Much of the work we need to do on our cars should be completed by a qualified mechanic due to the various complexities involved. If the repair job is significant, some of this work costs a lot of money. There are ways you can care for your car to help decrease the number of repairs and subsequent costs, though. If you have your car serviced on a regular basis then you may be able to head off any issues while they’re still manageable.
Ongoing maintenance like checking the wiper blades and car battery is less costly than actual repairs and can keep your car from needing major work done. Simply keep up on your regular maintenance by doing the work yourself or going to a mechanic. It doesn’t matter who does the work as long as it gets done.
Two of these easy maintenance items are oil changes and tire rotation. While they are simple and economically feasible, they are also critical in maintaining your car.
Tire rotation makes sure that there is even wear on the tires rather than one tire getting worn out faster than the others.
Oil changes are important, too. They help maintain your engine’s health. Oil lubricates the engine and reduces the effects of friction by dealing with any excessive heat. If you aren’t taking care of your tires and engine, you are taking a chance that you could end up with one that is overheated or a flat tire leaving you stranded at the side of the road.
Making sure you do an oil change and tire rotation based on the proper timelines means your car will be in good shape and last longer. Understanding the timing for these maintenance activities and how they benefit your car’s lifespan is important.
Knowing when to change your oil and oil filter is based on certain variables. Assess the way you drive, how old the car is, and driving conditions where you live. If all your variables are fairly average, it is often recommended that you change your oil every 3000 miles. Some car manufacturers suggest 5000-mile intervals. If you choose to use synthetic oil, you may be able to go as long as 10,000 miles between oil changes.
Around 5,000 miles is OK for most people but if you drive at high speed, have an older engine, or live somewhere that tends to be hot, cold, or dusty then you may want to have it done more often to ensure adequate protection. Read through your owner’s manual while looking at your driving characteristics.
The manual will be specific to your car’s make, model, and year with suggestions for maintenance based on the engineers of the car. This includes both oil changes and tire rotation.
There’s a price and performance different between synthetic motor oil and conventional engine oil, so check out our guide to learn which to use.
Learn how long an oil change takes.
Don’t underestimate how important tire rotation is when it comes to your car’s ongoing maintenance. Rotation is important because there is a difference in how the front and back tires wear. Uneven wear means your tires lose their tread unevenly which can then cause flats. You might end up with one tire looking like new and another that becomes quickly unusable with no traction. If you rotate your tires, you can make sure the wear is even no matter what the mileage and prevent uneven wear.
While many people ignore tire rotation, they don’t realize what it does for the car. While it evens out tire wear, it also helps maintain proper vehicle handling and good traction. You need this especially when the weather is rainy or icy. You may also need to rotate tires for practical reasons such as tire warranty. If you don’t do proper maintenance and the tire fails, your warranty may become void.
Rotating your tires usually is done with each oil change. As far as scheduled maintenance is concerned, they can go hand in hand. While tire rotation can go between 6,000-10,000 miles, it might be easier to just have it done every time you get your oil changed. It saves an extra trip to the mechanic and becomes a habit along with other important maintenance.
DIY or Mechanic
Both oil changes and tire rotation are not complicated.
That said, they are also not things you should do if you aren’t familiar with cars. You need the right equipment and the knowledge of how to accomplish the task safely and properly using jacks, tire stands, and quality parts.
If you can do the jobs properly then it’s a great way to get maintenance done but if not, don’t take safety for granted. Take your car to your mechanic and have both the oil change and tire rotation done properly. While it is nice to be able to work on your car yourself, you don’t want to get hurt or damage your vehicle.
If you choose to use a mechanic, make sure you know the average costs of oil changes so you know you’re not being taken advantage of.
Ongoing tire maintenance and oil changes for your car helps lower larger repair costs down the road. Keeping your engine and tires in top shape reduces the wear and tear and makes sure the car is balanced and safe. Following a simple maintenance routine that includes an oil change and tire rotation saves you a lot of headaches. Keeping your tires and engine in good shape means there is less of a chance of your tire blowing out or your engine overheating.
Doing basic car maintenance is not taxing and doesn’t require a lot of time and money. It is simply an hour or two that you need to put aside a few times a year to make sure you are ready for the road. If you’re an average driver and keep it in good shape, it will last longer and cost a lot less when it comes to repairs.