Pros say many New Mexicans are behind on car care as winter approaches

Pros say many New Mexicans are behind on car maintenance as winter approaches

As winter approaches, you don't want to be behind on car maintenance – but professionals say many New Mexicans are.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s the light on your car dashboard you may forget about or you just brush off but you may want to pay attention to it.

New data from Carfax shows many Americans do not and are behind on car maintenance. Officials say New Mexico is one state, in particular, that isn’t doing great.

Data shows:

  • 31% of people are behind on oil changes
  • 44% are behind on tire rotations
  • 22% are behind on both

“Unfortunately, New Mexico is behind average. Owners are even worse off than the national averages on tire changes or tire rotations, oil changes and like,” said Patrick Olsen, the editor-in-chief at Carfax.

Olsen says it’s important to read through the owner’s manual to know exactly how often to change your oil and do other maintenance.

“The days of getting your oil changed every 3000 miles are way behind us,” Olsen said. “It’s crucial that you know how often to change them to make sure you follow that. If you don’t get that work done, and there’s a problem with your engine, you may have voided your warranty by not keeping up with their maintenance.”

Bigger cars with bigger engines have different oil change requirements. If you don’t keep up, it can do some major damage.

“Oil changes on vehicles are super important because oil can internally burn,” said Jessica Mendoza, the store manager at Firestone.

It’s not only changing your oil that should be on top of your list.

“Every 10,000 miles there’s something to do. Even if it’s an engine air filter, a cabin air filter, tire rotation, coolant flush, brake fluid exchanges… they’re all at different mileages,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza says you should treat your car like your body. Follow up with checkups twice a year to prevent bad things from happening.