Did you recently drive off the dealership lot in the Porsche, Subaru, Audi, or Volkswagen of your dreams? Chances are, you are loving that new car smell and new car feel, and you want to make that last as long as possible. Many contemporary models need less-frequent service and offer more reliability than the vehicles of yesteryear, but you will still need to do a few key things to keep it running in top shape. We are happy to outline 12 simple tasks that can make your car feel like new and last much longer.

 1)      Check the Engine Oil

It will be important for you to regularly check the engine oil for your brand new car, truck, or SUV. Check it once a month if your vehicle is in good condition and more if you are worried about leaks. Park your vehicle on level ground for an accurate dipstick reading and be sure to avoid overfilling it with oil. Make sure to get a leak fixed right away at a trusted service center as this could cause problems down the line.

2) Check the Air Pressure of the Tires

This easy maintenance task can also be done once a month or before any big road trips. Simply use an accurate tire-pressure gauge to ensure optimal inflation pressure in each tire (the pressure recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer). This is best done when the tires are cold, so do it before your daily commute or any extended driving. A regular pressure check is also a good chance to inspect the tires for any abnormal or uneven wear or any damages that would warrant a replacement.

3) Wash Your Car Regularly

It is important to wash your car at least every other week if you can. Not only will this help to keep your car looking good, but it will protect the paint and finish from various contaminants on the road. Remember to hose out the fender wells and undercarriage to remove road salt and dirt once in a while and wax the finish regularly for added protection.

4) Change the Oil & Filter

Many automakers will recommend changing the engine oil and filter every 7,500 miles or six months, but special engines like diesel or turbocharged options may need more frequent changes. Make sure to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your model. These maintenance tasks can be done easily at the dealership’s service center if you would prefer not to attempt them yourself!

5) Check the Air Filter

An easy way to check and see if you need to replace your air filter is to remove the element and hold it up to a strong light. If you cannot see light, it is time for a replacement. Check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to locate and change the air filter.

6) Inspect the Exhaust System

This can be tougher to do as you will have to make an under-car inspection to check for exhaust parts that are rusted and need replacing. An easy way to approach this is to request that the service center inspect the system during your next oil change.

7) Check the Brakes & Brake Fluid

It is important to look at your brakes at least twice per year or more if you put more miles on your vehicle. Most people prefer to have an experienced technician check and service their brakes, but if you prefer to DIY make sure to completely remove the wheels and examine the brake system. Replace worn pads and linings and pay attention to the shape of the rotors and drums.

This would also be a good time to make sure you have fresh, functional brake fluid. If the fluid level is low, top it off. Make sure to have the system checked for leaks.

8) Flush & Clean the Radiator

Most people know it is important to flush your radiator based on the automaker’s recommendation for your vehicle. Removing debris from the radiator is also a good idea as it can help prevent overheating. Take a soft brush and wash the outside with a detergent solution whenever necessary.

9) Check the Battery

Check the fluid level of your battery every few months and inspect the terminals and cables to ensure they are securely attached. Make sure to test the battery and if you are unsure about how to do so, schedule an appointment to have a professional do it for you.

10) Change the Automatic Transmission Fluid

It is typically recommended that you replace this fluid every 36,000 miles and the filter about every 100,000 miles. With some later models, you will never need to change your transmission fluid, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific information for your vehicle.

11) Replace Drive Belts & Hoses

This service can be done every two or three years whether they show wear or not. A belt or hose failure could cause a number of problems including a loss of power steering, an overheated engine, and a loss of the electrical charging system. Make sure to have a belt adjusted by an experienced technician if it becomes noisy.

12) Change the Timing Belt

Failing to change the timing belt when your manufacturer recommends can result in a costly engine repair should it break. The belt should be changed about every 60-80,000 miles, but make sure to consult with the dealer for a suggested replacement interval on your specific vehicle.

While many of these things can be done quickly and easily yourself, there are a lot of maintenance requirements for vehicles that are better left to the experts. Byers Imports proudly offers exceptional service for Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Subaru vehicles in the Columbus area, whether you bought yours at our dealership or not! Schedule an appointment for needed service today and we will set you up on an easy maintenance schedule to keep your new car running optimally.

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