Putting extra effort and expense into preventative maintenance is necessary to keep your vehicle in good running condition. You can use the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual or ask us about our complimentary checklist. Any additional investment you put into your vehicle will reap rewards in fewer break downs and prolong the life of your engine, transmission, cooling system and brakes. Below you will find a brief description of preventative maintenance items. Please contact us with any questions or to set up a program specific to your vehicle and driving needs.
The experts at Hibshman's Auto Service are ready to help you with your vehicle. Give us a call or come by today! In the meantime check out this list of suggest items for routine maintenance.
Engine Maintenance: Motor Oil
The motor oil running through your engine is one of the most important fluids you should be concerned about. The oil is responsible for lubricating, cooling, cleaning, and protecting the engine. If the oil has a buildup of sludge or acids, which are formed when moisture reacts with oil, it cannot perform its duties properly resulting in engine damage.
The only way to ensure clean, sludge free oil is to change both the oil and the oil filter regularly. The interval recommended by manufacturers range between 3,000 and 7,500 miles. Keep in mind this is for highway miles, most vehicles require intervals of 3,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.
The air filter helps keep your engine clean by filtering out dirt and other debris. The service interval depends mainly on the type of environment your vehicle is driven in. Vehicles mainly driven on dusty rural roads should have the air filter changed every 15,000 to 20,000 miles; while vehicles whose main mileage is in the city can probably change their air filter 20,000 to 30,000 miles.
Many late model vehicles have cabin air filters as well. These are filters that clean the air inside the passenger compartment and protect the air conditioning components. Again, environmental conditions play a key role in how often these filters should be changed. Another factor is the type of cabin filter you have. If you have strictly a dust filter your change interval will be every few years, if you have a dust and odor filter the change interval is yearly.
Dirt, small pieces of rust and other debris are particles you definitely do not want flowing through your fuel lines. The best defense against a dirty fuel line is to remember to change your fuel filter at regularly scheduled intervals. Dirt in the fuel line can cause your engine and fuel system to run poorly. Changing your fuel filter annually will greatly reduce the risk of dirty fuel related issues, if you must go longer between changes be sure to change the filter every 30,000 miles.
Ignition Tune up
While we still use the term ‘tune up’, as mechanics we cannot physically adjust the ignitions on most cars on the road today. Newer cars are equipped with electric ignitions and have at least one computer in its system. We use state of the art equipment to ensure that your ignition is firing at the optimal time for your vehicle. Many vehicles are equipped with spark plugs that last 100,000 miles.
Automatic Transmission Maintenance
Many owners’ manuals do not have recommendations for changing your transmission fluid; however, it is often the main cause of premature transmission failure. Changing your fluid and filter on a regular schedule is by far more economical than replacing your transmission.
Periodically check your fluid level. If you are unsure how to do this, just ask one of our certified master mechanics. Most experts agree that your filter and fluid should be changed every 25,000–30,000 miles. Ask us about our complete transmission fluid flush. This method flushes out 16-18 quarts of fluid, depending on the size of your transmission. This type of flushing is significantly more advantageous than the traditional drain and fill method which typically only removes six quarts of fluid.
Cooling System Maintenance
The antifreeze in your cooling system performs three important jobs. First, it prevents freezing in the winter, thus the name anti-freeze. Secondly, it raises the boiling temperature to prevent overheating in the summer and lastly, it fights corrosion.
The cooling fluid level needs to be checked frequently to be sure the level isn’t low, which can signify a leak. In addition to checking on the level of fluid, the integrity of the coolant should also be considered. While it is difficult to check if the strength has been compromised by sight alone, brown or discolored fluid is an indicator that the coolant should be changed immediately. It is recommended that you change green coolant every two to three years, while orange and yellow coolants have a longer life of five years.
We carry several different types of coolant including more environmentally conscious propylene glycol based antifreeze.
Brake System Maintenance
A vehicle’s brake fluid is another liquid that is often overlooked; it is rarely changed by most drivers. Since brake fluid is hydroscopic and absorbs moisture over time, it is imperative that the brake fluid is changed every two to three years. As moisture builds up internal rust and corrosion begin to fester which leads to damage of calipers, wheel cylinders, and antilock braking systems. Checking fluid is also important since the level of brake fluid in the master cylinder will drop gradually as the brake lining wears. If you notice a sudden drop in the level a leak is likely and should be repaired to avoid a loss of brake pressure.
Tire pressure should be checked monthly. Be sure that the tire pressure is at the recommended level in the owner’s manual. Pressure that is too low can increase wear on the tires and decrease fuel efficiency. Over inflation can reduce traction. Tires should be rotated every 6, 000 miles to prolong tread life therefore getting more mileage out of your tires.
Wiper blades can take a beating in the freezing cold and blistering heat. Cracked or torn wiper blades can reduce visibility in rain and snow. Replace wiper blades annually, a good time to change them is when you have your vehicle inspected.
Timing belts are typically changed every 75,000 – 105,000 miles. You can check your owner’s manual for the specific manufacturer’s interval. Depending on the type of timing belt configuration your vehicle has (interference or non-interference), if the belt were to break the repair costs could be much higher than simply replacing the belt on a regular interval. At the very least your vehicle will be out of commission until the repair is made, possibly incurring towing costs as well.