Every vehicle needs regular care and tune-ups to perform at the most efficient levels. The sophisticated technology in today's cars has meant that the way technicians service your vehicle has changed in many ways.
Computerized diagnostics can find underlying problems that need to be fixed to keep your car safe on the road. However, regular maintenance and inspections are just as important as ever.
Keep your vehicle properly maintained.
The following systems should be regularly inspected:
Battery: charging and starting system
Engine Mechanical: leaks, noises, drivability issues
Computers: (diagnostic checks) for ABS, powertrain, body computers
Fuel: fuel leaks, low fuel pressure, poor fuel economy
Ignition: spark plugs, wires, and coils
TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Make sure your vehicle is ready for every season
Winter and summer pose different challenges for your car, but maintaining maintenance will help avoid problems, no matter the weather. General maintenance can prevent your vehicle from breaking down and ensure you're ready for anything. Reviewing the following maintenance guide points for your vehicle can help you stay prepared.
Winter Emergency Supplies
It's important to prepare for worst-case scenarios, such as getting stranded on the road in cold temperatures. Carrying emergency gear in your car can help you out of a potentially dangerous situation. Recommended gear includes gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand, tire chains, and a flashlight.
Cold weather makes existing problems such as hard starts, rough idling, and stalling worse. It's best to correct these problems before winter sets in. Make sure to schedule regular inspections and maintenance before issues become more serious!
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your car’s manual. If your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips, it is recommended that you change it every 3,000 miles or according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Brakes should be inspected regularly as recommended by your manufacturer. If you notice brake pedal pulsations, grabbing or longer stopping distances, schedule your vehicle for an inspection to see what needs to be replaced.
Typical life expectancy of a windshield wiper blades is 6 to 12 months. At times in Michigan the climate is harsh, requiring rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice buildup. During the summer months the extreme heat will deteriorate the rubber on your blades resulting in streaking blades. Always have extra windshield washer solvent available.
Most vehicles on the road today are equipped with hub assemblies that allow the wheel to freely spin. When the wheel bearing assembly is replaced they are torqued to specification for miles of trouble free driving. Wheel bearings can last 100,000 miles or more but it is not uncommon to see hubs fail much earlier. Noticing a growl or howl while driving is a sign that your wheel bearings and hub assemblies need to be replaced. We can inspect the hub assemblies by lifting the vehicle and wiggling the wheel to see if there is any unnecessary play in the bearing. Many times the anti-lock brake sensors are built into the hub assembly, therefore if they malfunction most of the time the hub asssembly is replaced to resolve the issue.
Transmission fluid breaks down over time from heat, and age. The components and clutches inside the transmission give off small particulates that get caught in the transmission filter. Your vehicle transmission is an expensive and important part of your vehicle. At Rozema's Car Care, we recommend changing the fluid and filter according to manufacturers recommendations.
The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. We can test your electrical system with dealer level diagnostic equipment. Routine care also includes removing corrosion from posts and cable connections, cleaning, and making sure terminals are tight. If your vehicle is parked for winter storage or sitting for a period of time, we recommend putting a low amperage charger on the battery to maintain proper voltage.
Not having working lights leaves you blind and invisible at night or in low-visibility conditions. Caring for your vehicle's lights includes inspecting the light bulbs and replacing burned-out bulbs.
The exhaust system quiets loud engine noise and removes fumes from your engine. Your exhaust system should be examined periodically for leaks, rust, and proper operation.
Have the AC system examined by a qualified technician. Being comfortable while driving during the summer months and having a vehicle quickly defrost the windows are two factors that a properly working air conditioning system will help you achieve.
The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping. Check tire pressures once a month. Tires should be checked before any long trip and during harsh weather