Lube, Oil, and Filter
Engine oil lubricates, cleans, and cools critical parts of the engine. The oil's additives also help to suspend dirt, where it can be drained at the next oil change. Be sure to use the correct oil as recommended by your cars manufacturer. The best advice is to follow the guidelines provided in the vehicle owner's manual, but every 3,000 miles or 3 months is a good rule of thumb for oil and filter changes.
Dirty and dusty driving conditions will require more frequent filter replacements, so keep this in mind. Driving with a dirty filter restricts the air entering the engine, and if severe, can impact fuel economy and performance.
On carbureted cars, replace the filter once a year. On cars with fuel injection, some carmakers don't recommend replacing the filter at all during the first 100,000 miles of "normal" driving. Since normal usually constitutes severe driving because of less than normal conditions, it's best to replace the filter every two years or 24,000 miles.
Typical spark plug replacement intervals range between 30,000 and 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle and the type of spark plug. Always consult your owner's manual for your specific vehicle. Symptoms of one or more faulty spark plugs include poor gas mileage, a failed emissions test, and rough running/poor acceleration with the engine under load. A bad spark plug can cause engine misfire, triggering the SERVICE ENGINE SOON or CHECK ENGINE light to appear.
Shocks and Struts
Some signs that your vehicle may have worn shocks and struts include excessive bouncing, rocking back and forth, drifting or nose-diving while braking, swaying, or cupping wear on the tires.
Drive belts provide power to engine-mounted accessories like the power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, mechanical cooling fan, and air injection pump. Serpentine belts are now used on almost all vehicles. Studies show that the chances of a drive belt failure rises dramatically after four years or 36,000 miles for V-belts, 50,000 miles for serpentine belts.
Engine Coolant Service
When properly mixed, antifreeze and water provide excellent anti-freeze, anti-boil and anticorrosive properties. Full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water. Generally, standard ethylene glycol type antifreeze should be changed every two years or 24,000 miles. Even though the coolant freeze protection may test OK with a hydrometer, additives break down over time.
Most of today’s automatic transmissions/transaxles do not require any regular adjustments. Check your owner’s manual to see if any adjustments are required. Owner’s manual recommendations on transmission fluid changes vary considerably and may go as high as 100,000 miles or more. For best results, have your cars transmission fluid and filter changed every two years or 24,000 miles. Fact is, the overwhelming majority of transmission failures are heat-related, and automatic transmission fluid breaks down rapidly when subjected to high temperatures. Driving conditions such as trailer towing, quick stops and starts, ascending and descending mountains, and wheel-spinning in slippery conditions are but a few scenarios that can devastate the life of the transmission fluid.
Have your car's brakes inspected annually to make sure everything's OK. It's always best to be able to plan ahead for brake work by knowing brake condition as your car ages. Brakes are a normal wear item for any car, so sooner or later they're going to need replacement. Planning can also save you money, because the brakes won't get to the metal-to-metal point, which usually means expensive rotor or drum replacement. Symptoms of brake problems may include dragging brakes, squealing brakes, a pulsating brake pedal (with ABS not functioning), grinding brakes, a low brake pedal or pulling when braking.
We also perform Missouri State Vehicle inspections. Bring your vehicle on over to our new facilities and let us show you top quality work can still be affordable and pleasant. The coffee is always on!