Preventative Car Maintenance: The Importance of Following a Vehicle Maintenance Calendar

A mother and son checking their car's oil in their driveway.

Preventative maintenance is an essential step in helping to keep your vehicle performing as it should for as long as possible. “Preventative” maintenance refers to the regular and routine servicing of your vehicle’s parts and components that will help prevent unplanned equipment failures in the future.

One of the best ways to help keep track of these essential tasks is by utilizing a maintenance calendar and the recommendations in your car’s owner’s manual. Following a set schedule will enable you to stay on top of your routine repairs while also addressing any seasonal maintenance tasks you should complete, such as testing the air conditioning, replacing air filters, or even checking up on your tire pressure.

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The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

As mentioned, preventative maintenance is exactly as it sounds: preventative. The idea is to handle minor and routine repairs consistently to reduce the chance of something serious breaking under the hood. For the most part, preventative maintenance tasks are relatively cheap, with some being completely free. If you are unsure of the type of preventive maintenance you should be doing on your vehicle, check your owner’s manual for more details.

However, no two vehicles are the same. Preventative maintenance, as well as costs, can look different from vehicle to vehicle. For perspective, the annual cost to maintain a Nissan is estimated to be around $500 for the average owner. However, if you own an older vehicle, you will have a greater likelihood of needing to pay for more significant repairs.

In general, preventative maintenance is far cheaper than any significant repair. Checking tire pressure, for example, is entirely free, as is checking your vehicle’s battery level if you own a multimeter. You can even find more peace of mind with the help of EnduranceAdvantageTM. As the most comprehensive vehicle protection plan on the market, you can be sure that you’re covered for any costly and unexpected repairs, along with up to $3,500 going towards regular maintenance costs. That means services like those tire rotations, alignments, and filter/oil changes are all covered at no cost to you.

How Maintenance Changes Depending on the Time of Year

While year-round care is vital in maintaining your vehicle, some routine vehicle checkups can vary depending on the time of the year. By setting a preventive maintenance schedule, you can be sure that you take care of all the necessary seasonal tasks your vehicle needs throughout the year.

Spring

  • Check belts and hoses for tears or uneven wear – Total Cost: Free
  • Inspect your windshields and windows for cracks – Total Cost: Free

Summer

  • Top off vehicle fluids, such as coolant Total Cost: $-$$$ (Varies depending on fluid and necessary levels)
  • Double-check tire pressure Total Cost: Free
  • Check vehicle battery level Total Cost: Free

Fall

  • Double-check your vehicle headlights and taillights Total Cost: Free
  • Check your oil and oil filter – Total Cost: $ (Low)

Winter

  • Replace windshield wipers – Total Cost: $ (Low)
  • Consider changing tires (if you are in an area with extreme cold) – Total Cost: $$ – $$$ (Average to Expensive)
  • Checking your vehicle breaks – Total Cost: $$ (Average)

As the seasons change, it’s important to address all the potential maintenance that the changing weather may have caused. For example, your tires can expand and contract when exposed to rapidly changing temperatures which can leave you more susceptible to a potential blowout. Excessive heat can negatively impact vehicle battery life or impact fluids under the hood while colder weather can cause cracks to develop in mechanical belts under the hood of your vehicle.

By combining seasonal and year-round preventative maintenance tasks, you can help your vehicle run at its highest level. Having a protection plan such as EnduranceAdvantage can also help you stay on track for your preventative maintenance calendar while protecting your vehicle from any unexpected and costly breakdowns and repairs that your insurance provider can’t cover.

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Why Preventative Maintenance Can Save Money 

As discussed, while the average maintenance cost per year if you own a Nissan may be roughly $500, certain significant repairs can cost far more without proper preventative maintenance.

For example, failed air pumps in Nissan Altima’s have been known to cost around $1,335, and a blown head gasket can run as high as $2,099. Even a single A/C Condenser can cost roughly $780. However, it is essential to remember that not all vehicles will have the same cost as those just mentioned depending on the make and model of your vehicle, but they are likely to be within a similar price range.

While unexpected repairs and breakdowns can occur at any time, having a proper preventative maintenance schedule will undoubtedly help you identify and address any problems before they can potentially get worse. Even better, by having your vehicle protected with the help of an Endurance protection plan like EnduranceAdvantage, you can save even more on potentially costly breakdowns and regular maintenance tasks.

Protecting Your Vehicle with Endurance

Preventative maintenance is undeniably one of the most important steps you can take to help keep your vehicle running properly. With the added protection of any of Endurance’s vehicle protection plans, you can rest easy knowing any unexpected and costly breakdowns are covered at no cost to you. You can also upgrade to any level of EnduranceAdvantage and receive up to $3,500 worth of regular maintenance costs per year! Not only will you have the most comprehensive coverage available, but you can also stay on track of your maintenance schedule with services such as tire rotations, wheel alignments, and up to two oil and filter changes per year covered at no cost to you.

For more information about EnduranceAdvantage or any of our auto protection plans, request a free quote today. You can also visit our Learning Center to find more helpful and informative articles on topics such as common maintenance issues, FAQs, comparisons and more.

A Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) is often referred to as an “auto warranty” or an “extended car warranty,” but it is not a warranty. A VSC does, however, provide repair coverage for your vehicle after the manufacturer’s car warranty expires. A VSC is a contract between you and a VSC provider or administrator that states what is a covered repair and what is not. Not all vehicles qualify for coverage; Endurance does not offer VSCs in California.