When it comes to general maintenance for your vehicle, the best rule of thumb is to follow your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations and to have your vehicle regularly inspected by mechanics that you trust. General maintenance includes all of those services you are probably familiar with, including oil changes, tune-ups, and fluid exchanges. General maintenance can also be considered preventative maintenance, because staying on top of your vehicle’s maintenance will also help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
Although most believe a tune-up is a certain set of services, a tune-up will not be the same for every vehicle at every interval. The services your vehicle receives during a tune-up is based upon what your vehicle needs along with manufacturer recommendations. A tune-up is usually associated with new spark plugs, among other things, that will help tune the engine and boost overall performance. In today’s times, however, many cars are more technologically advanced and built differently, and therefore a tune-up has changed meaning drastically.
When we talk about a tune-up, there are certain normal services that are usually completed if they are needed. Your tune-up will begin with a thorough vehicle inspection to determine what services are needed.
The following systems are inspected when you come in for a tune-up:
- Battery, charging and starting
- Engine mechanical
- Powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks)
A tune-up is a good idea if you’re looking to improve your vehicle’s performance, going on a road trip in the near future, preparing for the next season, or selling your car.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter
It’s no secret that winter is the time of mechanical failure for vehicles in some areas where the weather conditions are severe. The best way to avoid problems in the winter is to stay on top of preventative maintenance before the season starts. Here are some tips on what preventative maintenance is the most important and how to avoid those costly breakdowns during the winter months.
Engine Performance - If you notice any engine issues, such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling, or overall lack of power, it is important to have these issues looked at and correct before going into winter.
Oil Changes - As always, make sure that your oil is changed as well as the filter at the recommend interval for your vehicle.
Cooling Systems - The fluid in the cooling system should be flushed about every 24 months.
Windshield Wipers - Windshield wipers should be changed once a year. If snow is expected, be sure to purchase winter wipers to fight against ice. An ice scraper is also handy during the winter.
Heater/Defroster - Be sure that the heater and defrosters are working well before the winter. These will be very important for seeing clearly while driving and keeping comfortable on the road.
Battery - If you have a routine service coming up, ask your mechanic to run a quick test on your battery to make sure that it’s still in good condition. Keeping your battery clean and removing buildup and corrosion can help extend the battery life.
Lights - Make sure your lights are all working. It also helps to use a wax or cleaning solution on the lens of the lights to ensure that they are bright and visible.
Tires - Tires can be critical during winter, especially in snowy climates. If your tires are heavily worn, it may be time to buy new ones or switch to winter tires. If your tires are worn, there will be no traction and this can be extremely dangerous in the rain or snow.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer
The heat of the summer months along with increased traffic on the roads will ultimately cause some wear on your vehicle. Regular maintenance during the summer months is essential to ensure your safety and to avoid breakdowns.
Here are some preventative maintenance items to follow before and during the summer months:
Air Conditioning - Make sure that your air conditioning is working well before you get hit with that summer heat. A quick inspection of your A/C system will help make sure all is working properly as well as a top-off of coolant.
Cooling System - Overheating is the number one cause of breakdowns during the summer, due to a combination of engine heat and environmental heat. The cooling system is what cools down your engine as you drive and is vital for summer months. The cooling system fluid should be exchanged every 24 months.
Oil Change - As always, it is important to stay on top of oil changes at the recommended intervals. Low or dirty oil can cause engine problems and overheating which can lead to costly repairs.
Engine Performance - If you notice any engine problem, such as rough driving, stalling, lack of performance, or hard starts, don’t hesitate to have your vehicle looked at by a professional. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in the blistering heat with a broken down car!
Windshield Wipers - Although not as necessary in some climates during the summer, it’s always a good time to prepare for fall and winter months and have your wiper blades changed.
Lights - Make sure all of your vehicle’s headlights are in top working condition. If the lenses are cloudy, use a wax or cleaning solution to remove buildup so that your lights are bright and visible.
Tires - Your tires should be rotated and balance about every 5000 miles. If you notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side while driving, it may be time for an alignment. Hitting potholes, road bumps, and curbs can force tires out of alignment. Having your tires checked is a great way to prepare for a road trip.
Brakes - If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your brakes, such as a squealing noise or a loss of power, be sure to have your brakes inspected before setting out on any summer adventures.
Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year but tend to get the most corrosion and buildup during the summer. If you’re planning on driving your vehicle a lot during the summer, have your local mechanic check the battery for charge just to be sure that it is in good working condition.
Regardless of the time of year or what service or repair your vehicle may need, the experts here at our European auto repair shop can help. Flyin Wrench in Kennesaw, GA, is a full service automotive shop focusing on the services and repairs of all European makes and models of vehicles. Our shop is staffed with factory trained technicians that have years of experience. Since 1994, our ultimate goal has been to provide 5 star customer service and to maintain a clean shop with a friendly waiting room for our customers. Our family owned and operated auto repair center uses dealer level equipment and genuine parts to ensure quality for your vehicle. We also offer a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty on all parts and a lifetime warranty on our labor.
If your vehicle needs a service or repair, bring your vehicle into the European vehicle experts here at Flyin Wrench in Kennesaw, GA. We look forward to meeting you!