Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Priorities...
Whether you perform your own vehicle maintenance or sublet the work to shops, this guide is an orientation to keeping your vehicle more reliable, roadworthy and safer. My focus is always preventive work that helps eliminate the need for roadside assistance, time consuming repairs and expensive, avoidable breakdowns. If your budget is tight, this guide will help you prioritize the more pressing work.
Some repairs and routine service simply cannot wait. One example is the timing belt replacement on an "interference" engine. When this routine procedure is due, postponing the service can lead to a broken belt or jumped belt cogs. Either can cause catastrophic engine damage.
Depending on your vehicle's specific needs, critical services may also include valve adjustment, annual or biennial brake fluid changes or periodic transmission band adjustment. (Example: Many Ram Cummins truck owners and shops are unaware of band adjustment requirements on the A727, A518/46RE, A618/47RE and 48RE transmissions used until early 2007.)
Prevent safety issues and costly repairs by knowing what your vehicle requires. Study the FSM and build these priorities into your vehicle budget.