Car Care Relief for Your Vehicle
"Regular vehicle maintenance and inspections can help improve a vehicle's fuel efficiency, achieve peak performance and even help avoid major repairs down the road,"
Follow these tips to ensure your vehicle is ready to roll:
Oil Change: MOST manufacturers recommend changing the oil once a year or every 7,500 miles in passenger car and light truck gasoline engines & 3,000 or six months for diesel engines and turbocharged gas engines.. However if you read the fine print, that once a year is for vehicles that are driven under Ideal circumstances. What most of us think of as "normal" driving is really "severe service" driving. This includes frequent short trips (less than 10 miles),stop-and -go city traffic, driving in dusty conditions (gravel roads, etc.), in hot weather. ( Not too many of us don't drive in these conditions). For this type of driving, which is actually "sever sevice driving" the recommendation is to change the oil every 3,000 miles or six months.
Oil Filter should be changed every time you change your oil.
Batteries: They work harder when it's cold, and winter can compromise their cranking performance up to 60 percent. Test and replace old or weak batteries, especially those more than three years old. It can be cheaper than a tow and replacement on the road.
Tires / wheels: Cold weather can reduce tire pressure, so make sure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated and balanced, and wheels are properly aligned. Inflate tires to their recommended pressure. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent, cause premature tire failure and are a safety hazard. Tire failures and blowouts, often a result of under-inflation, contribute to 414 deaths and 10,295 injuries each year in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to tire pressure, check for tread wear and any obvious damage caused by potholes or sharp objects.
Belts and hoses: Inspect and replace worn or cracked belts, as well as hoses that are blistered, brittle or too soft. Belts and hoses older than five years, even if they look intact, might need to be replaced.
Brakes: A spring checkup can uncover any winter damage. Inspect the brake system, including lines, hoses, and parking brake. Inspect brake fluid for proper level. Low brake fluid can be an indication of excessive brake wear or fluid leak. Have the brake linings/pads inspected and measured.
Suspension: Deep potholes aren't friendly to shocks and struts. An inspection to determine wear or leaks can alleviate bigger issues down the road.
For extra security on the road, Complete Auto Repair Service (C.A.R.S) encourages motorists to bring their vehicle in for a multi-point vehicle inspection this spring. The inspections help identify service items that can help vehicles run better and better, last longer, and retain their value.
Here are other items vehicle owners should have inspected in the spring:
Inspect the antifreeze/coolant level, making sure the coolant used meets the specifications listed in the vehicle owner's manual.
Check oil level regularly.
Check the transmission fluid for correct level. Check the owner's manual or ask us, for the right type of transmission fluid to use and the proper interval for service and replacement.
Inspect power steering fluid for proper levels. Low power steering fluid can cause damage to the power steering system and lead to premature power steering failure.
Inspect windshield wiper blades for wear and cracks, ideally each spring and fall.9C.A.R.S) recommends replacement of blades that look worn. Also inspect and replace the rear wiper blade, if equipped. Don't forget to check the windshield washer fluid.
Inspect and replace as necessary the engine air filter and the cabin air filter.
Inspect steering components and steering linkage.