Myrtle Beach Preventative Car Maintenance Guide
We love it when you come in to visit us at Turn Key Auto Repair in Myrtle Beach. Helping fix your car and being your trusted mechanic is what we are all about. However, we would prefer you just stop by for a cup of free coffee instead of a costly vehicle repair. This comprehensive guide will outline all the preventative care to keep your car or truck on the road. Follow this guide, read your vehicle’s specific manual, and visit us for your routine maintenance and you’ll enjoy many happy, worry-free years with your car or truck.
Preventative Car Maintenance Checklist
The handy checklist below will give you an idea of what preventative maintenance needs to be completed, and when, to keep your car or truck on the road. Myrtle Beach in particular can be rough on your vehicles, stop & go traffic, heat, road conditions, and salty air means if you keep up on your preventative maintenance your car repairs will be less frequent. This guide is just a starting point and you should reference your owners manual for specific intervals of care.
(30,000 or more)
|Oil & Filter||✓|
|Wash & Detail||✓|
Monthly Preventative Car Maintenance
Each month, really every time you drive, you will want to keep an eye on how your vehicle handles and address any “funny feelings” as soon as they come up.
- Warning Lights: Keep an eye out for any warning lights on your dash, most modern cars do an excellent job telling you if something is wrong. Don’t ignore these!
- Unusual Sounds: Even if you don’t get any warning lights, listen to your car and investigate any odd sounds. You can learn more about what car noises you don’t want to ignore in our article right here.
- Tire Pressure: You should always keep an eye out on your tires, they’re the only thing sticking your car to the road. As you walk up to your car or truck, just note if you see anything odd such as worn out tread, low air, and so on. If you see any issues at all, get it addressed right away!
- Battery & Battery Cables: Don’t be afraid to open that hood every once in a while for a basic inspection. Check your battery terminals and make sure they are secure and free of corrosion.
- Wipers & Wiper Fluid: Good windshield wipers and plenty of fluid are the difference between seeing and not seeing the road. Keep an eye to make sure your wipers are in good repair. This is an easy change on your own, or we can swap them out when you’re in for your next oil change.
- Exterior Inspection: Just paying attention to your vehicle can go a long way in preventing any issues. Pay attention to your tires, paint, windshield, lights, and so on as you’re walking toward your car or truck. Catching a broken taillight is easy and can save you a ticket.
- Wash & Detail: The Myrtle Beach salt air and road grime can wear away the delicate paint finish on your car or truck. A good washing helps your car look good now, but also helps keep it looking good long term.
- Keep it Fueled Up: While getting gas is not always thought of as “maintenance,” making sure you have at least a quarter tank or more is always smart. Also, as we head into hurricane season a full tank of gas can be a lifesaver if you ever have to evacuate the grand strand.
Quarterly Preventative Car Maintenance
Most quarterly (approximately 3,000) miles will be done at our car repair shop, but you can help by keeping an eye on the below and making sure you come in for regular maintenance. We check all your car’s vitals during your multi-point oil change and inspection, but it’s always good for you to be aware of the following:
- Brakes & Fluid: Checking your brakes regularly is the best way to ensure you’ll be safe in Myrtle Beach’s stop and go traffic. Checking your entire system is part of our multi-point inspections.
- Oil & Filters: Every three months, or 3,000 miles (depending on your vehicles maintenance manual) your oil and oil filter should be changed. If you’re in need of an oil change, be sure to check our coupon’s page out before coming in to the shop.
- Cabin Filter: Typically a cabin air filter should be changed annually, however in Myrtle Beach changing your cabin filter may make sense. You can easily change a cabin filter yourself or leave it to the pros here at Turn Key.
- Coolant: Keeping an eye on your coolant/antifreeze is important, that’s why we check it every time you visit. You can also check it yourself or keep an eye on your dash for any tell-tale warning lights.
Annual & Longer Term Preventative Maintenance
Some car and truck preventative care doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is critical. For instance, your spark plugs and ignition system may only be checked every 60-90,000 miles, but leaving this system unchecked can put you on the side of the road. Just like quarterly preventative care, the mechanics at Turn Key Auto Repair will handle these items for you.
- Air Filter: Most manufacturers recommend changing your air filter annually. However if you find yourself driving in dusty conditions you may want to change your car or truck’s air filter more often.
- Suspension: You can tell a lot about your suspension just by driving. If you start to find your car is not as responsive as it was, or your ride is bumpy, it may be a suspension issue. With careful driving, your suspension system should be worry free for years.
- Exhaust System: Your car’s exhaust system should last for years. However if you ever suspect a problem have a certified mechanic check your system right away.
- Hoses: We visually inspect your hoses on most visits, but you can also lift the hood and make sure your belts and hoses are all in good shape. You’re looking to make sure there are no cracks, bulging, and they are not brittle. We recommend changing your belts and hoses every several years, but annual inspection will keep you on the road worry-free.
- Fuel Filter: Your fuel filter is not something that you’ll need to replace very often. On modern cars, using quality gas your fuel filter will easily last tens of thousands of miles.
- Spark Plugs & Ignition System: When your spark plugs are old you will start seeing lower gas milage, poor acceleration, and a multitude of other issues. Depending on your vehicle and type of spark plugs, you may get 100,000 miles or more before a change is needed. Consult your manual.
- Fluids (other than Oil): Your car or truck runs on a lot more than gas and oil. Keep an eye on your dash and check your manual for when your transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant and other liquids should be replaced. One fluid you never have to worry about is blinker fluid.
In Conclusion, Saving Money & Keeping Your Car On The Road Is Easy… If You Follow The Checklist.
The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true for your car as well as you. Keep an eye on the simple things now, and you’ll only need to visit us when there’s a more serious issue. When you’re ready to come in for either your routine maintenance or repair, check out our money-saving car repair coupons first, and then make your appointment by calling us at (843) 293-6793 or using our online appointment form here. At Turn Key, we specialize in Myrtle Beach auto repair for cars, trucks and everything in between. We’ve been your local shop for years and looking forward to being your trusted mechanic.