If you are looking for a stellar auto shop to assist with your car maintenance in Huntington, West Virginia, East End Body Shop offers quality repair service, prices and customer service.
If you expect to rely on your vehicle to get you around, you will want to keep up with your car maintenance.
Five-step maintenance checklist
- Top off your car oils
Regularly check and top off the oils in your car. Some oils like your power steering don’t need to be topped off as often, but it’s still important to keep an eye on. You also want to check your engine oil, transmission oil (you can only check this underneath the car if you have a lift), coolant, and windshield wiper fluid.
- Minor repairs for your mechanic
You should take your car to a mechanic for regular, minor repairs to keep it running in good condition.
The most important car maintenance is getting your oil changed every 5,000-6,000 miles. Your car should get a tire rotation every 8,000-10,000 miles. Your air filter should be replaced every 12,000-15,000 miles. When you take your car into the shop for the regular maintenance, the mechanic will let you know if your windshield wipers need to be replaced as well.
- Ensure tire pressure is adequate and the battery is working
Invest in a pressure gauge to check your tire pressure once a month. Your car manual will have a recommended psi for your tire pressure. You also want to check for cracking or wearing in your tire tread.
You should inspect your battery terminals and clean them monthly to maintain a secure connection. If you notice signs of your battery going out, you can bring it to a shop to check it and determine if you need to replace it or not.
- Ensure all your essential lights are working
You should regularly check that your blinkers, fog lights, headlights, taillights and break lights are working. These are essential lights that you need to use and will get pulled over for if they’re out. Make sure to take it to the shop as soon as you notice one is out.
- Keep your exterior and interior clean
The exterior of your car can get dirty from bug guts, bird droppings and tree sap, which can corrode paint if it’s not cleaned off soon enough. Letting guck stay on your car and potentially damage the paint will diminish its value and accelerate rusting. It’s especially important to clean your car if you live in a cold climate or near an ocean because the salt will get into the wheel wells and undercarriage, slowly eating your car’s frame. It’s important to keep your headlights clean and clear for nighttime driving as well.
Your windows are an important thing to keep clean on your car so you can see clearly when you’re driving and stay safe, especially if you must drive in poor weather conditions.
People benefit from spending time in clean, de-cluttered spaces, this includes your car. If you have wrappers or dishes in your car, try to clean it out every time you get home for the day. Vacuum and wipe down your interior every couple of months, or sooner if it gets messy from children or pets.
Now you know the essential steps in keeping your car in a proper condition, and if you’re in the Huntington area, you also know where to go for your car maintenance in Huntington, West Virginia.
If you need a mechanic for any car maintenance in Huntington, West Virginia, you can call East End Body Shop or fill out a form indicating what services you need done.
What are signs something is wrong with my car?
Going along with basic maintenance for your car, you may experience major signs that your car needs attention somewhere.
- Check engine light
Your check engine light is typically the first sign that something is wrong with your car internally. This light will illuminate when the vehicles engine control unit detects an error code trigger by a sensor. The best way to determine the problem is to take it to an auto parts store who will plug in a machine into your port that will give them a code for whatever is wrong with the car.
- A sputtering engine
Your engine will sputter or misfire if the fuel and ignition system components are not working properly. To avoid this issue, make sure to replace the necessary components of your car’s fuel and ignition system as your car maintenance.
- Poor fuel economy
If you don’t replace fuel filters, air filters, mass air flow sensors and O2 sensors before they wear out, the engine will consume more fuel than it should. This is another reason to keep up with your car maintenance.
- Dead battery
You should replace your car battery every 3 years or 50,000 miles to avoid issues with your battery or other parts of your car. A dead battery can mean your car has a damaged alternator, battery temperature sensor or other charging system. It could also be caused by reduced amps which naturally decrease as the battery loses it’s charging ability.
- Flat tire
A simple issue like striking an object or being punctured can be the cause of a flat tire, but it can also be from wear and tear. To extend the life of your tires, keep them properly rotated and replace them when needed.
- Breaks squeaking or grinding
As any other part of your car, your breaks wear out over time and need to be replaced eventually. When you notice issues like squealing or squeaking, get it inspected by a professional to ensure everything is fine. A squealing break can be caused by a minor reason, but when they start grinding, they definitely need to be replaced to ensure your and other people’s safety.
- Alternator failure
Your car’s alternator is what keeps the electrical system running once the car starts. It also sends a charge to your battery to keep it in its best condition. A broken alternator will cause your battery to wear out sooner. Typically, when you have issues with your car starting, it may be caused by a failed alternator.
- Broken starter motor
Your car’s starter motor cranks the engine, which begins the starting process. If your car fails to start, the cause may be a damaged electrical solenoid, a broken starter motor, or another faulty electrical component. It’s difficult to tell when your starter needs to be replaced. If you suspect that as an issue, you should have a car-starting inspection to determine if it’s the starter or something else.
- Steering wheel shaking
Your steering wheel may shake because of a few different reasons. If it shakes after starting your car and beginning to drive, it may be due to damaged suspension or wheel bearings. If it happens at a high speed, it may be due to a tire/wheel balance issue. If you are having issues with your steering wheel shaking, take it to a professional to be diagnosed.
- Failed emission tests
Before you can register your car, it must pass an emissions test. This is not the case in all states. If your car fails the test, it could be because the check engine light is on. Whatever the reason, the emissions center will inform you as to why they failed the car so you can take it to a mechanic to get it checked out and fixed.
Overheating is more likely to happen in older cars. Most modern cars contain sensors that monitor coolant temperature which can indicate a problem before your car overheats. If you keep an eye on your car’s radiator flush services and change the water pump before it breaks, you can reduce potential overheating issues.
- Slipping automatic transmission
Your car’s transmission can last for more than 200,000 miles without any trouble if you maintain it well. The transmission has several seals, gaskets and lines that can get damaged, clogged or leak. Due to any of these reasons, a transmission will “slip” or not shift smoothly. To avoid this issue, you will want to maintain your transmission service on your car.
What to do now
If you are experiencing any of these signs, you can take your car to East End Body Shop for car maintenance in Huntington, West Virginia, and they will give you a free estimate of what it would cost to fix the issue with your car.
When purchasing a car, people typically budget out the cost of the car (whether they buy a new or used one), gas and insurance. People often forget about the routine maintenance a car needs.
AAA conducted a study to determine the average cost of car maintenance annually. AAA determined an average cost of $.82 per mile for 10,000 miles of driving, $.64 per mile for 15,000 miles of driving, and $.55 per mile for 20,000 miles of driving.
These expenses include the maintenance and car repairs discussed above. This figure can also change according to the area you are in if your auto shop charges less than somewhere else, if you can do some of the smaller maintenance yourself, and if you use coupons for any maintenance.
Despite the cost, it is important to maintain your car’s health. If you have questions about prices for car maintenance in Huntington, West Virginia, you can reach out to East End Body Shop in the area.