Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
Most people understand that they’ll need to change the oil and perform additional routine maintenance to keep any car they purchase in good working condition. But, somewhere along the way, most people drive and forget the list. We discount the car care rules we know and wait until something breaks before heading to the auto service center. Unfortunately, that isn’t the best method for taking good care of your car.
To maximize the lifespan of your automobile, think of it like your body. If you it to run smoothly for as long as possible, do a little preventive maintenance along the way. A good way to start is to make sure you include the following five line items in your annual car-repair budget.
Car Care Council reports these as the top repairs consumers reported in 2017: (The first five appeared in last week’s post.The last five appear below.) To recap, in last week’s blog, we covered the top five out of ten most common car repairs: oil/oil filter change, windshield wiper replacement, air filter replacement, scheduled maintenance and tire rotation and replacement.
The Remaining 5 of the Top 10 Most Common Car Repairs
A car battery delivers a jolt of electricity to power the electrical components in your vehicle. Without battery power, your car, as you may have noticed, won’t start. Today, most electrical systems are powered by a single, maintenance-free, rechargeable, 12-volt acid battery. Once you start your car, the alternator kicks in, generating additional electric power which recharges the battery. While most people realize that their battery is dying because their car is deader than a doornail, you can spot the signs your battery may need to be replaced before the time of death: slow engine crank; check-engine light; low battery fluid level; a swelling, bloating battery case; the smell of rotting age, or age (anything three years or older).
Most cars have two types of brakes: rear and front. Front brakes use rotors (which are big metal disks) as braking mechanisms. Rear brakes may use rotors too, but many manufacturers lower production costs by installing expanding drum brakes. Pressing your brake pedal engages the brake fluid, pushing it (under pressure) through a series of tubes. As the brake fluid reaches the front wheels, a caliper is activated, which pushes brake pads against both sides of the rotor, creating friction and eventually causing the vehicle to slow down momentum. With back wheels, brake fluid goes to the wheel cylinder inside the drum, causing the brake shoes to move toward the rotating drum, which makes the brake drum slow and eventually stop. Since brakes get a lot of use and are an integral part of your car’s safety systems, you should pay careful attention to signals they should be replaced. Many mechanics, including the ones at Genesis Automotive Service, will check the wear on your pads and let you know what percentage of life each one has. If you fail to replace brake pads in a timely manner, you could end up scoring your rotors, which are expensive to replace.
A glycol-based concentrated liquid which prevents your engine’s coolant from freezing in sub-zero temperatures, antifreeze may not seem necessary in sunny So Cal, where Genesis is located. However, antifreeze also helps prevent scale build up and corrosion in the liquid that runs through your car’s engine. This is mission critical, since it helps maintain the correct operating temperature range. Most modern cars use liquid cooling to maintain optimum engine temperature.
A tune-up is one job that has changed a great deal over time. The outdated term remains in wide use. What most people mean by a tune-up is a service procedure that should make an engine run more efficiently.
There is no absolute definition of a tune-up. But most include replacing spark plugs and performing other adjustments to maintain or restore like-new engine performance. Talk to your service professional at Genesis to find out whether your car could benefit by having the engine tuned.
If you’ve ever hit a curb and later realized your car is pulling to one side or oddly vibrating when you drive, your curb mishap has likely thrown things out of alignment. Alignment refers to a vehicle’s suspension, which is the system that connects your vehicle to the wheels. Since alignment doesn’t refer to the wheels or tires themselves but the system that houses those parts, the key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires, which impacts the way they contact the road. These are signs you may need an alignment: uneven tread wear, vehicle pulls to the left or right, steering wheel is off-center when in drive, your steering wheel vibrates while you drive. Tire balancing and wheel alignment prevent premature tread wear. Have your tires rotated and balanced every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. This maximizes their lifespan and improves overall performance.
To read the first five of the top 10 most common car repairs, check out last week’s post.
Auto Repair in Covina
If you live in the San Gabriel Valley, the best place to bring your gas-powered or electric/hybrid vehicle is Genesis Auto Service in Covina. We serve the communities of Azusa, City of Industry, Covina, Glendora, Irwindale, La Puente, La Verne, Monrovia, San Dimas, Walnut, and West Covina…to name a few. Established by owner/master mechanic Carl Walker and a former partner, Genesis is a car repair shop which offers honest and dependable automotive repair and maintenance services. This is a far cry from how many profit-focused dealer service centers treat their customers.