Mechanically Speaking: Maintenance list is worth following

It is very easy to miss some of the bigger maintenance items on that once a year pilgrimage to the jiffy lube at the mall.

If you are starting to think that the car that you currently own and maintain has cost you nothing in maintenance other than oil and filters and gas then you are likely not doing all the maintenance that it needs.

Many of you are now driving vehicles that tell you when your car needs service. In many cases that may only be once a year. If that means only one trip to the quick lube once a year I would recommend not keeping that vehicle for too long. Listening to the car salesman on the radio might be just the thing to do. It is time to buy something new. Again!

Cost effective ownership? I don’t think so. You do get to drive a new car more often though.

I make my living maintaining and repairing vehicles. So my opinion does have some bias.

It is very easy to miss some of the bigger maintenance items on that once a year pilgrimage to the jiffy lube at the mall.

Your vehicle is doing just fine and other than your monthly payment to “name of manufacturer”, Finance Canada maintenance costs have been next to nothing. Thank goodness because that payment is about all that your finances can handle.

Well, what maintenance items could you be missing? Open your owner manual and take a look.

Let’s say you drive a late model 2008 Ford half ton pickup truck with a small V8 engine and an automatic transmission. It is now seven years old and has 150,000 kilometres.

The maintenance schedule has a lot of information in it. Some of the information applies to you and some does not.

Many maintenance items are different depending on how you use your vehicle. Do you use your vehicle to tow? Do you take it off road? Are all your trips short?

Essentially, are you going to apply the normal service schedule or the severe service schedule?

Looking closely at the list there is no service that requires only fresh oil and a filter. A multipoint inspection must always take place. Fluid levels, tire pressures and condition, exhaust system, lights, battery, the list goes on. It is fairly substantial.

There is a monthly inspection category. It includes things like tire pressure and condition, your engine oil level and your windshield washer fluid level.

There is a way more comprehensive six-month inspection that includes some lubrication items that are often forgotten.

Lubricate all hinges, external door locks, and latches. Lubricate door weather strips.

One very important item often forgotten is cleaning all the drain holes that allow the water to run out. If you park under leafy trees you may have already experienced a wet interior from backed up cowl drains (under the windshield).

Every second time the oil and filter is changed you should also be getting a full brake inspection and that is more than just peeking into the wheels with a flashlight. The wheels must come  off.

Six years have gone buy. You need fresh coolant. When 144,000 kilometres have gone by. Time for some spark plugs.

Did the automatic transmission get new fluid and a filter at 100,000 kilometres?

The list of maintenance items is daunting and they take time to do properly.

Sure, many of them will slip through the cracks and or be ignored without immediate consequences.

The consequences are costly though. I see the results frequently.

Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail:

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read