5 Easy Lifetime Services For Your Vehicle

Author: Tellz Auto | | Categories: Car Buying Service

American Car Imports

There is no single formula for success when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Since not every vehicle is built to the same quality standards, the type of service schedules required can vary wildly in frequency and approach. It can get very confusing for regular folk who may not be technically inclined vehicle wise. The best approach we find is taking little steps by first completing simple service requirements and then slowly easing into more complex service intervals that will eventually come up.

Another thing to take note of is, car ownership does not start at the same point for everyone. Some owners take ownership right from when the vehicle was brand new. Others take over ownership from a previous driver who may or may not have purchased the vehicle brand new. The approach towards servicing for a previously owned vehicle must be different than that of a brand new one. Owners of used vehicles must arm themselves with details of past service records in order to properly assess the vehicle and take appropriate steps to servicing the vehicle effectively as the current owner. Owners of new vehicles do not have to deal with that and have a clean slate which gives them full control of a vehicle’s servicing history from day one.

Despite the world of vehicle servicing possibly coming off as overwhelming, focusing on the parts of it which are relevant to your currently owned vehicle will make maintaining your ride easier to navigate through.

#1. Replacing Your Timing Belt or Chain

This type of service tends to get neglected by most owners since talk about timing belts or chains is a rare thing that barely gets mentioned in dealership service centers. Dealership service departments get a big bulk of their revenue from repeat maintenance services that happen more frequently, and a timing belt/chain service is not a frequent service item.

Timing chains are located inside the engine and the engine oil helps lubricate it to ensure its optimum performance. The timing belt, on the other hand, is a belt with strengthened rubber material and is located outside the engine. It needs to be replaced after 120, 000 kilometers for most vehicles.

The timing belt’s location within the engine bay makes it very easy to check for signs that show the belt may need replacing. These signs include cracking of the belt, a glazing effect noticed on the belt, abnormal elongation and finally, pilling which is when lost belt material over the years builds up loosely in the cross-sections.

#2. Replacing Your Battery

Your vehicle’s battery is consistently working hard whenever the vehicle is on. In some cases, the battery will still be working at a moderate capacity despite the vehicle ignition being in the off position.

Battery life is specific to driver habit, the weather of principle driving location and the battery manufacturer’s individual operating standard. The life of the battery will be affected by all these factors as the vehicle ages.

In most new vehicles, the battery is covered under the manufacturer’s basic bumper-to-bumper warranty and battery replacement will be covered by manufacturer for at least the first two years. Manufacturers who do not follow that policy have battery coverage that is pro-rated. Pro-rated coverage means in the first year, the labor might be fully covered 100 percent as well as the part too. Then in the second year, 50 percent is covered and so on.

With normal use, a car battery usually lasts five to seven years. The battery lasts longer if the vehicle is driven daily and the battery is kept fully charged. Parking the vehicle for extended periods will deteriorate your battery sooner.

#3. Replacing Your Transmission Fluid

Vehicle transmissions are complex, and automakers build them to last for a very long time with minimal need for service. Despite all this, the transmission fluid helps keep the internals working as intended and eventually, that fluid becomes contaminated and slowly begins to lose its effectiveness.

Automatic transmission fluids have a standard composition and despite slight differences between automakers, there is one single type used in the industry. Automatic transmissions come in different flavors and while the traditional torque converter type calls for the standard fluid, continuously variable transmissions and dual-clutch automatics call for a different type of fluid that supports their unique design.

The debate for when you should change your transmission fluid goes a lot of different ways. Some mechanics insist you should leave your transmission alone till it reaches the minimum kilometer limit for a first fluid change which for almost all automakers averages around 150,000 km. Others recommend you should consistently check the fluid to look out for irregularities in its appearance.

Still, it must be remembered that everyone drives their vehicle differently and repeated driving under high-stress conditions will necessitate a more frequent need to check fluid level and quality simultaneously.

#4. Replacing the Engine Coolant

There is no one-size fits all answer to the question, when does the engine coolant need to be replaced? Some manufacturers have specific deadlines pertaining to changing the fluid. Others are more flexible in their recommended scheduling for this service. Additionally, some dealerships cultivate their own maintenance requirements for such services.

Engine type also plays a big factor here because, for instance a turbo engine will act differently under a consistent heavy type of driving scenarios compared to an equivalent direct injection engine. This will affect how the coolant loses its effectiveness over time and traditionally, conventional engines with a smaller displacement have coolants that can last more than 130,000 km.

Engines tuned more for higher performance and operate at higher temperatures than a typical four-cylinder engine will at times require a coolant drain and replacement as early as at 70,000 km. The location of the coolant makes it critical not to ignore this type of service because once your radiator gets infected with coolant fluid that has lost its rust-inhibiting properties, it will be hard to stop that damage from spreading and surrounding equipment such as your water pump may end up getting affected.

If you choose to do a coolant fluid replacement at a time that you feel comfortable with, you should also work with your dealer or service center to continually monitor it for contamination and only replace when you know it is completely necessary.

#5. Replacing Your Cabin Air Filter

The interior of your vehicle goes through a lot of human traffic as the years of ownership goes by. The constant introduction of body oils and foreign air into the vehicle’s cabin makes it essential to have a system which continuously refines the air coming into the vehicle and ensure safe health of the vehicle occupants.

Every vehicle manufacturer has different requirements for how frequently the cabin air filter needs replacement. The general standard in the industry is to have it changed every 25,000 – 30,000 km but scenarios such as driving conditions and the type of driving environment can influence changes in that general standard.

This service is the most DIY friendly of them all because it takes about 15 mins to take out a worn cabin air filter located behind either the glove box or in the corner of the footwell in front of the driver or passenger seat.

When looked as a whole, vehicle maintenance can quickly become daunting because the starting point is unclear. By focusing on the important and simple maintenance required initially, you will quickly upskill yourself to become methodical in servicing your vehicle and when the more significant service schedules come up, you will be more than prepared for them.


Tellz Auto is a full car buying service and easy to use resource that helps people find the right vehicle. We believe the car you ride in is just as important as the home you live in. We offer guidance from start to finish and will help you negotiate a great deal on the perfect vehicle. For more information, give us a call at +1 512-400-4243 / +234 (803) 650-2556 or Get Started here today.