SAN RAFAEL − Most catastrophic engine failures stem from a lack of lubrication, whether engine oil or transmission fluid. In either case, being proactive about ongoing fluid maintenance is the key to maximizing the life of your vehicle’s engine.
One of the most important aspects of vehicle maintenance is having your oil changed at regular intervals—after all, a $75 service may save you $5,000 for a rebuilt engine. You should also make a habit of checking your oil level in between oil change appointments (at least once every 500 miles). Don’t wait until the red oil light comes on, which warns of an imminent catastrophic engine failure. If your oil light does come on, stop immediately and call for a tow to an auto repair shop.
Another critical part of engine lubrication is automatic transmission fluid. In the past, vehicle owners were advised to have their transmission fluid changed every 15,000 miles, but with today’s sophisticated technology, manufacturers are now saying it will last the lifetime of the transmission. That being said, your transmission’s lifetime won’t be very long if you don’t change the fluid; like any other engine fluid, it breaks down over time. To maximize your transmission’s lifespan, change its fluid every 30,000 miles.