TIPS & ADVICE
How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change or every 5,000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the manufacturer recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems or failure of emission tests.
What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut off the engine! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.
When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If intervals are extended, ensure you use oil that is capable of extended mileage changes.
What causes milky brown engine oil?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.
How to make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
What is synthetic motor oil?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather) or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.
When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum-tipped spark plugs.
What should I do when I need to replace a burned out fuse?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.
According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, or more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, or more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don’t forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
Check your owner’s manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car’s engine needs then buy it.
Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
Inspect the engine’s belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle’s tires.