This post is a 3-part series on automotive maintenance. We shared an article from Car Bibles this past month about automotive maintenance and 20 essential components for it. That article can be found here.
We see daily examples of good maintenance and occasionally some vehicles that lack the regular maintenance needed to stay in good shape. There is one universal truth that I believe in when it comes to auto repair: you can't decide to be economical with a repair if you aren't regularly proactive with your maintenance.
Let me give you an example. If you do a lot of city driving, your brakes will wear out faster than someone who does mainly highway driving. Being proactive with your brakes means having a technician check them during every oil change. You should plan to replace them every 30-60K miles. A good time to replace them is when there is 20% life left. This is what I call an insurance replacement. If you wait until there is 5% left, you've likely done damage to the rotor. If you wait until there's 0% left, there may be damage to the caliper. Basically, the longer you wait, the more likely the repair will require more parts and more money.
If you're consistently proactive with your repairs (e.g. scheduled maintenance on time or early; never driving with the check engine light on), then you can choose less expensive repairs should you fall on hard times. It's okay to pay for a cheap $150 brake pad job if you replace them with 20% left and you understand that cheap = shorter lifespan and greater possibility of noise.
Through the next three posts, we'll be going through a few of the points. Click on the next post to read more.