South Florida's Premier European Auto Repair, Performance & Race Facility Since 1978
Foreign Affirs Motorsport
Foreign Affairs Motorsport
(954) 746-0488 Mon-Fri 8am - 5:30pm

Basic Vehicle Maintenance Tips & Services Checklist

vehicle maintenance

The trick to long-lasting reliability? Following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance ​​​​​​schedule and service guidelines. Unfortunately, as our pride and joy vehicles age, the recommended service ​​​​​​guidelines might not be sufficient to maintain our vehicles anymore.

At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, we are South Florida’s premier European auto repair and performance center. Our expert technicians have years of specialized experience. We recommend following a set of ​​​​​​vehicle maintenance tips and checklists to ensure your car is always serviced correctly.

Vehicle Maintenance

Keep A Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

A maintenance schedule can be a lifesaver for your vehicle. Most modern cars will keep track of your service timer for you by either having a day countdown or by ​​​​​​mileage covered. However, this is only really useful on vehicles you drive frequently. On older and less ​​​​​​used vehicles, we recommend you put a reminder in your cell phone to ensure you never miss a service ​​​​​​and that your car is always ready to go.

Pay Attention To Warning Lights

While they can be annoying, warning lights serve an important purpose. While it may be something ​​​​​​small like low washer fluid, taking the time to investigate the light may just save you thousands in ​​​​​​repairs later down the line.

Again, modern cars may even give you a more detailed error message on the center cluster, and if you ​​​​​​happen to miss it the first time, it will often come back up if you turn the car off completely and then put ​​​​​​it into the accessories position. But this often isn’t the case with older and less used vehicles. Regular vehicle maintenance at a reliable shop can be your best bet to investigating and repairing whatever the warning light issue may indicate.

Vehicle Maintenance

Ask For Replaced Parts Back

It may sound strange to ask for your old parts back; after all, what possible use could you have ​​​​​​for an old filter or spark plug? Well, the most obvious reason is to ensure the parts you were charged ​​​​​​for were replaced with new parts (mechanics will often put the old part in the new parts box to ​​​​​​prevent mess). Secondly, it is useful to have the old parts to take to a parts store if you ​​​​​​decide to source parts the next time this maintenance item is due.

The next case is more situational. With OBD2 systems telling mechanics what has failed and ​​​​​​needs replacing, some mechanics can be too eager to replace parts that don’t need to be replaced. For ​​​​​​example, your mechanic may have recommended you replace your door locks to fix an issue when the ​​​​​​fault actually lies with the wiring running to the unit.

The last case is getting professional, which is for real engine nerds. You can send off samples of spent oil and ​​​​​​the old oil filter to oil analysts companies, such as Blackstone Laboratories, to get a detailed breakdown ​​​​​​of the composition of your oil, which may give you insight into the condition of engine bearings, engine ​​​​​​running temperature and the overall health of your car.

Increase Your Recommended Oil Weight

The oil recommended by your manufacturer is typically chosen to offer the best protection for most use cases the manufacturer expects the car to undergo, with typical wear and tear. Most ​​​​​​manufacturers view the life of a vehicle to be 100,000 miles. We all know if you look after your vehicle, ​​​​​​it can live way past the 100,000-mile mark. To help it reach 200,000 miles, we recommend increasing ​​​​​​ your oil weight by at least 10, based on the factory’s recommendation. So, if you were running a 10w40, consider changing to a 10w50.

The reason for doing this is because unless you’ve completely rebuilt the engine, the tolerances between your ​​​​​​crankshaft and bearings, piston rings, and the cylinder walls are all larger than when the engine was new. A thicker oil will compensate for these larger tolerances and continue to offer good ​​​​​​protection.

Vehicle Maintenance

Replace “Lifetime” Fluids

There has been a popular trend of manufacturers claiming that transmission and differential fluids don’t ​​​​​​need to be replaced as they will last the vehicle’s lifetime. However, as mentioned before, the ​​​​​​manufacturer defines a vehicle’s lifetime as only 100,000 miles.

The best way to find out how often you should replace transmission fluids is to go by the manufacturer of ​​​​​​the gearbox’s recommendation. Most European manufacturers, like Audi and BMW, source their gearboxes from a company called Getrag, which recommends the fluid in their automatic transmissions be replaced every 60,000 miles. However, when in doubt, it is best to consult a mechanic familiar with your vehicle.

Don’t Forget About Belts

Most manufacturers will recommend you replace timing and serpentine belts around the 60,000 mile mark, and if you just so happen to drive 10,000 or more miles a year, that’s a pretty safe recommendation. Those of us who drive our vehicles less than that risk experiencing catastrophic engine failure. OEM belt manufacturers recommend that belts be replaced every six years, as after this age, the rubber is more likely to harden, become brittle, and fail.

Vehicle Maintenance and Service In Pompano Beach

At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, we enjoy a reputation for high-quality auto repair services. Our team of skilled technicians, excellent customer service, and competitive pricing have made us a go-to repair shop for South Florida foreign and luxury car enthusiasts. Call us at 954-746-0488 for all your Pompano Beach auto repair and maintenance needs.

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    Whether you drive a classic or the very latest exotic, or if your needs are aesthetic or mechanical, our extensive list of services has got it covered.

    Give us a call today (954) 746-0488