I have a very simple question. How often should I have things checked out on my car, i.e. brakes, hoses, belts, etc.
That may be a simple question but it’s certainly an important one. I always recommend finding a good local mechanic to work on your car and included in that, your oil changes. Every few thousand miles when you have your oil changed is the perfect time to have other things checked out. This is why I don’t recommend those quick change oil establishments (this and a few other reasons like they don’t hire real mechanics and I’ve seen them really damage a few engines). If you have a mechanic you can trust you can mention that you’d like these items checked when you go in for those oil changes (if they’re at all honest they won’t try to replace things that don’t need changing), they also shouldn’t charge anything to check.
Prevention is the best medicine and it’s true in car repair as well.