaced periodically, as it gets dirty from miles traveled. If not replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles, it could damage internal components. Air filters are typically easy to swap out on your own. However, if you don't want to worry about changing it yourself, it can be done by a professional for a small price. 
  • Battery: Car batteries last anywhere from 5-7 years. Cold weather can cause your battery to lose strength if you live in a harsh winter state. Reading your manufacturer's manual for recommendations on how and when to service your battery is a good starting point. Also, many auto stores will test your battery for free. 
  • Windshield wipers: A good set of wiper blades are crucial for days when it snows or rains. Depending on the quality of your wiper blades, they should last you about six months to a year. Changing wiper blades are generally a quick and easy task. Be sure to choose the right length as wiper blade sizes vary from car to car. 
  • Exterior lights: Visibility at night is a must for everyone on the road. Nowadays, most vehicles are equipped with LED (light-emitting diode) lights. This type of light provides better viewing at night and illuminates a wider field of view. Still, grabbing a friend and checking your brake lights, high beams, fog lights and low beams is never a bad idea. If a replacement is necessary, it can be easy to swap depending on the model of the car. If not, then taking it into an auto shop is always your best bet. 


Understanding the best ways to take care of your car is very important. It can potentially save you thousands of dollars and keep you safe on the road--basically a win-win situation. For more resources and articles, CLICK HERE.


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Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.