Saturday, March 24, 2012

When to Have Auto Repair or Service Done

Having auto repair or maintenance services done in a timely manner are important tasks. Ignoring these car ownership responsibilities can lead to big problems down the road. Motorists may get caught up in their everyday lives, procrastinate or just not want to spend the money but if they know what's good for their vehicle, they will take care of it like the valuable possession that it is. Here are some of the most crucial times to have service performed:

- When the owner's manual calls for it: The owner's manual of a vehicle has a detailed schedule of services that are mandated in order to keep it running in a tiptop manner. If the car is under warranty, it is imperative to stick to the manual's schedule and to document everything. Documentation can be in the form of receipts or signatures from the servicing mechanic. If this isn't adhered to, a major breakdown may not be covered by the warranty. What a nightmare that would be! Every vehicle is different and these manuals specify exactly what needs to be done and when for your automobile.

When you think you can't afford it: Let's face it; nobody wants to spend money on repairs. When payday rolls around, many motorists would rather buy items that are more appealing such as vacations, meals out or just staying current on the household bills. But putting off oil changes, brake jobs, tire rotations, tune ups or belt replacements can lead to bigger bills down the road. A missed oil change can mean a thrown rod and blown up engine; faulty brakes can cause an accident; tires wear out more quickly and need replacing without regular rotations; gas mileage goes down without tune ups; and a belt breakage can happen at an extremely inopportune time. Don't be penny smart and dollar foolish.

- When warning lights go on: Warning lights are supposed to do exactly that, warn the motorist!

Flashing red lights are not appearing on the dashboard to dance to the radio; they are telling the driver that something is amiss. It could be something that needs to be repaired so as not to put the vehicle or passengers in danger. Listen up!

- Before a big road trip: Ah, the adventure of a road trip! It is the heady stuff that movies are made about. There's nothing quite like traveling down the freeway with wind in your hair, new sights out your window, an exciting destination lying ahead marked by the X on your map. Chances are you've been waiting for this vacation and don't want to risk ruining it by having your car break down. Before a lengthy drive, it's wise to have the tires, brakes, oil and overall well-being of the sedan, van or SUV inspected. Any issues should be tended to before the trip. If an oil change is coming up anyway, might as well get it done before the journey.

It's important to always take care of the family vehicle. That auto gets every member of the clan to work, school, social events, doctor appointments and more. Some of the most crucial times to pay attention to auto repair and maintenance is when the owner's manual calls for it, when you think you can't afford it, when warning lights are flashing or before a big trip.

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