Scheduled Auto Maintenance in Skokie, IL

Automotive Body & Tire Center - General Service and Maintenance Schedule. This information is taken from one of the automotive repair industry's leading informational websites, www.carcare.org

Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well-today and down the road-is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday auto-basics. A recent survey by the Car Care Council found:

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  • 38 percent of cars had low or dirty engine oil.
  • 54 percent had low tire pressure.
  • 28 percent had inadequate cooling protection.
  • 19 percent needed new belts.
  • 16 percent had dirty air filters.
  • 10 percent had low or contaminated brake fluid.

For your convenience, the Car Care Council developed a Service Interval Schedule to help you keep track of regular maintenance. Most of the checks and services described here can be done at little or no cost. Best of all, they are quick and easy to do.

Service Interval Schedule

  • Oil Change, Lube
  • Filter Replacement
  • Check Monthly
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Cleaning
  • Lights
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Check every 3 months/3,000 miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Check every 6 months/6,000 miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables Belts
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Check Engine Light On Polish
  • Engine Air Filter Engine Oil and Filter Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights Power Steering Fluid Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wiper Blades

Check every 9 months/9,000 miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Check every 12 months/12,000 miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Brakes
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Polish
  • Coolant (Antifreeze)
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Spark Plugs
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wiper Blades
 

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Check fluid level with engine running and transmission in park. If low, add the type of automatic transmission fluid specified in the owner's manual and/or on the dipstick. For maximum performance, change every two years or 24,000 miles, or as directed in the owner's manual.

Battery and Cables

Battery should be securely mounted. Battery connection should be clean, tight and corrosion-free. If the battery is three years old or more, it should be tested and replaced if necessary.

Belts

Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition. Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Replace timing belt per interval specified in the owner's manual. Typically this is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Not replacing the belt as required could cause a breakdown or serious engine damage.

 

Brakes

Check the entire brake system every year, including brake linings, rotors and drums.

Cabin Air Filter

Replace annually, or more often in areas with heavy airborne contaminants or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced.

Chassis Lubrication

Many newer cars are lubed-for-life; some still require this service. Check the owner's manual. Replacement steering and suspension components may require periodic lubrication.

 

Check Engine Light On

If a light comes on while driving or remains on, your vehicle may have an emissions or sensor problem and should be analyzed. If light flashes, the condition is more severe and must be checked immediately to prevent catalytic converter damage.

Cleaning & Polishing

To prevent stripping the vehicle's wax finish, use only automotive car wash products, not dishwashing liquids. Polish at least twice a year to maintain and protect the finish.

Coolant (Antifreeze)

Check level at reservoir. Never open a hot radiator cap. If low, add a 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water. Change coolant annually on most vehicles.

 

Engine Air Filter

Inspect filter at each oil change. Replace annually or when leaking, torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs of wear.

Engine Oil and Filter

Intervals are built around an oil change every 3,000 miles, an accepted recommendation for the majority of motorists who are severe service drivers. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations by the car maker.

Exhaust

Inspect for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.

 

Fuel Filter

Inspect filter at each oil change. Replace if restricted or water contaminated or once a year on cars with carburetors. On cars with fuel injection, replace the filter every two years or 24,000 miles.

Hoses

Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted.

Lights

Replace the bulb immediately if light is out. Check fuses first.

 

Oxygen Sensor

Replace at the interval as recommended in the owner's manual or when other conditions dictate, such as failing an emissions test. Some cars have an oxygen sensor replacement light that appears when oxygen sensor replacement is needed. 1996 and newer cars have more than one oxygen sensor.

Power Steering Fluid

Check the fluid with the car warmed up. Add the correct type of fluid if low. If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated

Spark Plugs

Typical replacement intervals range between 30,000 and 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle and type of spark plug. Always consult your owner's manual for your specific vehicle.

 

Steering and Suspension

Inspect system annually, including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components. Replace if leaks, damage and loose mounting hardware are found. Symptoms of worn suspension include uneven tire wear and excessive bouncing after bumps.

Tire Inflation and Condition

Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at every oil change. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts or bruises along the sidewalls. Inflate tires and maintain at the recommended pressure. Replace tires if worn or damaged.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Check fluid level monthly. Some vehicles have two reservoirs. Do not use water. Use washer fluid only.

 

Wiper Blades

Replace every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.

 

The Car Care Council recommends changing your vehicle’s engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on the vehicle’s make and model, how you drive the vehicle and the conditions in under which you drive. Always consult the owner’s manual.