Seasonal Vehicle Maintenance Tips
While the sunny days are starting to fade but the cold has yet to show its face, fall lingers. The cooler days and nights are a reminder that we should service our vehicles. Here are a few tips for the autumn season:
- Brakes - in winter your brakes are more likely to come into use in inclement weather. Make sure that they will be able to keep you safe throughout the fall and winter.
- Tires - no need to get out winter tires (especially in LA!) but this is a good time to check tread using the penny test.
- Heater - cooler mornings on your way to work will quickly remind you to check your heater! You don't want to get stuck in the cold with no heat!
- Fluids - every time you service your vehicle, have them check the fluid levels (if they don't already). This will keep your brakes, power steering, transmission and winshield wipers in working order.
We're lucky out here in California that we don't get multiple feet of snow per year! The even climate won't bring super cold weather, but it's great to seasonally check on your vehicle in order to keep you from larger service bills later
- Remove leaves - build up from leaves need to be removed as they fall onto your car. Much like your gutters, old, rotten leaves can cause a lot of trouble for you later if you don't take care of them now.
- Check for animals - in cooler weather, small stray or wild animals could hide under your car for warmth and a break from wind. Be sure to check wheel wells and under your car before you drive. Some smaller animals could nest under your hood, so if you smell or hear something further down the line, there could possibly be an animal.
- Battery - does your car always have enough "juice" to start up? Cold air can make it harder on your battery to start. A quick test at the dealership can tell you the battery life and if you need a new one!
Regular Service Benefits
A car or truck is a big investment, and many families now own more than one vehicle. Taking care of them makes good sense: Proper service makes any vehicle work better, last longer and hold its value. There are other advantages as well:
Peace of Mind
Confidence and peace of mind. Workers on a night shift need an extra measure of dependability in their transportation. Throw in inclement weather and icy temperatures, and car failure could be life-threatening. A roadside breakdown on an expressway leaves you exposed to high-speed traffic just inches away and a long way from help.
Prevent unexpected breakdowns. Driving a vehicle serviced by experts reduces the chances of an automotive nightmare becoming a reality.
Save money and gas. You'll travel farther on less fuel when your car is well maintained.
Cleaner air. Tailpipe emissions will be reduced when all systems are working properly. That's why new cars have warning lights on the dash to alert drivers to problems in the emission control system.
Read your owner's manual and warranty so you'll know what to expect from your car and what your responsibilities are.
Set priorities for suggested repairs. Not all repairs need immediate attention. You can postpone some until the next routine maintenance if you are willing to put up with some inconvenience until then. Our experienced technicians can help you determine which problems present risk of injury to you or damage to your vehicle, so you'll be able to decide what must be repaired immediately.
Talk to an Advisor
Discuss special needs during off-peak hours. Early in the morning and closing time are busiest for the service department. A telephone call later in the morning or earlier in the afternoon allows our service advisors to give you more personal attention.
Look for service aids and reminders on your next new car. On-board systems on many new models monitor your driving habits and calculate an optimum oil-change interval. Other cars have a warning light on the dash for engine oil level, eliminating opening the hood for this check. A new-car salesperson can help you plan your next vehicle purchase with service ease in mind.
No one likes the inconvenience of a major car failure, but the financial impact of unexpected repairs can be devastating. There's no way to avoid spending service dollars on your vehicle. Spending a little now for maintenance can help you avoid spending a large amount later for repairs.