We know just how easy it is for "common everyday" issues with our vehicles to go unnoticed. We also know that these unnoticed issues will land you in bind that will most likely empty your wallet. Take preventative care and avoid those costly, unnecessary expenses. Our service manager, Dennis Teach, has some advice for you below that just may help:Brakes
When choosing a new vehicle, lots of people make their decisions with airbags, crumple zones, and several other safety features in mind. But many take for granted one of the most important safety systems a vehicle can offer -- the brakes. Few parts on your car will be as important to you (and your passengers) as the brakes, which are responsible for slowing the car down and bringing it to a stop. Having a healthy, well-maintained set of brakes could possibly mean that you'll never even need those airbags and crumple zones.
Most modern cars have disc brakes on all four wheels, though some cars still have drum brakes in the back and disc brakes up front. On a disc-brake-equipped vehicle, a set of heat-resistant pads grip the spinning brake rotor when you push the brake pedal, using friction to slow the wheel down and ultimately bring the car to a stop.Over time, those pads get worn out, reducing their ability to slow the car down. That's why it's important to change brake pads whenever it becomes necessary.
Oil and Filter
We recommend that you change your oil and filter every 5,000 miles. That's our best estimate. It may be too soon for many people and too late for a few, but for the vast majority, 5,000-mile oil changes will help your engine last to a ripe, old age.
You may want to consider changing your oil more frequently if:
- Jackrabbit starts, heavy acceleration or high-speed driving
- You live where the climate is extremely hot or cold
- You often drive on dirt roads
- Your engine is old and burns oil
Oil undergoes thermal breakdown due to high operating temperature. When this occurs, the oil becomes less effective as a lubricant. And without a good lubricant (read: expensive), parts of the engine rub together and wear each other out.Oil also contains additives that have the ability to neutralize acids. Over time, these additives get used up and stop being effective.Finally, oil can absorb water, dust and combustion byproducts and also hold them in suspension. Eventually, the oil gets saturated with this stuff and can't absorb any more. Then that stuff remains in the engine and can cause corrosion.Your engine won't last as long as it could. Oil serves many crucial functions, and clean oil performs those functions better than dirty oil. Oil is relatively cheap, and changing your oil every 5,000 miles is a very cheap insurance policy against major repairs down the road.
Ideally, it should be right at the full mark. If it's at or below the add mark, that means you're a quart low and should add a quart of oil to the crankcase. If it's in between the two marks, you can add part of a quart to bring it up to the full mark (the distance between add and full represents a quart, so use that to estimate how much of a quart you need). Be aware, however, that since oil flows slowly when it is cool, the dipstick may not immediately reflect any oil you just added. So estimate the amount of oil you need based on your first dipstick reading, and then check it again later that day or the next day to be sure you're near the full mark.
A word of caution: Be careful not to overfill your car's crankcase with oil. If you put in too much oil, the engine's crankshaft can actually come in contact with the oil. And because the crankshaft is turning at several thousand revolutions per minute, it can quickly whip your oil into a froth ? like the steamed milk that sits on the top of a cappuccino. Why is that bad? Well, the oil pump can't pump froth very well, and as a result, it can't get oil to the parts of the engine that need lubrication. The result ... a hefty boat payment to your mechanic.
If you are low on oil, you can add any grade of engine motor oil you like ? though we advise you to use the grade of oil recommended in your owner's manual.
You drive the same route to work every day?same open stretches, same intersections, same stop-and-go. But today there's a subtle discord in the usual harmony, a blip on your vehicular radar, a bad vibe in your mechanical karma. Shifts seem oddly late and soft. Later, as you pull into the drive, you sense something peculiar. Letting your car idle, you pull the dipstick out of your auto transmission. Fresh automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is bright red and has a distinct petroleum smell. Your dipstick shows a low level, is the color of institutional linoleum and smells like burnt steak. Your transmission fluid is badly in need of changing, and the tranny may already be damaged.
An overall inspection is the logical first step. A low fluid level may indicate a leak somewhere in the system, possibly at a cooler line that runs to the bottom of the radiator. Find it and fix it, then top up the level. Remember that, unlike the engine crankcase, it only takes about a pint to make the difference between the "Add" and "Full" marks. Also, make sure you use the correct ATF, which we'll discuss later. If you're lucky, the lag or shifting problem may just disappear after you add ATF.
The fluid should be bright red, clear and "sweet" smelling. If it's a smoky dark color, or has a burned odor, a complete change is needed, but the damage may already have been done.
Why change out bulbs in your vehicle- to prevent in getting a traffic ticket.
For high mileage vehicles, replacing the fuel filter annually for preventative maintenance is a good idea for two reasons. By the time a vehicle is six or seven years old, there can be a fair amount of rust and debris in the fuel tank. Rust can be formed by moisture and condensation, and debris can get into your tank anytime you add fuel. So changing it on a periodic basis can help minimize the risk of plugging.