Whether you own a sport utility vehicle for its off-road capabilities, strength, cargo space, or status, one thing remains true—it requires different maintenance and care to make it last longer and remain reliable.
When SUV owners take good care of their vehicles, they retain a higher resale value and it’s easier for owner and SUV to find true love without complaining about gas prices.
Driving an SUV
SUVs are not only bigger and more powerful than sedans and compact cars, they also have a higher center of gravity, making it easier to tip over if you turn too quickly or slide on ice, snow, or puddles. It’s also easy for them to skid easily if you aren’t driving with four-wheel drive on. Be sure to take corners slowly and brake earlier than you would with a car.
On the same side of the coin, give more room to brake as it takes a greater distance to stop and don’t tailgate other cars so you can avoid any collisions.
On a regular basis, it’s better to drive with at least half a tank of gas in the vehicle to improve mileage and prevent the fuel pump from working too hard. Many people love their SUVs but don’t love the cost of filling them up at the gas station. This is one of the ways to reduce that cost.
If you plan on working your SUV hard with carrying heavy loads or towing things, read and ask a mechanic on how to properly load the SUV efficiently so the weight of the objects is centered. It is also worth it to learn how to properly connect a trailer or vehicle to tow.
Take extra care of the body of your SUV with regular washes, spraying underneath and in the wheel wells. Apply a wax coating, especially if you go off-roading or into the wilderness where it’s extra dusty.
SUV Maintenance Schedules
Overall, maintaining an SUV’s engine and other working parts tends to be more expensive due to the larger sizes, equipment, and complexity of the vehicles. Keep a higher budget in mind for car repair and car services, better yet, set aside money for a rainy day car fund in case anything happens.
Read what the maintenance schedule is in the owner’s manual and follow its factory recommended maintenance as this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
It’s better to choose a car repair shop and stick to it so they know your car better. When you find one that you are interested in, start off with getting small services and repairs done to see how they do, then work up to bigger services. This way, they’ve earned your trust in case you need any big fixes like a transmission repair.
Since SUVs are built for off-roading, it’s important to make sure the suspension is in good condition as this prevents you from bouncing around as much. The tires also need special attention. Keep them pumped up to the proper tire pressure level and get them rotated too.
As with all cars, changing the engine oil and oil filter regularly is important for a smooth running engine. Check the transmission fluid too to make sure it isn’t going bad or top it off as this moves the power from the engine to the rest of your SUV.