The ball has dropped, but that doesn’t mean you should drop the ball on your annual car maintenance tasks! To get you prepped for 2018, here are some car care recommendations that will ensure you aren’t breaking any New Year’s resolutions.
- Get Your Oil Changed!
Each year, the average American tallies up anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 miles on their car—perhaps even more if they’re traveling from Lynchburg to D.C. often. Although the 3000-mile oil change has long been the standard in the industry, some newer vehicles can go further without having to go under the proverbial knife. How do you know if your vehicle falls into the former or latter camp?
Rather than standing pat with the age-old recommendation of changing your oil every 3,000 miles, be sure to check your owner’s manual. You may find that a 5000-mile oil change is better for your vehicle (certain automakers may even endorse a 7500-mile oil change). For instance, a late-model Kia Forte should have its first oil change after 3000 miles but can go 5000-7500 miles before each oil change.
Kia of Lynchburg Recommendations: No two models are the same when it comes to oil change intervals. Always review your vehicle’s owner’s manual for proper oil change times, or bring your vehicle into your trusted car maintenance and oil change shop. Our Lynchburg auto repair technicians are on hand to perform essential oil changes on all vehicle makes and models, not just Kias.
- Test Your Car Battery
As 2018 kicks into gear, you should get your battery tested, cleaned, and ready for the Lynchburg winter. Most newer car batteries have a lifespan of four to six years, though several factors must be taken into account, including driving habits, weather conditions, and vehicle type. Classic signs of a bad car battery include terminal corrosion, check engine lights turning on, odd electrical problems, and a slow engine crank.
Kia of Lynchburg Recommendations: If your car was purchased new in 2013, it’s time to get your battery tested and potentially swapped out with a new one. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your car battery, you may want to consider buying a new one, too. Most car batteries cost between $100 and $200, which is nothing compared to the stress caused by a car that won’t turn over in the morning.
- Replace Windshield Wipers
Now that winter is here, there’s no better time to install a new set of windshield wipers. If you have a car, a standard pair of wipers should do the trick; if you own a crossover, you may also need an additional rear window wiper blade. They’re affordable to purchase and simple to install yourself, though a trip to your auto maintenance center can take the frustration and hassle out of changing your wiper blades.
Kia of Lynchburg Recommendations: If you do want to become a DIYer, check your windshield wiper sizes before buying or ordering any. You can also call our Lynchburg Kia service center to schedule a service appointment or ask for our recommendation and windshield wiper pricing (we carry wipers for all makes and models).
- Regular Tire Care & Maintenance
Even one improperly inflated tire can be trouble; the NHTSA has estimated that about 11,000 accidents are caused each year by low tire PSI. An underinflated tire can lead to overheated rubber, which results in tread separation, poor MPG, loss of vehicle control, flats, and other dangerous situations. Don’t let it happen to you!
Kia of Lynchburg Recommendations: To ensure your vehicle is on four good wheels, you should monitor and check your tires each month of 2018. Here are a few tips:
- Monitor your tire pressure. Even if you have a new Kia with TPMS, you should always keep an eye on your PSI. Use a handheld tire pressure gauge—they’re cheap and can be purchased just about anywhere—and be sure the tire PSI is at the recommended level as indicated in your vehicle’s door jamb or owner’s manual.
- In the colder months, tire pressure goes down (about 2%/1 psi for every 10 degrees). Once the rubber warms up, the PSI should rise; if it doesn’t, fill the tire up at a gas station or with a portable air tire pump.
- Keep your spare tire inflated properly, too! You never know when you’ll need it.
- Have a professional tire rotation performed every other oil change (or about 10,000 miles). A rotation can extend the life of your tires and help even out tread wear.
- Check your tire tread using the penny trick. Newer tires also have “treadwear indicators” built into the treads themselves. When the tread is level with that of the indicator lines, it’s time to shop for new tires.
- If you notice your tire pressure constantly dipping or TPMS going off even after “fixing” the problem, bring it to your car repair shop. At our Lynchburg tire center, we’ll check for holes, tears, and electrical TPMS issues, then give you advice and solutions to correct them.
- Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedule
All vehicles have a recommended schedule for maintenance, usually segmented by miles. If you care about your car’s health, it’s imperative that this maintenance is performed on time and by a professional. Not only is proper maintenance a safeguard against car problems, but it can also protect your warranty.
Kia of Lynchburg Recommendations: Don’t put off those auto maintenance tasks when a quick trip to a mechanic or vehicle service center is all it takes. At Kia of Lynchburg, we perform all normal car maintenance tasks, including the all-important 15,000-, 30,000-, and 100,000-mile services. We’ll check all fluids, spark plugs, belts, hoses—just about anything and everything that makes your vehicle run smoothly.
Visit Our Lynchburg Kia Dealer in 2018
Whether you need expert car service or want to buy a new Kia car or SUV for the new year, we’re here to help. Contact us at (434) 847-3292 or stop by our Lynchburg location at 3400 Old Forest Road to browse our selection of new Kia models and used cars for sale, ask us about our current service specials, or order discounted Kia parts and accessories. Happy New Year!
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