Car Care Tips
Provided by the Automotive Service Association
It is very important for the health and life of your vehicle that you complete the manufacturer schedule services to ensure that your vehicles live long, productive lives. Whether you drive the latest model or you've owned it for years, The trick to a lasting vehicle is completing the maintenance it was designed to receive. Every car is supplied with a maintenance schedule which is located in the owner's manual or in a separate maintenance log book which will detail what your vehicle needs.
TIRE PRESSURE/ROTATION – Frequently/ mileage dependent
Tire pressures constantly change and need to be occasionally checked. Under inflated tires will reduce your fuel economy by up to 5 percent! if a tire is either under inflated or over inflated they will wear wear out faster and unevenly. If your tire pressures are not correct. Under inflated tires will cause serious handling issues, and over inflated tires will cause serious traction issues. The tires on the front and the ones on the rear will wear differently and should be rotated to keep them wearing as even as possible. Your owner's manual will have a recommendation on both pressure and rotation periods.
WINDSHIELD WIPER BLADES – Whenever needed.
It is important to replace your windshield wiper blades whenever they start wearing out. This will avoid unnecessary wear to your windshield. Spring and Fall are the ideal times to replace your wiper blades. In the spring time the salts and chemicals that were applied to the roads during the winter will have washed away leaving it safe to replace them. These chemicals deteriorate the rubber of the blades and cause streaking. The fall is another great time to replace your wiper blades. Everyday during the summer your wiper blades bake in the extreme heat and sunlight. This causes them to wear out faster and with winter coming, you'll wish you had replaced them!
OIL CHANGE, LUBE AND FILTER - Every 3,000 - 4,000 miles
Always refer to the manufacturer's specifications in your vehicle owner's manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil and filter changed regularly, every 3,000 to 4,000 miles when using conventional engine oil and every 5,000 to 6,000 miles when using synthetic engine oil.
HAVE ALL FLUID LEVELS AND QUALITY CHECKED - Each Oil Change
Have all fluids inspected, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent, antifreeze/coolant, and differentials. These fluids play a vital role in the safety and performance of your vehicle.
CHECK YOUR SPARK PLUGS - Keep your engine tuned. A fouled or worn out spark plug or wire can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 2 miles per gallon! Worn out spark plugs can also cause serious engine damage over time.
HAVE THE CHASSIS LUBRICATED - Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle's suspension system.
INSPECT BATTERY - Inspect battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean as needed.
INSPECT LIGHTING SYSTEM - Have the lighting system inspected frequently, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights and tail lights.
INSPECT ENGINE BELTS AND HOSES - Look for wear, cracks and missing sections or segments. Worn belts and hoses can affect the safe operation of your vehicle. if a belt or hose breaks on the road you could be stuck there.
INSPECT AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM - Have the air filtration system inspected frequently. The air filter should be inspected approximately every other oil change do ensure it is not clogged or damaged.
INSPECT AND REPLACE CABIN AIR FILTER - The cabin air filter cleans the airthat goes through the heater and A/C system. this is the same air that you and your family breathes every day. cabin air filters get dirty and clog over time this this to mold spores growing which you breath in.
FUEL SAVING MAINTENANCE TIPS
- CHECK YOUR GAS CAP - About 17 percent of vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or missing altogether. With out it water, dirt, and debris can ruin your fuel system which can create expensive emissions repairs.
- CHECK TIRE PRESSURE - When tires aren't inflated properly you can kiss good fuel economy goodbye! Keep your tires inflated to the level recommended in your Owner's Manual. on average under inflated tires alone cost the country 1.25 BILLION gallons of gas a year.
- GET YOUR TIRES BALANCED - Tires that aren't balanced, wheels that are out of alignment and worn shocks or struts will cause your engine to work harder using more fuel. These will also wear out other suspension parts faster. We can help by inspecting your vehicle and making needed, relevant recommendations when you are in for service.
- CHECK YOUR SPARK PLUGS - An average vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs. these fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles each. This causes heat, electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Check your Owner's Manual or ask us how often your vehicle's spark plugs should be changed.
- CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER - An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air to the engine and creates a "rich" mixture - too much fuel being injected for the amount of air. This wastes gas and causes your engine to lose power. We can help by replacing a clogged air filter, which could improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR CAR - Avoid carrying unneeded heavy items in the trunk. This added weight increases fuel consumption.
- OPEN YOUR WINDOWS - Auto air conditioners can reduce fuel economy by 10% to 20%. Consider using the air conditioner only when absolutely necessary. the reverse is true on the highway. The drag created from open windows impacts fuel economy far greater then the a/c.
- REMOVE ALL SNOW AND ICE - During cold weather watch for icicles frozen to the car frame. 100 lbs. can be accumulated quickly! If not removed, snow and ice cause tremendous wind resistance.
- REMOVE YOUR SNOW TIRES during good weather seasons; traveling on aggressive tire tread really lowers your fuel economy!
- KEEP YOUR CAR HEALTHY BY SCHEDULING REGULAR MAINTENANCE - Most importantly, regular maintenance ensures your vehicle continues to operate as safely, and efficiently as possible. Check your Owner's Manual for recommended maintenance intervals, or ask our manager. We have information on all manufacturer recommended maintenance specifications.