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Following your vehicle’s factory maintenance schedule will certainly lead to a positive driving experience. That said, it is important to remember that manufacturer’s recommendations are just that — general guidelines.

It’s also critical that you become proactive by practicing preventative car maintenance. For example, driving style (constant stop-and-go traffic or long-distance travel), climate conditions (extreme hot or cold), and environment (dust, water, salt) also dictate how often you should maintain your vehicle. You may need to replace your air filterbrakesfluidsoilbelts, hoses, etc. more often than the recommended maintenance schedule.

Don’t wait for your scheduled car service schedule or until you have a breakdown. Be proactive and save yourself headaches, hassles and the risk of dealing with major problems and costs down the road!


Many batteries are advanced and no longer require too much maintenance. To be on the safe side, you should know where your car’s battery is located and check it periodically to ensure it is not leaking acid and has adequate water in it to prevent it from failing.

Most batteries also have a condition indicator that displays different colors to indicate how the battery is functioning. Blue means the battery is functioning normally, red means it’s time to add distilled water, and white means charging is necessary. Simple directions can usually be found on the side of the battery. Our auto repair shops throughout North Carolina and Virginia are certified in batteries and will gladly examine and replace your battery, as needed.


Another preventative maintenance area is the antifreeze level in your automobile. Antifreeze keeps your engine temperatures stable in all climate and driving conditions. Always be sure you have the right level of antifreeze in your car — fooling around with the cooling of your car’s complex mechanical parts is an unnecessary risk and can be prevented, if checked regularly.

Invest a few dollars in a bottle of antifreeze and keep it handy in your trunk or backseat. Antifreeze should always be added when the engine is cool. If the engine is warm, use caution. Use a funnel as you would when adding motor oil to avoid splashing this greenish, toxic chemical on other parts of the car.


To receive an accurate assessment of your tire alignment, bring your car to one of our skilled NC or VA auto mechanics and have it put on a computerized tester. Having this test done on a regular basis is affordable and can really save you money in the long run.

If you want, you can test the alignment yourself on a flat street. Drive the speed limit and leave a hand on the wheel for safety, but don’t actually steer the car for a few seconds. If the car veers in one direction and you need to manually keep your car driving straight, make an alignment appointment at one of our auto service centers to get your car aligned.

Check for optimized tire pressure as well. About 32 psi to 361 psi on a gauge is about average for a mid-sized sedan, but check your owner’s manual to be sure. Slightly deflated or unbalanced tires will not only cause shakiness when you drive at highway speeds, but will eventually warp the tires and reduce your gas mileage.

A way to avoid this is to always buy new tires in pairs so you can put the new ones on the front and move the old front ones to the back. This usually lets you get more use out of them. Our tire shops carry top-of-the-line tire brands for when your tires are worn and not safe to drive.


The air filter on the engine, called the air intake, prevents dust and dirt from entering the engine. Take care of your engine by replacing your air filter when necessary. Checking the air filter only takes a few minutes, and our mechanics would be glad to change the filter for you.


When it comes time to sell your car or make repairs, having maintained some of these basic areas will really pay off.

Colony Tire’s shops are located throughout NC and VA and service all areas of preventative maintenance. Stop by or give us a call to have your vehicle maintenance areas checked over by our highly trained professional auto technicians!