My Dog Ate My Owner’s Manual – Car Maintenance You Can’t Forget

My Dog Ate My Owner’s Manual – Car Maintenance You Can’t Forget
  • Opening Intro -

    You've lost your car's owner's manual, but take heart: not all is lost.

    Countless owner's manuals have been uploaded to the Internet and can easily be viewed online.


By Cedric Sheldon

Barring the easy availability of an owner’s manual, you may need to order a replacement from the manufacturer. That becomes a daunting prospect if your brand, such as Plymouth, was eliminated or if your car is a classic and even the fan club is hard to keep up with.

Maintenance Procedures

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to ensure that your car is maintained properly. We’re listing them from the more frequent to the less often:

Oil changes — You don’t need to change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles unless you own an aged classic or drive a taxi. It doesn’t hurt to change the oil and oil filter more frequently, but it is an expense that can be delayed for 5,000 miles or longer with most modern cars. Your mechanic should have information about oil change intervals including for your older model.

Tire rotations — Rotating tires twice per year is good practice if put 15,000 miles or more on the odometer. Regularly rotating your tires will extend tire life and save you money. If you bought your tires from a tire store, follow up rotations may be included with installation. Let someone else handle what you’ve already paid for.

Brake system — Brake pads that have worn need to be replaced. Quite easily, this is something that you can see for yourself as disc brakes typically come with a wear indicator. Attached to a brake pad, a wear indicator will begin to grind against the rotor and make a squealing noise whenever you apply the brakes. When you begin to hear that nose, then examine your brakes. Put it off for too long and you’ll also have to have the rotors machine or replaced. And that gets expensive!

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Tune ups — Annual tune ups are a thing of the past with intervals of two years and 30,000 miles or more sufficient. What you need to keep an eye on are the fuel filter, the spark plugs and spark plug wires, the positive crankcase ventilation valve, belts, fluids and the battery. If you have an older car with a distributor cap and rotor, then these need to be replaced from time to time. Cars without ignition timing need to be adjusted too.

You can save yourself some grief and many headaches by working with a mechanic who knows your car. An expert can give your car a thorough look over and make maintenance recommendations as needed.

Author Information

Cedric Sheldon writes for a Toyota News blog where he shares information about Toyota oil parts, and other important components.

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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".