Check out our answers to some common questions about how to better take care of your vehicle.
Q. How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
Q. Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
Q. What does it mean if my "check engine" or "service engine soon" light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle's engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.
Q. What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem - if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can cause severe burns. The best thing to do is have your car towed to the nearest, trusted auto repair facility.
Q. When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
Q. Why is engine oil milky brown?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (or other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician immediately.
Q. How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
Q. Should I consider using synthetic motor oil in my vehicle?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Or for vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), and vehicles that operate in extremely cold or hot climates. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes.
Q. When should I replace my car's fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car's fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
Q. When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs.
Q. I need to replace a burned out fuse, what should I do?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to "blow," you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.
Routine vehicle maintenance can be a difficult task to keep up with. However, there can be serious implications of not staying up to date on your car’s maintenance schedule.
Research shows that 80% of cars have at least one component in need of maintenance.
There are some basic items in or on your car that should be regularly checked or replaced.
Power steering fluid
The best way to ensure each maintenance item of your car is in order is to consult your owner’s manual or take your vehicle taken into an auto service facility get it inspected by a certified mechanic. Getting a thorough inspection is the best route to ensure you do not miss anything.
Consequences of Procrastinating
Failing to take care of your vehicle by having it regularly maintained can have negative effects.
High expenses – A reason many people use for not keeping their car maintained is cost. Unfortunately, regular maintenance left uncompleted can lead to much higher expenses down the road.
Accidents – Sometimes your car is trying to tell you something. Things such as squeaky brakes left untreated can lead to much worse problems such as brake failure that can lead to serious accidents.
Severe damage – As you can expect, leaving little problems unrepaired can lead to increased damage to your vehicle. A little problem is much easier to remedy than trying to undo severe damage.
Ways to Save
There are a few ways you can help yourself and save a few dollars while still keeping your car’s maintenance up to date.
Coupons – Many auto service facilities provide coupons or discounts.
Proactive inspection - Using your owner’s manual as a guide, always follow the recommended maintenance schedule of your car. Check fluid levels and inspect components inside and outside of your car regularly.
Trust – Find a reputable, honest auto service facility you can trust.
Those who treat their vehicles well and commit to routine maintenance end up saving money in addition to enjoying their car for much longer.