Car Care Services
Take a few moments and become familiar with our Services link with more detail on all aspects. Take care of your car and it will take care of you. Following basic car maintenance tips can help keep you on the road and out of the repair shop. A little vehicular TLC can even help stretch your fuel dollar and help the environment too.
Here are some Car Care guidelines:
Most car batteries today are maintenance-free, sealed and can last more than three years. The first sign your battery should be replaced is often trouble starting the engine. This is most likely to occur during periods of extreme heat or cold as the engine draws additional power to cool or heat vital components.
A car tire inflated to 35 pounds per square inch (psi) can lose one psi every month or for every 3 degrees Celcius of temperature change, so your car maintenance checklist should include checking tire pressure. Find the recommended level in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb. And don’t forget the spare.
Rotate tires every 5,000 km to prevent uneven wear, replace them when they become worn, and have the alignment checked if the car pulls to either side when driving or if you notice uneven tire wear. Regular rotation will help to offset these issues, especially if your vehilce is front wheel drive, as the additional torque on the front wheels will cause premature wear.
Checking and changing oil is critical to keep today’s engines running properly and efficiently. Follow manufacturer guidelines for changing the lubricant – generally, every 5,000 km or six months.
Check the oil level with the engine off and the car parked on a level surface. Open the hood, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel, then return it to the oil reservoir. Take it out again and see whether the level is within the acceptable range marked on the dipstick. If you add oil, don’t overfill, which can damage the engine.
Checking the automatic transmission fluid is another vital item on the car maintenance checklist. Look for a reservoir marked ATF (automatic transmission fluid) and follow the same steps as monitoring the oil level – only this time, with the engine running. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for change intervals, about every 50,000 km.
Replace most engine coolant or antifreeze every 50,000 km – or every two to three years. Newer synthetic formulas, however, may last up to 100,000 km. To check coolant level, turn the car off and wait for the engine to cool. Locate the coolant reservoir (usually a translucent plastic tank) and check the level of the coolant against the full and low indicators.
Power steering fluid
Power steering fluid should be changed every three years or 100,000 km. If you have a power steering fluid reservoir, check the level visually; otherwise, follow the dipstick method. Low power steering fluid may indicate a leak, so have our technician take a look.
Brakes and brake fluid
Check to ensure that brake fluid levels are within tolerance. How often you need to replace brake pads or other components depends on how you drive and typical driving conditions. Warning signs of a brake problem include noise, vibration or “grabbing” when you apply the brakes. Working on your brakes is a job probably best left to the professionals. This will be inspected during a tire rotation or maintenance package.
Basic car maintenance suggests changing your air filter each year or every 20,000 km. A clean air filter can help your engine “breathe” better and improve gas mileage and reduce harmful emissions.
Replace it annually to help prevent debris from clogging your car’s fuel line.
Windshield wipers and wiper fluid
Windshield wiper care is one of the most neglected basic car care tips. Replace the blades every six months or whenever the rubber becomes worn. You will notice the windshield wipers streaking or jumping during regular operation, this is a good indication that it is time to replace. Check the wiper fluid reservoir weekly and keep it full to ensure no water gets introduced into the system.
Headlights and brake lights
With your car turned on and parked, have someone walk around to see that your lights are working – headlights, brake and tail lights, turn signals, etc. Replacing bulbs in today’s vehicles can be a challenge. Trust our technicians to do the job, particularly replacing and aiming headlights. A professional can also tell you if the problem is a blown fuse, instead of a burned out bulb.