When you want reliable performance from a car, consistent car maintenance will ensure it runs smoothly whenever you need to drive. However, this goes beyond visiting an auto service shop to repair major problems, as it also includes how you drive. Below are several strategies for what you should and shouldn't do to maintain the vehicle.


Respond quickly to service light indicators.

Whether the dashboard engine lights are telling you to check the engine or tire pressure, you should never ignore these indicators. These lights connect to sensors that directly monitor the systems inside the vehicle, and they only turn on when something is wrong. For example, the check engine light can be as simple as needing to secure the gas cap, or as significant as improper firing of the engine's pistons. Always inspect the cause of any light that appears.

car maintenance

Follow oil change guidelines.

Few car maintenance tasks are more important than an oil change. Engine oil lubricates the gears and moving parts of the engine so that they don't grind against each other. It also prevents friction, helping the vehicle stay cool and avoid overheating. However, the oil breaks down and collects contaminants, reducing its effectiveness. Most vehicles should get an oil change every six months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first. Check the vehicle's owners manual for specific guidelines.


Slam on the brakes.

Sharp braking greatly increases how quickly your brake pads and tires wear down. Over time, this deterioration will increase the time it takes for the vehicle to stop fully, increasing your risk of getting in an accident. Instead, drive defensively and leave plenty of space between any cars ahead of you. This will give you enough time to stop gradually and react to different road conditions.

Overload the car.

While your car can carry many items, you should avoid putting too much inside. The more weight that is inside the vehicle, the more you strain the suspension and other components. An overly heavy car also consumes fuel at a faster rate, reducing your gas mileage. Avoid filling up the trunk with heavy items whenever possible so that you don't exceed the maximum load rating.


From routine car maintenance to more intensive repair work, contact GSBP Automotive in Gulf Shores, AL. Their ASE-certified team has been serving drivers since 1985, providing high-quality preventive maintenance to keep your vehicle in top shape. Visit them online for more information about their services, and call (251) 968-7456 to schedule an appointment.