No one said taking care of a car would be easy but with all the available resources, from the internet to dealership service departments, finding information is straightforward. While you may be able to do-it-yourself, it's important to know what needs to be changed and how often. Whether you like getting your hands dirty or would rather wait on your car, here's a quick FAQ on the most common services here at Bill Walsh Streator.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY OIL?
To be sure, check your owner's manual. Most cars require any oil change around every 7,500 miles or six months. Other models, like high-end luxury cars, can last for as long as 15,000 miles. Some cars with turbocharged engines, on the other hand, need an oil change every 5,000 miles. The 3,000-mile rule is outdated and getting an oil change that often is foolish. Quick change oil outlets push for an oil change every 3,000 miles because it means more business for them. Don't waste money on unnecessary oil change 
WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY BATTERY?
As a general rule, your ca's battery should be replaced every two to three years. Other variables come into play when it comes to battery health. The climate you live in and how often you drive can drastically effect your battery's life. If you aren't too confident about your car battery, consider buying a cheap tester or jump starter. Checking once a month won't take long and you'll be able to keep track of your battery's health.  
WHY SHOULD I ROTATE MY TIRES?
Tire rotations keep all four tires on the same track, so to speak. The front tires carry the weight of the engine and transmission whereas the rear tires have much less weight to carry. The front tires also lead the car on turns while the rear simply follow. Both of these factors result in the front tires wearing faster than the rear. When you rotate your tires, you're postponing how often you need to pay for new tires. 
CAN I TAKE CARE OF MY CAR FROM HOME WITHOUT EVER TAKING IT IN?
It's possible to learn basic car maintenance, from checking and changing your oil, to changing your own tires, and even replacing your battery. However, if you aren't confident in your abilities or if your car is backed by a warranty, you should definitely take the vehicle to be serviced by a professional. 
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY CAR TO A MECHANIC?
Lots of things could indicate your vehicle has a problem, but usually the first sign is that it's making a different sound than usual. Clunking noises, clicking, ticking, or squeaky brakes are all indicators that you should take your vehicle in to get looked at. Even if the problem is minor, letting a damaged part go for too long can cause damage to other parts of your car, and in the end the fix will be more expensive than just getting the first part looked at to begin with. 
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN MY WARNING LIGHTS COME ON?
Dashboard warning lights are there for a reason, no matter how hard we try to ignore that check engine light. A flashing light is typically a very bad sign, and you should pull over as soon as possible and call for help if that occurs. Otherwise, bring your vehicle to get serviced when one of these lights comes on. It could very well just be an issue with the sensor, but it's better to be safe than sorry.   
SOMETHING ABOUT MY CAR JUST DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT.
If you drive the same car every day, sometimes you can get attuned to the way it drives in a way that other people won't notice. Listen to your instincts! If the car feels shakier or if you feel like you're pushing the brakes harder than before, this could be a sign that your vehicle needs some attention from someone who can pinpoint a problem nobody else can see.