- Oil service schedules
- Check engine and maintenance lights
- Alarm/Stereo reset procedures
- Engine tune up
- Cooling system service
- Brake fluid service
OIL SERVICE SCHEDULES
Factory service schedules should always be followed when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. Your vehicles engine oil doesn’t just lubricate the internal engine parts; it also helps to cool them. Over time the oil will break down, thus reducing its ability to lubricate and dissipate heat. Factory engineers take many variables into account when designing a service schedule, so they should be followed closely. Always use the recommended engine oil for your vehicle.
CHECK ENGINE / MAINTENANCE LIGHTS
Your vehicles instrument cluster contains many warning indicators; the “check engine” or the MIL (malfunction indicator light) is one of them. The check engine light is an indicator that one of the monitoring systems has detected a problem. These range from simple fixes to complex diagnostic journeys. A code reader or scanner is needed to retrieve the codes from your vehicles computer. The diagnostic code will give you a place to start troubleshooting the problem. The code is not always the exact problem, but it gives you someplace to begin diagnosing the problem. Whenever the MIL light comes on your vehicle is not working at its peak efficiency, the problem should be taken care of promptly.
The “Change engine oil” light is not diagnostic related, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. It is simply a reminder that it is time to service your vehicle. Servicing your vehicle according to manufacturer specifications will do nothing but make your vehicle perform better and last longer. Always follow your schedule and use the recommended fluids. Resetting the light varies for each manufacturer, for example; GM vehicles turn the key to “on” position and push the gas pedal to the floor 6 times within 4 seconds. Most Honda’s holding down the “trip/reset” button while you turn ignition on will reset it. Saturn have a small button in the under hood power center, “oil-r” hold button down for approx. 10 seconds with ignition on and light will reset.
COOLING SYSTEM SERVICE & MAINTENANCE
Your vehicles cooling system is crucial to making the engine last longer and perform better. An improperly maintained cooling system can result in the overheating of the engine, which in turn can cause major component failures within. The cooling system is a pressurized circulation system that consists of 5 major pieces.
The Water pump: Which is a mechanical pump that circulates the engine coolant/anti-freeze through the radiator and back to the engine.
The Thermostat: the t-stat is a temperature sensitive orifice in the cooling system that opens and closes according to engine temperature to regulate the flow of coolant/anti-freeze through the radiator and back to the engine. This allows for the engine to be run at specific temperatures to optimize the performance and emissions levels of the vehicle.
The Radiator: The radiator is basically a finned box mounted at the front of the vehicle that the coolant is forced through so that air may pass across it and cool the anti-freeze/coolant. They are covered in fins that act as heat syncs to help dissipate the heat.
The Cooling fan: The cooling fan is located directly behind the radiator, whether the vehicle is front or rear wheel drive. Its job is to pull air through the radiator at lower vehicle speeds to keep it from over-heating. Cooling fans can either be mechanical (belt driven on the engine) or electric (mounted on the radiator, temperature controlled)
Drive belts/hoses: All of the antifreeze/coolant in your vehicle is pumped through several hoses. Maintaining them is crucial to preventing serious engine damage from over-heating. Visually inspect the hoses for leakage, cracks or abrasions and the general integrity of the hose. Replace any that are questionable. The drive belt/belts should be inspected regularly as well.
Always follow the manufacturers recommendations on how often and which particular anti-freeze/coolant to use. For more extreme conditions it never hurts to shorten the service interval a few miles. Remember, take care of your car and it will take care of you.
Call to schedule appt (408) 732-4222