The Preventive Maintenance System is a series of service and repair
procedures performed at regularly scheduled intervals, to prolong the
life of your vehicle, and to minimize the chances of unexpected

Why is the Preventive Maintenance System so important?

1. Ignoring the regular maintenance schedule will void the vehicle
manufacturer’s warranty.

2. Maintenance doesn’t cost a lot of money, unexpected repairs do!

3. It doesn’t take a lot of time or inconvenience to do regular maintenance.

4. Many service facilities will do an oil change and fluids check while
you wait.

5. It’s not a good feeling to know that your vehicle is not reliable. Regular maintenance makes the vehicle more dependable.

The preventive maintenance schedule is different for every vehicle. Some
vehicles are driven short distances, and not every day. Most vehicles are
driven in “stop and go” traffic for hours. Vehicle’s manufacturers call this
“severe” service, and maintenance intervals for this type of driving are
much more frequent.

This website will give you basic guidelines for following your vehicle’s
preventive maintenance schedule. You can’t go wrong following these
simple recommendations, and adjusting the maintenance schedule
intervals in accordance with your type of driving.

The best source for the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance
schedule for your particular vehicle, is the “Owner’s Manual”.

Contemporary cars and trucks should serve reliably for at least 200,000
miles. The key is the Preventive Maintenance System!

Let’s take a look into the Preventive Maintenance System structure.

This system consist from:

1) routine inspections

2) regularly scheduled maintenance

3) scheduled replacements: brakes, timing belt, etc.

The Routine Inspections

The Inspections are a very important part of the Preventive Maintenance System.

There are two types of inspections to be done on your vehicle.

The first type –

is an inspection that you are probably doing right now and don’t even realize it –
the visual inspection that you give youe vehicle every time you drive it…

You see your vehicle every day, and if you train your eye, you can spot the first
signs of trouble. You can save yourself a lot of money if you learn a few simple
inspection routines. Even if you know absolutely nothing about cars (how could
this be?), a simple inspection routine is very easy to learn.

First, let’s examine the things that you can spot without any extra effort, such as
worn tires or fluid leaks. Bad tires are pretty obvious, and easy to spot – look
for the sag and bulge at the bottom of the tire that indicates dangerously low
air pressure. An under-inflated tire can cause loss of control of the vehicle!
Replacing a worn set of tires can save your life!

Fluid leaks are also easy to spot. After your vehicle is parked overnight, look
under the engine compartment, first thing in the morning. If you see a green
puddle, you’ve got a problem…
Look under the hood of your vehicle and see if there is a leaking radiator or
heater hose. If this is a case, don’t start the engine – call for a tow truck. It may
cost you a little up front but you are saving the engine, and a lot of money!

Other checks are also easy to accomplish, you just have to make a little time
for them. About once a week – or each time you fill up the gas tank, if you put
a lot of miles on your vehicle – check the fluid levels. The most important check
you can perform is to keep an eye on your engine’s oil level. A low oil level can
damage your engine! Keeping the oil at the proper level can save your engine
and save you a lot of money!

A low level of antifreeze can cause your engine to overheat – a surefire way to
destroy the engine! Also, the low level of antifreeze can indicate a more serious
problem – this is a reason to see a professional mechanic, to detect a potential

As you can see, you are the very first “line of defense” for your vehicle!

If you know how to replace a tire, you can inspect the front disc brakes yourself.
Remove the tire and look at the brake pads. Immediately next to the round brake
rotor, you will see a brake pad supported by a metal plate. There are two pads,
one on each side of the rotor. The thickness of a new pad is 3/8″ (10mm).
If the brake pad thickness is less than 1/8″ (3mm), it’s time for a brake job.
Other important things to look for are excessive wear of the rear brake shoes
(if so equipped) and any evidence of leaking brake fluid.

While driving, keep an eye on your light and gauges. Know your light! If the “oil”
light comes on, pull over very carefully and shut the engine off immediately!
After waiting for a few minutes, check the engine’s oil level, and add oil if needed,
before driving again, even if this means waiting until additional oil can be brought
to you!

If, while on the road, the temperature gauge needle jumps to the red zone – pull over
carefully and shut the engine off! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try to remove the
radiator car right away! A very serious burn can be the result! Look at the
transparent reservoir for the antifreeze level ( the label on the reservoir’s cap
typically says: Engine coolant only!) Remove the capfrom the reservoir if necessary,
and check if coolant is present inside. Add antifreeze or water if needed.

It’s very tempting to drive the vehicle that last mile to a gas station by yourself,
to save the towing charge, but it makes no sense to destroy a $1500 engine (plus
labor cost and time without the car) to avoid a $75 tow charge!
The “oil” light and the temperature gauge are designed to be a warning for you –
to save your engine from destruction, and save yourself a lot of money!

The second type of inspection –
is the type done by professional mechanics.

At every oil change, ask the mechanic to look over the bottom of your vehicle
for leaks, broken axle and power steering boots. and to check the condition
of belts and tires. It’s not going to cost a lot of additional money, but it can provide
you with very important information about your car’s condition, every 3,000 miles.

All four tires should be balanced and rotated every 5,000 miles.

Balancing means that tires should be removed from the vehicle, and put on a
special computer controlled machine, that spins each tire to a speed of approximately
65 miles per hour, and then shows the technician the precise position to attach
special weights, to eliminate vibration.

Rotation means that tires that were in the front of your vehicle will be moved to the
rear, and vice versa.

This is also a good time to inspect your brakes or by yourself, or ask the technician
to do so. If the technician detects a problem, this is a good reason for a visit to a
repair shop.

You will then know condition of your brakes, every 5,000 miles.

1) The quick inspections done by yourself:

a) Leaks (oil, antifreeze – every day)

b) Once a week, under the hood (belts, hoses)

2) At every oil change (check for leaks under the car, tire condition and air pressure)

3) At every balancing and rotation of tires, the inspection of the tires and brakes will

give you a pretty good idea about their condition.

In short, if you are driving about 1000 miles per month, inspecting for leaks under the
vehicle will be done every 3rd month, and checking the condition of tires and brakes
will be done every 5th month. And you have to look your vehicle over for flat or under
inflated tires and visible leaks under the vehicle, every day or every other day.

That’s all it takes!

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