Preventative Maintenance: How to Prolong the Life of Your Chevy Part II
Along with the tips from part I, the following will help you keep your Chevy at its best for years to come!
Maintaining Your Brakes
Many people do not change their brake fluid on a regular basis, but if you want the longest life possible from your brakes, you will schedule a time to change the fluid. Brake fluid that is over two years old can become contaminated with water. This can cause rust, which can damage calipers, cylinder and ABS systems. You should change your brake fluid every two to three years to get the longest possible life from your brakes.
No matter when you decide to schedule your brake fluid change, you should make it a point to check the levels on a regular basis. If you see a significant drop in levels, you may have a leak, which can cause a loss of pressure.
Your owner’s manual will tell you which DOT fluid is right for your vehicle.
Maintaining Your Power Steering
Your power steering is an important part of your vehicle. It not only makes turning easier, it prevents excessive wear on tires and suspensions. It is also run by fluid, and while many people never change their power steering fluid, you should make it a point to change it at some point. It can become contaminated with debris, which can cause the fluid to lose its ability to perform.
Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of power steering fluid is right for your vehicle.
Maintaining Your Air Filter(s)
The air filter allows cool, outside air to flow into your engine without any outside contaminants like dirt, dust or debris flowing into the engine. Depending upon your driving conditions, you want to change the air filter regularly in order for your engine to deliver the best performance. A vehicle that is primarily used on dirt roads, dusty fields or other areas with contaminated air will want to change their air filters as frequently as every few months.
In addition to the engine air filter, you may have a cabin air filter that needs to be changed. Do this as well since it is the protection between you and the outside air. If you have a dust only filter, you can go a couple years between changes, but if you have a dust/odor filter, you may need to change it annually.
The PCV breather filter should be changed if you are replacing the PCV valve. It is located within the air cleaner housing.
Maintaining Your Fuel System
Clean fuel is essential in order to get the best performance from your vehicle. The fuel filter keeps dirt, debris, rust and other contaminants from entering into the engine from dirty fuel. If the dirt is not stopped at the filter, it can clog up the jets in fuel injection, which will keep them from delivering the proper amount of fuel. A diesel engine must have a clean fuel filter.
A fuel filter should be changed regularly in order to protect your engine from damage.
You can also help keep your engine clean by using a high grade of gasoline and adding a fuel system cleaner to your tank on a regular basis.
In addition to fluids and filters, you also want to do the following to keep your vehicle in top condition:
Tire Pressure – Check your tires monthly to ensure that you are running with the right pressure for the tire and the application. A tire that is too low will lower your fuel mileage. Make sure the tires are properly aligned.
Tire Wear – Replace your tires if the surface of the tread is flush with the wear bars. They should be 3/32 of an inch in depth.
Wiper Blades – Check and replace worn wiper blades regularly. They are essential to your ability to see.
While all of these things will help you to keep your Chevy running at its best, keep in mind that driving conditions, location and use will always play an important part in how often you change fluids and filters. With proper preventative measures, you can expect to get a long life out of your GM product.