One of the best ways to make sure your car’s operating at its peak is to regularly test battery, oil, and fluid levels. Car batteries may seem to last forever, but in reality the lifespan of the average battery is about 2-5 years. With proper care and maintenance, however, it can last six years or even more! That means less replacement costs and more money in your pocket.

Here to get you back on the road.

Your battery works because it’s regularly charged by your alternator, which is why a dead battery isn’t really “dead” and can be “jump started.” However, if your battery isn’t staying charged, that may mean it’s time for a new alternator, which can be a pricey endeavor. Still having trouble getting the car to start up, even with a charged battery and functioning alternator? It might be time to replace your car’s starter. Signs that you need to replace a starter are pretty hard to miss:

  • Grinding noises on startup
  • Leaking oil
  • Smoking from the car
  • Freewheeling
  • Similar issues

If you notice any of these things, don’t drive the car (if you can even get it to start). Call your local garage and get it seen right away.

While these are pretty serious car issues, you can avoid a lot of these big repairs by simply keeping up with your regularly maintenances. Schedule a routine service whenever your auto technician suggests it — don’t just go by whatever’s in your manual or your dealership’s suggestions, as they often stretch out the time between services in the hopes that you’ll need a new car sooner rather than later. An independent auto repair garage is the way to go for reliable suggestions. During routine maintenance, your tires will be rotated, your fluids changed, air filters replaced, and the technician will test battery and engine power. If you need repairs, like a new O2 sensor or a new alternator, your technician should okay that repair with you before they do anything to the car. For certain milestone services, your car may receive additional checks and replacements.

Don’t forget: the best way to extend the life of your engine is to test the battery regularly! Make an appointment for your next service today so you don’t forget, and keep up with that routine maintenance to keep your car happy.