Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Preventative Maintenance?

A.

Preventative Maintenance is regular maintenance of your vehicle that helps keep your engine running efficiently and eliminating potential problems that may leave you stranded.

Manufacturers know that a properly maintained car will be more dependable, safer, last longer, and increase your satisfaction with their product. Preventative maintenance includes:

  • Servicing Windshield Wipers
  • Servicing Sparkplugs
  • Replacing Air Filters
  • Oil Change
  • Routine Hose Inspection
  • Battery Service
  • Battery Replacement

Prior to winter weather setting in, you should:

  • Check your anti freeze level and condition. Rust colored anti freeze means you may need to flush and refill the cooling system.
  • Check the level of you motor oil. If its been 3 months ot 3000 miles since you last oil change, it should be replaced.
  • Check you battery. Battery that are weak can fail on cold morning and your car won’t start.
  • Change your wiper blades to winter wiper-blades. these prevent ice build-up that can obstruct your view during operation in snow and ice conditions.

Prior to going on a trip, you should:

  • Check all lights. Check your headlights (high and low-beam), brakelights, turn signals, parking lamps and (if you have them) fog lights to make sure they are all operational. You should clean your headlights using glass cleaner to improve night visibility.
  • Check wiper blades. Inspect them for cracks or tears, and make sure they’re operational. If they’re in good shape, it’s still a good idea to clean the rubber blade with little glass cleaner.
  • Check all hoses. Look for any cracks or holes in hoses, and replace any that are not in good shape.
  • Check all belts. Inspect all belts to ensure that none are worn, loose or frayed.
  • Inspect the battery. If there is corrosion on the terminals, you can clean it away with a toothbrush and a pasty solution of water and baking soda.
  • Check all fluids. Check the reservoirs to ensure that your coolant and wiper fluids are at the proper levels. Check your oil using the dipstick. Check transmission fluid, power-steering fluid and brake fluid. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for advice on checking all the fluids.

Q. What Maintenance Should I be doing and when?

A.

These are generic service recommendations based solely on time or mileage not on visual appearance or measurement. Their purpose is to extend the life of your vehicle and help prevent breakdown.

Your vehicle’s requirements may differ depending on driving habits and/or owner’s manual recommendations. Check your owner’s manual and with your service advisor for specifics.

  • OIL – LUBE – FILTER: 3,000 miles to 5,000 miles
  • TIRE ROTATION: 3,000 to 5,000 Miles depending on tire style
  • PCV VALVE: Yearly, replace and service PCV system
  • WHOLE CAR DIAGNOSIS: Yearly and before purchase or sale
  • FUEL FILTER: Yearly or as needed
  • BATTERY SERVICE: Yearly or as needed
  • AIR CONDITIONING: Check every spring or as needed
  • RADIATOR COOLANT: Every two years, flush
  • BRAKE SYSTEM FLUSH: Every year
  • CLUTCH SYSTEM FLUSH: Every year
  • RADIATOR CAP: Replace every two years
  • ENGINE OIL FLUSH: 2 Years or 30,000 Miles
  • AUTOMATIC TRANS FLUSH: 2 Years or 24,000 miles
  • POWER STEERING FLUSH: 2 Years or 24,000 miles
  • EGR SYSTEM SERVICE: 2 Years or 24,000 miles
  • 4X4 TRANSFER CASE: 15,000 to 50,000 miles
  • CARBON CLEANING: 2 Years or 30,000 miles or as needed
  • THROTTLE-BODY SERVICE: 2 Years or 30,000 miles or as needed
  • RADIATOR & HEATER HOSES: 4 Years or 60,000 miles
  • DRIVE BELTS: 4 Years or 60,000 miles
  • TIMING BELT: 4 Years or 60,000 miles
  • DIFFERENTIAL FLUID: 15,000 to 50,000 miles
  • MANUAL TRANS SERVICE: 15,000 to 50,000 miles
  • VALVES: Adjust per owner’s manual
  • SCAN FOR COMPUTER CODES: When amber “CHECK ENGINE” Light is on
  • OXYGEN SENSOR: Per owner’s manual or as needed

Q. What is a Brake Job?

A. A brake job includes replacement of worn parts in order to restore the vehicle’s braking performance to new condition.

Brake components that should be replaced will obviously depend upon the age, mileage and wear. During a brake job, all componenets should be checked and the replacement requirements will chage form vehicle to vehicle.

A brake inspection should include inspection of the brake lining, rotors and drums, calipers and wheel cylinders, brake hardware, hoses, lines, and master cylinder.

Any hoses that are found to be age cracked, chaffed, swollen, or leaking must be replaced. Replacement hoses should have the same type of end fittings (double-flared or ISO) as the original.

Steel lines that are leaking, kinked, badly corroded, or damaged must also be replaced. For steel brake lines, use only approved steel tubing with double-flared or ISO flare ends.

A leaking caliper or wheel cylinder needs to be rebuilt or replaced. The same applies to a caliper that is frozen (look for uneven pad wear), damaged, or badly corroded.

Leaks at the master cylinder or a brake pedal that gradually sinks to the floor tells you that the master cylinder needs replacing. The rotors and drums need to be inspected for wear, heat cracks, warpage, or other damage. Unless they are in perfect condition, they should always be resurfaced before new linings are installed. If worn too thin, the should be replaced or you may fail your stat’s safety inspection.

Rust, heat, and age have a detrimental effect on many hardware components. It’s a good idea to replace some of these parts when the brakes are relined. On disc brakes, new mounting pins and bushings are recommended for floating-style calipers. High temperature synthetic or silicone brake grease (never ordinary chassis grease) should be used to lubricate caliper pins and caliper contact points.

On drum brakes: shoe retaining clips and return springs should be replaced. Self-adjusters should be replaced if they are corroded or frozen. Use brake grease to lubricate self-adjusters and raised points on brake backing plates where shoes make contact.

Wheel bearings should be part of a complete brake job on most rear-wheel drive vehicles and some front-wheel drive cars. Unless bearings are sealed, they need to be cleaned, inspected, repacked with wheel bearing grease (new grease seals are a must), and properly adjusted.

As a rule, tapered roller bearings are not preloaded. Finger tight is usually recommended. Ball wheel bearings usually require preloading.

Lastly, old brake fluid should always be replaced with fresh fluid as it can be contamination with water which can corrode brakelines and decrease braking capacity.

Q. Can an automotive dealership void your warranty?

A.
Nearly everyone has heard about someone who has taken a vehicle that has been modified with aftermarket parts to a dealer for warranty service, only to have the dealer refuse to cover the defective items. The dealer usually states that because of the aftermarket parts the warranty is void, without even attempting to determine whether the aftermarket part caused the problem.
This is illegal!
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