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Fall Maintenance Care

fall

 

Your vehicle should always be properly maintained to ensure it is in the best condition. When you follow the proper schedule, you can help ensure that the parts and components are working efficiently. This will also help your vehicle to last as long as possible and improve fuel mileage as well. If you ignore the maintenance schedule, your vehicle can start to have issues and may eventually fail.

Fall weather means using the Lights more

During the fall, you will have a greater chance of having to drive with your lights on. Since it gets dark earlier, you may notice needing the lights when driving home from work. You will want to make sure you inspect the lights of your vehicle before you travel. The headlights, taillights, and blinkers will all need to be inspected. Not only do the lights help you to see, but it allows others to notice you as well. The blinkers will alert others around you which way you are turning. This will improve the safety of you and those around you as well.

Wipers

Also remember to check the windshield wipers. These are important because they will clear the windshield of any road grime or rain. Even if it is not storming out, someone may drive by and hit a puddle, splashing up water and grime. You will need to use the windshield wipers to clear away any of the debris on the windshield. The wipers should be free of any cracks or damage they might have. If you notice this, it will be time to get a new set of wipers. If you are not sure what size is best for the vehicle, bring it in and we can inspect and replace the wipers. Also remember to check the rear wiper as well, if your vehicle is equipped with one. These tend to be forgotten about, because they are used less.

Check the Vehicle for Fluid Issues

Fluid

 

The fluid levels in your vehicle are important for a number of reasons. There are several fluids that work together to help your vehicle operate efficiently and easily. Each fluid should be checked on a regular basis to ensure it is at the correct amount in each reservoir. If it is not, you will have to replace it with more fluid. There is a chance that you may need to replace it often, which may mean there is a leak in the system somewhere. Ignoring a leak can increase the chance of a safety issue and further damage happening. So if you have to replace any fluid often, bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.

Fluid flush

By following the recommended fluid change or flush schedule you can improve the efficiency of how it runs. The fluids should be flushed when they are starting to get too old to be effective for your vehicle. Over time, the fluid can get debris in it and start to result in grime occurring. When the fluid gets too think, it will not be able to move through the vehicle and do what it was designed to do. If you are not sure on when the fluid should be changed or flushed, we can advise you on the correct schedule for your vehicle.

Remember the Oil

Always remember to change the oil in your vehicle as well. This will help improve the gears and parts because it will be properly lubricated when you drive. Without the oil, these parts can cause friction and wear against one another. Any clunking or grinding noise could be a result of low or no oil. It is not a bad idea to have an extra quart or two of oil in the back seat or trunk of your vehicle. That way, incase you need oil, you will be able to add it, no matter where you are at.

Checking the Brakes of your Vehicle

Brakes

 

The brake system will need to be inspected by us to ensure that everything is working correctly and efficiently. If you notice anything unusual with it, make sure to contact us to see what the issue might be. Ignoring the problem can only lead to further issues in the long run when you will need to drive. If there is an odd noise or sound that comes from your vehicle, have it looked at. Catching an issue at the first sign can help you to save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Rotors

The brake rotors should be checked regularly for your vehicle. The rotors will start to make a grinding noise as the wear down. This is because of the result of metal to metal contact. When the scraping noise happens, the parts have worn either further down. You will be able to see the worn brake components for the vehicle when they are in need of a replacement. Any noise should always be taken seriously and as a sign of caution. If you are not sure if the noise is coming from the brakes or another part, make sure to bring the vehicle in.

Brake Pedal

Another sign of a brake issue could be the brake pedal. If the pedal feels like it vibrates when you apply it, there could be an issue. You will want to make sure that this is looked at as soon as possible. The pedal that is too hard or soft when applying it, could lead to further damage with the brakes. It can also decrease your safety too when driving. If there is an issue with stopping, the brake lines and brake fluid should be inspected. Slow response time can indicate an issue that will only get worse with time. Remember to bring your vehicle in for regular inspections so we can inspect the car and brakes for you.

Overall Care of Tires are Important for the Vehicle

Tires

 

The vehicle will need to have the tires inspected regularly for it. They are the only part of the vehicle that touches the road, so it is important to keep them in the best condition. There should be a regular schedule that you follow. This includes tire alignment, tire rotation, and even checking the air pressure. We will be able to provide you the schedule that your vehicle needs in order for the tires to be inspected and examined properly.

Full Inspections

If you notice an issue with a tire or all the tires, make sure to call us to bring the vehicle in. This way we will be able to look at them correctly to make sure that they are able to operate efficiently as you drive. If you feel any odd movement like bumps or pulls, it could be an issue with the tire. It may also be an issue with the brakes. We will look it over for the issue to ensure your vehicle gets back to being safe and reliable again.

Air Pressure

Each tire should be looked at carefully. The air pressure will need to be at the proper amount. You can find this amount in the owner’s manual for the vehicle, as well as by contacting us. The proper air pressure allows the tires to rotate evenly and correctly. Tires that are too low or have too much air have a chance of blowing out or going flat. If the tire loses pressure too often, it is an indication of an air leak in it. When this occurs, it is always best to have it repaired as soon as you can. This will reduce the chance of an unexpected breakdown as well. Always remember to check the spare tire, as you will need this in the case of an emergency.

Driving with Care this Summer

Driving

 

When you own a car, you will want to keep it in the best condition. This will help to ensure you get to where you need to go. You will want to make sure that you bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance tasks. This can include things like oil changes, having a fluid flush, rotating tires, or other things as well. If you are not sure how often or when to bring your vehicle in, contact us and we can advise you on a schedule. This will help to keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.

Unusual Driving of the Vehicle

You should always make sure to notice anything unusual when driving your vehicle. If there is something out of the norm, make sure to contact us. We can recommend how it should be handled. If there is a repair needed, we can do so to help get you back on the road. When an odd noise or sound occurs, this can mean that a part is wearing out. Ideally you will want to know when certain parts of the vehicle should be replaced. Knowing this can help reduce the chance of an unexpected breakdown.

Inspecting the Tires

The tires will also need an inspection. They should be checked for the proper air inflation that they require. The tires should also have tread looked at to ensure they are at an ideal depth. If the tread has worn, then the tire is no longer in the best condition possible. You will also notice the tires do not have the grip that they used to. Proper tread will help to keep control of the vehicle on wet or slick roads. You will also notice that the vehicle does not drift or slide either. The tires will also need to be inspected for their overall condition. If there is a bulge in the tire, you will want to have us inspected it.

Proper Tire Care by having a Tire Rotation

rotation

 

The tires are an important part for the vehicle. They will keep the vehicle handling smoothly and with contact with the surface of the road. If the vehicle is rough riding in or handling on the road, the tires could be at fault. To make sure this is not the case, you will need to have the tires properly inspected. Checking for an issue will help determine what is wrong, and how to fix it.

Proper Alignment

The tires will need to be properly aligned and rotated as well. When this is done, the tires can be in the best working condition to keep your vehicle traveling properly. If there is an issue, we will look at them. A vehicle that needs a tire alignment may pull or drift in one direction or the other when you drive. You will notice that it is difficult to handle because it will not drive straight. We can also recommend the proper schedule for having the tires aligned or rotated. This can help to make sure that the parts are wearing correctly against one another.

Visual Check of Tires

You can also make sure that the tires are wearing correctly by a visual inspection. If the tires need to be aligned or rotated, you will notice that tread is wearing incorrectly against one another. The tread can be measured by taking a penny and placing it upside down in the tread of each tire in order to calculate the tread depth. The typical rule to follow is if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then you will need to have the tread replaced. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can check and examine each tire. If there is an issue we will review all the possible scenarios you have in order to fix it. By having good tires, you will be able to drive safety and comfortably.

Having an Efficient Vehicle to Drive

Efficient

 

Keeping your vehicle in the most ideal driving condition is important. Without a properly operating vehicle, you may have an unexpected breakdown or be stranded somewhere. Pay attention for any odd sounds, noises, smells, or how it handles, because you will notice an issue this way. By noticing an issue at the first sign, you can help prevent further problems in the long run. Make sure that your vehicle is in regularly for proper maintenance inspections. These include things like oil changes, tires rotations, and fluid flushes. If you are not sure how often to bring your vehicle in, we can advise you on it.

Change Oil

The oil should be inspected based on the recommended intervals by the manufacturer or us. Oil changes help keep the engine operating in the best condition it can. This keeps the engine and other moving components clean and properly lubricated. By doing this, it allows them to not cause wear against one another. It will also help keep your vehicle operating efficiently. If the oil is old and murky, it will need to be changed because it will lubricate the engine..

Check Fluids

The other fluids can be checked at the same time as the oil because they are located under the hood as well. This can include transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, and coolant. The fluids should be at the line indicated on the reservoir for each one. A leak is indicated by one having to be refilled often. Make sure to contact us and we can inspect the vehicle and system for you.

Inspect Tires

Check the tires as well. The condition of the tires is important. This is because they are the part that makes direct contact with the surface of the road. Check the air pressure for the tires. Also check the tread wear on the tires as well. If the tread is low, you will not have the proper grip the tire needs because they need to grip wet roads. This will cause you to hydroplane. If there is an issue, bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you.

The Belts and Hoses of your Car

Belts

Regular maintenance is important for your vehicle. If you are not sure how often to have it brought in, contact us. We can advise you on the proper schedule for you and your vehicle. We can inspect the various parts of the vehicle to ensure they are working correctly with one another. This can include belts, hoses, tires, fluids, and other parts.

Timing Belt

The timing belt is a notched rubber belt that allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. The camshaft opens and closes the valves in synchronized movement with the engine’s pistons. If the timing belt breaks, your engine will stop working and typically will cause major engine damage. That’s why it’s important to have your timing belt regularly inspected. If the belt is loose or has slipped the valves could open at the wrong time and be struck by your engine’s pistons. Be aware if you hear and slapping noise coming from your engine. This would indicate a slipped belt.

Serpentine Belt

Serpentine belts provide power to the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan, air injection pump, and more. If your vehicle’s serpentine belt breaks, all of the engine parts it is powering will stop working. This could cause the engine could overheat and be damaged. We can check for any signs of cracks, wear, and stripping to determine if your serpentine belt is in danger of failing.

Hoses

Coolant hoses include the upper and lower radiator hoses plus heater hoses. The hoses provide a flexible connection for coolant flow from the engine, radiator, engine and heating block. Tiny cracks can form from the inside that can eventually lead to a burst hose and overheated engine. If you notice an issue with the belts or hoses, make sure to schedule an appointment with us. We can inspect the vehicle and other parts to ensure it is operating efficiently.

 

The Electrical System of your Vehicle

Electrical system

 

The vehicle’s electrical system consists of the battery, starter, and alternator. The battery provides the power to the starter. Then the alternator gives the battery energy it needs to power the vehicle. If one of the parts is not working properly, your vehicle will not start or may not run correctly. If you notice a dashboard warning light, it can indicate a more severe issue. Make sure to contact us and schedule an appoint. Also bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. By doing so, you can help to save time, money, and stress in the long run.

 

The Battery

 

Until the vehicle starts, the battery is the part that provides the vehicle’s electrical current. This electrical current includes the power to the ignition and fuel systems, which are responsible for creating the combustion necessary for the engine to function properly and efficiently. As you turn the key, the battery provides power to the starter that turns, and then the alternator gives the battery the energy needed to power the lights, wipers, and other accessories.

 

The Starter

 

While the battery supplies the power to start your vehicle, the starter is what sends power to the engine. The battery supplies a small amount of power to the starter motor. The starter then rotates and turns the crankshaft to begin the movement of the pistons in the engine. This process is what ensures the starter works. Sometimes it is difficult to determine when a starter will fail.

 

The Alternator

 

As the engine runs, the alternator helps to keep the battery charged. The alternator also helps in keeping the electrical system for your vehicle powered. While you can start a vehicle with a faulty alternator, it will not be able to run for any extended period of time. If the alternator for your vehicle needs replacing, you may notice a few signs. You may start to notice the electrical system performing oddly or erratically. The battery may even start to discharge, which will result in poor starts, or sometimes not starting at all. Over time, the engine will eventually start to lose power. If you notice an issue with your vehicle starting, contact us for an appointment. We can inspect the vehicle for you.

Checking Issues with the Transmission of your vehicle

The transmission of your car directs power created by the engine to the drive wheels. There are roughly more than 800 parts to an automatic transmission. Each of these is intricately placed and dependent on each other. Often when one part goes, it will end up failing. It relies on the fluid for cooling and lubrication. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in for maintenance, contact us. We can advise you on a schedule, and when parts should be maintained. By keeping maintenance up to date, you can help improve the efficiency of your vehicle. No matter what issue you notice, having it repaired at the first sign of an issue is important.

transmission

Regular maintenance and keep an eye for warning signs can prevent signs of transmission failure from popping up. Check the level and color of transmission fluid regularly. Some cars have dipsticks for easy access, but others are closed systems. Change the fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Make sure the fluid pan is removed, cleaned, and a new filter is then installed. Use only manufacturer recommended fluids and fill amounts. Never switch from drive to reverse, or vice versa, while the car is still moving. Also, accelerate smoothly to allow gears to change at the correct times.

Signs of transmission failure

Deciphering between a failing transmission and a multitude of other ailments your car could have is difficult. Signs of a wearing or under performing are often hard to miss. The solution could be as simple as adding automatic transmission fluid. If there are regular signs of an issue, bring the vehicle in. We can inspect the vehicle and transmission for any signs of an issue.

Check the Transmission fluid

The fluid should be inspected to see if it is burnt or low. It should be a clear red or brown. If it is dark or thick, change it immediately. Notice if the fluid is burnt you may also notice a sweet burning smell. Be aware of any slipping or delayed response when accelerating. This can feel like your tires are spinning on ice or you will notice the rpm’s going up without your car moving. Gears should lock immediately. If you notice a delay when applying pressure to your gas pedal, it is a sign of trouble. Also notice if it stalls or refuses to move. This means that it could be close to failing completely.

Leaking issues

Other issues could be leaking fluid. If you notice a red liquid on the ground, get it looked at immediately. Low fluid will lead to major wear. Also automatic shifting is built to be smooth and nearly unnoticeable. If you feel a jerk or shake when your vehicle shifts, you need us to inspect your transmission.