SERVICE TIPS

HOME > QUESTIONS? > SERVICE TIPS

Why Preventative Maintenance?

When you maintain your vehicle regularly, the vehicle will be more dependable, safer, last longer, and maintain its value. Preventive maintenance will save you money on expensive component replacement such as engines and transmissions in the future. It will also provide better fuel economy and help the environment by reducing emissions.



Engine

Engine TipsWhen a vehicle sustains major engine damage, the owner typically feels that they need to get a new vehicle. In some cases, this makes sense, but in many cases, a new vehicle is not necessary. Replacing the engine with a rebuilt or remanufactured engine is considerably less expensive. A rebuilt engine is completely broken down and put back together by skilled technicians. They use the core engine parts and replace everything that is worn away from normal use. All of the components are replaced with new parts. This includes the pistons, connecting rods, bearings, and all other vital components that are exposed to normal wear. Rebuilt engines are also backed by a warranty and are often more sound than the original engine.



Transmission

Transmission TipsThe transmission is the component that makes the vehicle move. Power from the engine is transferred to the transmission which uses a series of spinning gears to move the wheels through constant velocity axles on a front wheel drive or through a driveshaft and universal joint into the rear axle on rear wheel drive vehicles. It is important to maintain the transmission because it is a key component of the vehicle it is also an expensive part to replace. Maintaining clean fluid in the transmission maintains the lubricity of the fluid which helps prevent wear of important internal components of the transmission.



Belts & Hoses

Belts & Hoses TipsYour belts and hoses are a vital part of your engine, charging system, cooling system, and air conditioning. If you don't perform normal maintenance on the belts and hoses chances are you are going to be left stranded. Your belts run all of the power accessories on your vehicle like the A/C, Alternator, Power Steering, on some cars, even the fan is driven by a belt. The timing belt keeps the crankshaft and camshaft(s) synchronized. If that belt breaks you will almost always need a new motor. Your hoses carry vital engine fluids from place to place.



Brake System

Brake System TipsThe brake system on your vehicle is the most important safety system. Without brakes, your vehicle will not stop. When applied, the brake system uses hydraulic pressure through your brake lines. This causes your brake pads and shoes to either squeeze the rotor if you have rotors or press against the drum in vehicles with drum brakes. Some vehicles have a combination of both. This is what slows the vehicle down. Brakes are a normal wear part on the car. Eventually they will need to be replaced.



Coolant

Coolant TipsA vehicle's cooling system is vital to the dependability of your vehicle's engine. The coolant system's main duty is to remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission. The radiator helps to dissipate the heat. You may hear your mechanic ask if you have ever replaced your water pump. Your water pump circulates coolant through the system so that it is constantly flowing through the radiator and engine. In result, it will cool the engine significantly. In the coolant system there is also a thermostat which will open and close restricting the flow of the coolant to regulate the engine temperature.



Electrical

Electrical TipsThe vehicle's starting and charging systems ensure dependability. If one of these systems is malfunctioning, you may experience trouble starting your vehicle. The alternator is driven by a belt. When the belt is running the alternator it is using kinetic energy (spinning) to create a charge. This charge is sent to the battery. Your battery stores the electrical charge created by the alternator which is what starts your vehicle.



Fluids and Filters

Fluids & Filters TipsThe filters in your vehicle are important for the operation and comfort of the vehicle. The cabin filter traps contaminants from entering the passenger compartment of a vehicle. It removes dust, pollen, pollutants, bacteria, and many other outside elements that may find their way into the vehicle. The oil filter filters the oil removing any contaminants in the oil so that it can lubricate key engine parts without restriction. The air filter keeps the same contaminants as the cabin filter from entering the engine cylinders, which without would contaminate the oil as well. The fuel filter removes contaminates from the fuel that is put into the engine.



Emission System

Emission System TipsThe emissions system in your vehicle are a vital part in keeping your engine running efficiently, and cleanly. If you keep your emissions system maintained, you will maintain good fuel economy and lower pollutants from your vehicle. The emissions system controls the emissions, exhaust, and pollutants using an array of sensors, computers, and exhaust components. The emissions system reduces harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and nitrogen oxide (NOx). It also prevents fuel vapors from escaping the fuel tank.



Fuel System

Fuel System TipsYour vehicle's fuel system works directly with the engine control system to produce the lowest emissions, and the best performance. The fuel travels from the fuel tank, through a filter, and up to the injectors in the engine. Fuel pressure is regulated by a pressure switch which helps the engine perform the best. Fuel injectors spray a fine pulse of mist into the cylinders which the spark plugs ignite. Some systems use a return line to send unused fuel back to the tank.



Lighting and Wipers

Lighting & Wipers TipsLights and wipers are a big part of the safety features of your vehicle. Lighting not only helps you see, but it helps other motorists see you. Wipers clear excess water, dirt, and snow from inhibiting your vision while driving. The lights provide signals and alerts for other drivers, light for viewing your instrument panel at night, and nighttime visibility. Lights and wipers require maintenance as they are a normal wear item.



Exhaust

Exhaust System TipsA Vehicle's exhaust system is a vital safety component as well as an important part of your vehicle's emissions system. You should have your exhaust system checked regularly to avoid any problems. The exhaust system routes gasses from the engine away from the vehicle so that the occupants are not exposed to the fumes. The key components of the exhaust are the catalytic converter, which helps to reduce the level of pollutants created by the burning of fuel, the muffler, which reduces exhaust noise, the oxygen sensors(O2 Sensors), which measure the different outputs of the exhaust for what it contains. These sensors talk with the computer to adjust air/fuel ratio and other engine functions.



Suspension

Suspension TipsThe steering and suspension components are a key safety component in your vehicle. Together they determine your vehicle's ride and handling. The suspension maintains the relationship between the wheels and frame/unibody. Suspension and steering work together to maintain overall vehicle control. The suspension absorbs the flaws in the road which maintains vehicle stability. The steering system reacts to the movements in the steering wheel to control the direction of the vehicle.

Associations

  • Jasper
  • Car Care Aware

Vehicle Tips

  • According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
  • The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
  • Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, or more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
  • Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, or more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
  • A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
  • Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
  • Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.
  • Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
  • Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
  • Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
  • Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
  • Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
  • Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
  • Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
  • Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
  • Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
  • Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
  • Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.