Reading your owner’s manual is the first step in becoming an informed consumer. The manual explains how your car works as well as providing a detailed, recommended maintenance schedule specifically for your car. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, locate a dealership that sells your type of vehicle, contact the parts department and ask them to order one for you. Keep the manual in your glove compartment for quick reference. It is the definitive source of maintenance information for your vehicle.
You can determine your vehicle’s maintenance needs by paying attention to how and where you drive. Automobile manufacturers divide driving maintenance requirements into two categories – “normal” and “severe.” Follow the maintenance schedule that fits your driving habits.
Normal driving conditions:
- Highway driving on paved roads in relatively dust-free areas.
Severe driving conditions:
- Trips less than 10 miles
- Stop-and-go city driving
- Driving in extremely cold weather
- Dusty driving conditions
- Towing a trailer
- Idling for long periods
By following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, you save money on repairing and replacing prematurely worn parts. You also may save money on fuel consumption because your car will be running properly.