Common Vehicle Maintenance ProceduresThe following procedures should be performed on a regular basis to keep your car safe and running smoothly
Cabin filter replacementMost modern vehicles have a cabin filter that catches external contaminants in the air you breathe when you are in your vehicle. As a general rule, this air filter should be replaced once a year.
Fluid change servicesWhile most everyone remembers to get routine oil changes, motor oil isn’t the only automotive liquid that needs to be monitored. Consult your owner's manual or manufacturer’s car maintenance schedule guide for a thorough list of fluids and when to check and replace them.
Fuel system servicesRemoving deposits that have built up in combustion chambers, intake manifolds, valves, and ports is a great way to restore fuel injector flow while cleaning the entire fuel system. This will help prevent new deposits from forming, which in turn will increase drive-ability, fuel economy, and overall vehicle efficiency.
Factory scheduled maintenanceThe factory car maintenance schedule guide created by the car manufacturer should be used as a minimum guide for routine maintenance. Not maintaining your vehicle to specific factory standards could lead to denied warranty repairs. It is important to note, however, that all vehicles will need different maintenance at different times depending on how often and how harshly they are driven, which is why it is recommended to follow your specific car maintenance schedule for your specific vehicle.
Scheduled car maintenance intervalsFactory maintenance schedules list specific procedures that should be performed at a certain mileage or time interval, whichever comes first. For example, if a guide says that the car’s motor oil should be changed every 5,000 miles or 6 months, it means to change it at whichever of those two scenarios happens first. To help you keep track of your scheduled maintenance, we put a sticker in the inside upper left corner of the windshield that reminds you just when the next service should be performed.
Normal or severe duty operationMost factory maintenance schedules will have two separate sets of intervals: one for normal operation, and one for severe, heavy-duty operation. Normal operation is when the car is driven at standard highway speeds more often than stop-and-go city driving. In contrast, severe duty operations occur when a vehicle is
- Consistently driven in stop-and-go traffic
- Routinely operated while on idle
- Driven in dusty areas
- Used in extremely hot ambient temperatures
- Pulling a trailer
Fluid ChangesEvery vehicle has numerous fluids that need to be checked, maintained, and changed, including:
Automatic transmission fluidAlso called ATF, this fluid lubricates and cools the automatic transmission in your car, meaning that replacing it is essential to preventing major transmission problems. Transmission fluid is usually red or green when clean and either dark or completely black when it needs to be replaced. Dirty transmission fluid can ruin your transmission, so it should be replaced routinely.
Brake fluidBrake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that provides the brakes with the pressure and power needed to stop a vehicle. Brake fluid collects moisture over time and should be replaced when the moisture content is too high, usually every year or two. Low brake fluid is a common sign that there is a much bigger problem within the vehicle.
Coolant (Antifreeze)Your vehicle can get extremely hot, oftentimes well over 300 degrees. This heat can cause serious damage, so the engine must be cooled. Modern automobile engines are technically cooled by water, but plain water can damage a vehicle over time. To counteract this, automotive coolant is made from water and several additives designed to give it a low freezing point and a high boiling point, which in turn prevents ice and steam from damaging the system. Coolant also helps prevent corrosion and lubricates the coolant pump.
Motor oilMotor oil lubricates, protects, and cools the engine, making it one of the most critical components of a working car. As oil is used, it breaks down and collects soot and other particles leftover from engine combustion. These particles then wear down the engine parts so cars have oil filters to drain out these harmful elements. However, as the filter fills with sludge, it gradually becomes less effective. To counteract this, you should change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 or so miles.
Power steering fluidPower steering fluid gives you the power to easily turn your car’s steering wheel. Eventually, the internal parts of the steering system begin to wear down, causing the fluid to become contaminated with dirt or other particles. If you notice a change in the way your vehicle turns, or if you hear unfamiliar noises while turning, then it is time to have your power steering fluid inspected and possibly changed.
Flushing and refilling your coolant systemIgnoring your car’s cooling system can eventually lead to the failure of multiple systems, including freeze plugs, water pumps, and internal engine gaskets. Worse still, it can sometimes cause heater core and radiator leaks that can leave you stranded if they occur while on the road. The lubricants and additives in antifreeze begin to lose their effectiveness after roughly two years of constant changes in engine temperature. Additionally, a chemical reaction will occur as coolant flows over different metals, causing the antifreeze to react with the electricity from the numerous electrical components. This can change the overall pH balance of the coolant and eventually convert it to an acid that will corrode the cooling system and even the engine. With a cooling system flush and refill from All County Auto Repair & Tire, your vehicle will run cooler and more efficiently than ever before!
Fuel injectionEvery time you drive, dirt, carbon deposits, and varnishes form on the fuel injectors, valves, combustion chamber, throttle housing, and the air induction intake. Over time, these can build up to the point that they affect your vehicle’s performance, eventually resulting in major repairs. Common symptoms of carbon build up include:
- A pinging noise coming from the engine
- Engine hesitation
- Bad fuel economy
- Lack of proper acceleration
- Lack of power
- Rough or uneven ride
- Hard starting and stalling