If you can believe it, Fall is right around the corner! Fall is also a great time to get the necessary repairs completed on your vehicle. Here are some useful Fall maintenance tips from AAA:
- Oil change: many motorists believe their cars’ oil should be changed ever 3,000 miles; however, most late-model vehicles now can go 5-7,000 miles between oil changes. Check your owner’s manual and get on a routine to good car care to ensure your vehicle performs optimally!
- Tires: check tire pressures and tread depth. Check the pressure on all the tires – including the spare – with a quality gauge when the tires are cold. Be sure to look for recommended pressure on the driver’s door jamb and NOT the tire wall.
- Battery: ensure the battery cable connections are tight, and the terminals are free from corrosion. If the battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested to determine how much life it has left.
- Wiper blades: wiper blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Make sure the windshield washer reservoir is filled.
In addition, Chrysler’s Mopar division offers more tips to get your vehicle ready for cooler weather.
“Preventative maintenance helps vehicles perform at optimum levels in a variety of weather conditions” – Pat Dougherty, Mopar
- Brakes: summer travel gives brake pads a heavy workout, resulting in the removal of thin layers. Now is the time to check pads, shoes, rotors, drums, calipers, wheel cylinders, brake hardware and the parking brake for wear and tear.
- Air Filter: the air filter is designed to protect your engine from airborne contaminants. Poor air flow to the engine inhibits performance and generates greater fuel consumption. A new air filter allows clean, unrestricted air flow into the engine and helps ensure proper performance for a longer life.
- Headlamps and Taillamps: days become shorter in the fall and winter, meaning more nighttime driving and increased usage of headlamps and taillamps. Inspect and test all lamps on your vehicle to ensure proper function and proper alignment.
Thanks to our friends at BWW Geeks World for this article and the great tips!
When it comes to today’s high tech cars and trucks, most drivers understand that following a scheduled maintenance program almost always costs less than paying for expensive repair surprises down the road. But which mistakes, bad decisions and missed maintenance items do the most damage to your vehicles? CarMD.com Corporation surveyed its team of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-certified Master Technicians, which has more than 840 years of combined experience repairing cars, to reveal the following top 10 maintenance mistakes car owners make when caring (or not caring) for their vehicles.
- Putting off recommended / scheduled maintenance
- Ignoring the “check engine” light
- Not changing the oil, or not having it changed on time
- Not checking tire pressure
- Neglecting coolant, brake, transmission and other fluid services
- Continuing to drive when the vehicle is overheating
- Not changing fuel and air filters
- Having unqualified shops service your vehicle
- Using generic aftermarket parts instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-quality parts
- Trying to service your own high-tech vehicle
“When consumers fail to properly maintain their vehicles, the resulting repair costs dwarf the money that could have been budgeted to maintain their car” —Art Jacobsen, vice president, CarMD.com Corporation.
“As a result, CarMD reached out to our ASE-certified Master Tech committee to confirm the top 10 most damaging mistakes drivers make. We believe this information will help consumers save money in the long run and plan better as they care for what is often their second largest purchase.”
No. 3 in the top 10, “not changing your oil” was also listed by technicians as by far the single most damaging car maintenance item that their customers neglect that they wish they could change. Dirty oil ruins today’s high-tech engines. Camshaft actuators can freeze when restricted by dirty oil, and a faulty camshaft actuator can in turn cause the “check engine” light to illuminate, resulting in complete engine failure if ignored for too long. Simply following the factory-recommended oil change schedule helps vehicle owners avoid this problem, along with potentially hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in extra repair costs.
Ignoring the “check engine” light is another example of how putting off repairs on a small problem can escalate to an expensive repair. According to the CarMD Vehicle Health Index, the most common reason for a “check engine” light is a faulty oxygen (O2) sensor. A dirty air filter (<$20 repair) can result in an O2 sensor failure (<$250 repair), which can in turn result in substantial gas mileage reduction, cause the vehicle to misfire and eventually result in the need for an expensive catalytic converter replacement (>$1,000 repair). That’s why it’s so important to have your car’s air filter replaced as recommended by your service manual, and to address “check engine” warnings as soon as possible.
Please be sure to follow your factory-recommended maintenance schedule to ensure the health of your vehicle!
Have a great week!