Most of us know that vehicles need regular oil changes.
But if your maintenance starts and stops with an oil change, you could be in for a bumpy ride.
There are many other maintenance issues mechanics say drivers commonly ignore.
We got multiple auto professionals to come up with a list of five maintenance issues you shouldn't ignore.
1. Rotating tires, checking pressure
Nothing causes tire wear quicker than forgetting to rotate them.
Experts recommend rotating tires every six months or 5,000 miles. Rotating helps the tread wear more evenly and improves gas mileage.
"It will also really prolongs the life of your tires," says David Becker, owner of Wheeling Auto Center in Arlington Heights, Ill. Some auto shops rotate for free, while others charge a small fee, typically no more than $25.
It's also important to check the tire's pressure. Low or uneven tire pressure can create uneven wear on the tread and will burn more gas.
2. Proper fluid levels
Engine oil isn't the only fluid drivers should monitor, mechanics say.
Car owners should change engine coolant in intervals based on the manufacturer's recommendations in their owner's manual.
"If left unattended, the (properties) change and the coolant becomes corrosive and leaks can occur, as well as damage to metal components in the engine," says Stan Creech, owner of Creech Import Repair in Raleigh, N.C.
Experts recommend changing coolant every two years or 24,000 miles in most vehicles.
It's also important to periodically change the transmission and power steering fluids, according to the owner's manual guidelines. Over time, these fluids get dirty and need to be replaced to properly lubricate moving parts.
A transmission fluid change costs about $100 and should be done every 20,000 to 60,000 miles, based on manufacturers' recommendations.
Change your power steering fluid about every 50,000 miles, Creech says. He adds power steering fluid becomes dirty over time, which causes seal leaks.
3. Comprehensive inspection
A comprehensive inspection is critical before buying a car, but it's something you should also include as part of your car's general maintenance, auto experts say.
"The biggest thing you can do is get a full inspection every 15,000 miles," Becker says.
A complete inspection should include checking all the car's critical safety components — inside and out.
4. Wiper blades
This sounds simple, but it's something we often overlook, mechanics say.
Poorly performing blades can significantly limit vision during inclement weather such as snow and rain, especially at night.
Some mechanics recommend changing blades twice a year, but it depends on where you live, they say. A hot, sunny climate causes the rubber on blades to dry, while ice causes it to crack.
Jeff Gunning, service manager at Addison Auto Repair & Body Shop in Denver, says if the wipers are worn or torn and leaving streaking behind, they likely need to be replaced.
5. Timing, drive belts
Unfortunately, there is no way to know when your timing belt might go out; it usually just breaks. Most manufacturers don't recommend time or mileage interval to replace it.
The average lifespan of a timing belt — whose job is to open and close the engine's valves — is between 50,000 and 100,000 miles.
A timing belt costs $500 to $900 to replace but can cost much more if it breaks and causes damage to valves, pistons or the water pump.
A drive belt transfers power from the engine's revolutions to the alternator, water pump and air conditioning. A new belt costs $75 to $200, depending on your vehicle type.
"We recommend inspecting them every oil change," Creech says.