3 Easy-to-Miss Maintenance Items That Can Cause Big Problems

By Justin Cupler | August 8th, 2018

Maintaining your vehicle is the best way to keep it running in top shape for years to come. But we’re not talking about just oil changes and tire rotations. There are other maintenance items that are less publicized but are equally important. Here are three big maintenance items that many car owners overlook but can cause expensive issues down the road if ignored.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Your vehicle’s automatic transmission uses fluid to act as a hydraulic oil to facilitate gear changes, lubricate the moving parts, clean away debris, and cool the transmission. This fluid goes through extreme heating and cooling, which can combine with dirt and debris and cause the fluid to break down if you do not change it regularly. Changing the fluid according to the manufacturer’s recommendations will help prevent this broken-down fluid from causing any damage to the transmission.

Most manufacturers recommend a flush or a filter and fluid replacement once every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specifics.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid transfers the pressure you apply to the brake pedal to the brake calipers to stop the vehicle. This fluid deals with extreme heat, but it can handle the heat just fine when it’s new. But because this fluid is hygroscopic — retains water — the fluid’s boiling point can fall as the level of retained water increases. Boiling fluid can introduce air into the brake system and cause failure. Also, water wreaks havoc on brake lines and seals. Exchanging the brake fluid can help prevent these issues.

Many manufacturers do not list a recommended service interval for the brake fluid, but most technicians will suggest swapping it out every 60,000 miles.

Engine Coolant

Coolant — a mixture of water and antifreeze — flows through your vehicle’s engine to help regulate its temperature and keep the cooling system’s moving parts lubricated. Over time, the heat breaks down the coolant, turning it into a gel-like substance that can clog the system and cause big problems. Changing the coolant at the prescribed time can help prevent this.

Every manufacturer has its own recommendations to coolant-exchange intervals, so check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for details. Most manufacturer recommend doing this service once every 60,000 to 80,000 miles.

Need one of these maintenance items taken care of on your vehicle? Come by the Garber Toyota service department serving Fox Lake, Illinois and see what specials we have for you. And no, you need not own a Toyota vehicle to take advantage of our top-notch service offers. You can also schedule a service appointment online.


Posted in Maintenance, Service