Even if you're not much of a car buff, it's important to ensure that you schedule regular oil changes for your vehicle. Doing so will keep your engine running smoothly and can even increase the lifespan of your vehicle. The frequency with which you should schedule these appointments depends on many variables -- it's not as simple as getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles, as was the customary guideline in years past. Today, synthetic oil can mean that you only need to get your vehicle's oil changed every 5,000 miles. Whatever your schedule, oil changes are an ideal time to have your technician perform some other quick checks on your vehicle while the oil drains, including these.
Take advantage of the time spent sitting in the auto shop to have your oil change technician check the pressure for each of your tires. He or she can do this job quickly and it saves you having to do it at home. The good news is that if any of your tires are low in air, the technician can fill them up and you won't be likely to be charged.
A serpentine belt that fails while you're driving will precipitate a call to a towing service, so it's useful to have a trained technician check the condition of this important belt while changing your oil. Serpentine belts can typically be checked without having to be removed -- and if there's a problem, many oil change centers can change the belt quickly for you -- extending the length of your appointment by only a few minutes.
It's always a good idea to check the health of your vehicle's exterior lights, and having someone help you with the work is ideal because this is often a two-person job. Have the technician give you the thumbs-up gesture upon seeing your daytime running lights, high beams, brake lights and turn signals. He or she can check them quickly while you work the appropriate controls from your driver's seat.
Many oil change centers check your various fluid levels as part of your oil change, although it's always a good idea to ensure that this task will be performed. By having someone check your brake fluid, coolant and even your windshield washer fluid, you'll be able to leave the auto shop confidently with the knowledge that your vehicle is running optimally.