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Routine Maintenance & Auto Care Tips from Graff Chevrolet Bay City

We work hard to not only exceed our customers' expectations with timely and expert auto service, but also to make sure that our customers have all the information they need when it comes to understanding routine maintenance and auto care! It's our goal to help keep your vehicle in great shape throughout the year. In addition to our comprehensive selection of auto services, including oil changes, tire rotations, brake pad replacements, and so much more, we've gathered a few basic recommendations from the ASE Certified service technicians at our dealership for you to use!

We know your vehicle is a big investment and we want to help you keep it running well and avoid unnecessary expenses related to vehicle repairs. Check out our routine maintenance and auto care tips below and click through the individual routine maintenance pages to the left. Our helpful team would be more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding your vehicle's needs or to set you up with a service appointment. You can also easily schedule a service appointment online.

Routine maintenance
  • Keep a vehicle service log. Keeping a record of all maintenance and repair procedures is imperative to your vehicle’s health. You can keep an organized sheet in your vehicle with notes on past and upcoming services, a checklist and calendar reminders on your smartphone, or a folder with past service sheets at home. Use whichever method is most convenient for you! By having service done at Graff Chevrolet Bay City, our team will keep record of your last service appointment, the status of your vehicle, and from there, can help recommend future services and service dates to keep you up to date on your routine maintenance needs.

  • Follow Scheduled Maintenance. Scheduled maintenance happens at critical points in an engine's life and is very important to complete when your engine reaches those milestones! The mile markers for each set of scheduled maintenance (i.e., 30,000 miles) and services recommended, are different for every vehicle, depending on the engine, drive train, transmission, etc. Check your Owner's Manual for specific information on GM recommended scheduled maintenance, or ask our team next time you're in for an oil change! We'll always inspect your vehicle's critical components and suggest services as needed when you come to the Graff Bay City Service Center.

  • Go easy on your vehicle. By taking it easy on a regular basis you can help extend the life of your vehicle and save money on unnecessary component replacements. Some actions you can take include: warm up your car in the winter for only about 30 seconds before driving, don't wait until the gas gauge drops to "E" to fill up, accelerate normally but put the pedal to the metal when necessary, avoid frequent speeding, don't ride your brakes or do frequent fast and heavy stops, and avoid hitting potholes as you can. If you have a brand new car with under 1,500 miles, however, there are specific steps to follow to break your engine in. During this period, it's suggested to avoid driving at a constant speed, vary the engine's RPM frequently but don't push it to the limit, avoid going over 80 miles per hour, and follow the oil-life monitor built into each GM vehicle for servicing.

  • Wash & clean your vehicle regularly. Michigan winters can be harsh on your vehicle, and so can the summers! While your car is made to last through all seasons in the Mitten, you can make the exterior and interior last longer and wear less quickly by washing it and keeping it clean. Avoid build-up of dirt or road salt, which can be corrosive to your paint over time, by going through the car wash every once and a while. Protect the surfaces and materials against diminishing on the inside by cleaning them with special vehicle-formulated products or by having your interior detailed.

  • Buy the right kind of fuel for your vehicle. Filling up your gas tank with a higher octane rating fuel than required by your vehicle, like Premium as opposed to Unleaded, is a waste of money. Your engine is built to run on a specific type of fuel, and by using the recommended fuel, you'll achieve the best efficiency! Some sports cars or performance-based vehicles with high compression engines will require Premium to avoid engine knock. All you have to do to figure out which fuel type is recommended is check your Owner's Manual!

  • Consult your Owner's Manual. Your Owner's Manual should be the first place you look for any advice on fluid types, tire pressure levels, scheduled maintenance, etc. This booklet is usually stored in the glove compartment and holds tons of information on your engine, infotainment system, tech features, and more – all specific to your make, model, and trim level. Consult the physical Owner's Manual in your vehicle, access it through the GM Owner Assistance Centeronline, or ask one of our ASE Certified technicians at Graff Bay City to assist you with any questions you might have about your car, crossover, SUV, or truck!

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