Summer is coming to an end, which means it's time to start thinking about the school year. Do you have a son/daughter heading off to college? A high school senior driving to and from school or work? They will be relying on their vehicle every day and, as parents, we want to make sure that they will be as safe as possible. Here are a few points that should be checked:
1. Lube, Oil and Filter Change. The number 1 way to help keep an engine healthy and running smooth is with regular oil changes.
2. Check all other fluids. The heat of summer can take a lot out of a vehicle and it is pretty common for it to deplete fluids. Check and fill or exchange coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and washer fluid.
3. Tire Condition. Inspect the tires for cracks and tread depth. Take a penning with Lincoln's head facing down and towards you. If you can see his head, it is time for new tires. If the tires are in good shape and haven't been rotated in the past 6 months, we advise this be done to ensure the longevity of the tires.
4. Get a Tune-Up. Have the spark plugs and wires changed once a year is a sure way to help with keeping the engine running at peak performance.
5. Check the battery life. Inspect and clean the battery cables if needed. Check the water level (if applicable) and fill in needed.
6. Brake inspection. High on the list of safety is having the best stopping capabilities.
Our technicians are here to help! We can perform a 55-pt inspection and advise on the best steps to keeping your child's vehicle running it's best during the school year.
The cars of today are nothing like the cars of yesterday. For starters, they have more moving parts and electronics. Part of our job is to provide you with enough information to allow you to make an informed decision that's appropriate for you and your situation. Preventative maintenance always saves money!
There are at least 30,000 parts on the average new car and over 5,000 of them move. All moving parts require a clean source of lubricating oils, coolants or greases, and this is provided by some relatively inexpensive, but very hard-working, fluids and filters. In addition, we have electronic parts that can be affected by poor maintenance habits. Today's electronics are so sophisticated that cars will run even when there are serious failures beginning. The systems have enough authority to mask developing problems. By the time you have detectable malfunction, one that you can feel or otherwise sense, you may have damaged expensive parts. The only outward indication the drivers may get is a warning lamp on the dash.
Then why did my car seem to run okay?
Poor maintenance practices force electronics to work overtime, or to carry excess current to compensate for worn-out spark plugs, filters, etc. Continuous operation in overtime (engineers call this "exceeding the duty cycle") build heat in electronic components, leads to increased component on-time, and ultimately to premature failure. Electronics hate heat, excess current, vibration and violent swings in temperature and humidity. Asking them to operate beyond design limits is just begging for trouble you don't need. In many cases, your new car will run just fine right up to the point at which it won't run at all, often without any noticeable symptoms. Neglecting maintenance is a good way to force a car into breakdown, early and often.
The Choice Is Yours
In the final analysis, there is a choice -- all preventative maintenance is optional. But keep in mind, the neglected preventative maintenance that a car needed yesterday or today will still need to be done tomorrow and does not cease to exist by forgetting about it. We can help you create a time-table that fits your budget and schedule to have the routine maintenance performed.