A car can be a roadside companion and a source of pride for many years if it is well taken care of. As a rule, car owners should schedule a regular automotive service following the maintenance schedule advised by the vehicle’s manufacturer to optimize car performance and longevity. Keep in mind that every car is different. Your car’s same model under alternate weather conditions or driving on better-quality roads may yield different requirements for maintenance, so stay in tune with your car and its needs by checking a few key parts regularly.
Read on for the best – and most overlooked – automotive services to extend your car’s lifespan and enjoy its optimized performance for as long as possible.
1) Car Battery Maintenance
The importance of maintaining your car battery cannot be overstated – your car’s battery keeps the electrical parts of your car running smoothly, including your car’s alternator. It is vital to get the battery regularly tested and checked for damage. Extreme temperatures, corrosion, or even just regular wear and tear can prevent your battery from performing its best. This is a very important automotive service to stay on top of, for obvious reasons.
2) Oil and Fluids Check
If your car was made within the last decade, it most likely will benefit from oil-change intervals at 7,500 to 10,000 miles or every 6 to 12 months. With this parameter in mind, check your car owner’s manual to see your specific vehicle maintenance recommendations. Even if you don’t drive your car frequently, it’s important to keep the oil fresh by changing it once or twice a year – this is because oil degrades over time. If left unchecked, low or poor quality oil can damage your car’s engine.
3) Keep it Clean Inside and Out
Cleaning the inside and outside of your car regularly helps to preserve its appearance and keep it in good condition for longer. This increases your car’s value, and a car is an investment that you need to take care of!
- Car Exterior: Grime, dirt, and salt from the road can wear away at your car’s paint and make the exterior of your car more susceptible to rust. Wash the outside of your car every two weeks at the minimum to prevent the buildup of grime.
- Car Interior: Most automakers recommend cleaning the interior of your car at least once a month. Neglecting to clean the inside of a car can result in bacteria and lingering odors, especially if trash or food wrappers are left sitting in a car.
4) Make Use of your Owner’s Manual
To truly ensure that your car functions optimally, you will have to know some basic car maintenance and parts to check in between professional services. Dust off the owner’s manual that’s been wedged in the back of your glove compartment. Reading through your car’s manual is probably the best thing you can do to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your particular model — plus, you’ll find a recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
Schedule a Professional Automotive Service
Below is a list of answers to the most common questions that our customers ask us about automotive repair. Everyone runs into car trouble from time to time. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular maintenance and be aware of how your car functions from day to day. Our professional advice will keep your car running smoothly so you can relax on the road.
Automotive Repair Q&A
Q: How often does a car need to be serviced?
A: Most factory-scheduled maintenance is prescribed at certain mileage milestones including 15K, 30K, 45K, 60K, 75K and 90K miles. Major automotive maintenance occurs at 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, 90,000 miles, and so on. Between services, parts of your car may still wear out and require replacement or maintenance. It’s important to periodically check your brakes, tires, transmission fluid, battery, oil, and oil filter.
Q: What causes my engine to overheat?
A: If your engine is overheating, your dashboard light should turn on and there will likely be smoke coming from the hood of your car. Pull over immediately if this occurs while you are driving, then open up the windows and turn on the heat! This helps pull the heat out of the engine. There are several causes of an engine overheating. The most common culprits are cooling system leaks, radiator issues, broken water pumps, and blocked hoses from mineral buildup or general wear. Regular maintenance checks can help catch such problems before they cause your engine to overheat.
Q: How can I keep my car in good condition?
A: That’s easy! Follow your vehicle’s service manual requirements for regular maintenance checks. A car that is properly serviced and cared for will function smoothly and last for a long time!
Q: Why does my check engine light come on?
A: The check engine light might switch on for many reasons, but it’s not always because there’s a direct problem with your engine. Sometimes, improperly closing the gas cap can mess with the pressure in the fuel-delivery system and trigger the check engine warning. First, try aligning the gas cap correctly and closing it tightly. If the light is still on, it may indicate a more serious problem that a mechanic will best be able to diagnose.
Q: How often should I have my oil changed?
We recommend an oil change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. If you use synthetic oils, you will require a change every 10,000-15,000 miles or once a year, whichever milestone comes first. The owner’s manual of your car will also have an oil change guide based on how many miles you drive.
If you have a question that didn’t appear on this list, get in touch with us! Lafayette German Car Repair is here to help.
Give Us a Call for Automotive Repair
If you’re in need of professional automotive maintenance or repair, you can rely on us. Contact Lafayette German Car Repair by calling (925) 2284-3390. We offer great deals, excellent service, and long-lasting results!
After a long year at home, many of us are planning warm-weather road trips. But before you take the scenic route, it’s important to schedule regular auto maintenance, like having your brakes and vehicle transmission looked over by a local mechanic. Additionally, there are some useful things that all drivers should consider keeping on hand the next time they’re on the go.
Here’s a quick list of emergency supplies to keep in your car…
Halo Bolt Battery
So, your vehicle transmission, brakes, and all the rest looks good. You have the green light from your mechanic. What should you absolutely take just in case?
Jumper cables are an essential emergency kit item to store in your trunk. Better yet, invest in a Halo Battery. It’s the size of a brick and it can charge your phone or jump start your car, so you won’t have to rely on someone else to give you a boost.
A Paper Map
It may sound basic or even outdated, but you just never know when your high-tech GPS could fail you in a remote location. Avoid the stress of getting lost, and bring a backup map just in case. You could lose your cell phone or service. There’s just no telling, so better safe than sorry.
Make sure to pack a spare tire the next time you take a long drive, as well as a tire iron and a jack. Without the right tools, that new tire won’t do you much good when you’re stranded by the side of the road. If you were never taught how to change a flat tire, you’ll be glad you brushed up on the basics if you ever need to try your hand at replacing one. Also, keep in mind that some vehicles have locking tires that require a special security bolt to remove them. Stash this in a safe place where you won’t forget about it.
Air Pressure Gauge
An air pressure gauge is a tiny tool you can leave in the glove compartment. Maintaining the right amount of air pressure in your tires is essential for safety reasons, especially on long road trips. And, if you need to swap out a damaged tire, you’ll want to have this little tool at the ready.
Other Odds and Ends
- Water bottles
- Nonperishable snacks
- Road flares or reflective triangles
- Seat belt cutter or pocket knife
- Window breaker
- Emergency first aid kit
- Phone charger
The list could go on and on, but you only have so much space in your vehicle. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s also a good idea to carry hand sanitizer and extra masks during the pandemic. What you need will ultimately depend on how far you’re going and your individual concerns, but these are some good basics that all drivers should carry just to be on the safe side. What do you keep in your car in case of emergencies?
Schedule Auto Maintenance
If it’s time to have your vehicle transmission checked and you need a local auto shop, call us at Lafayette German Car Repair (925) 284-3390. You can also view all current specials by clicking here. We want to save you money!
Your vehicle transmission plays an important role, but how much do you really know about caring for it? If you’re like most people, the answer is not a whole lot. Of course, you already understand that auto maintenance is essential, so here are a few tips on how to make sure your automatic transmission is reliable so that you can stay safer on the road.
What Does Your Vehicle Transmission Even Do?
Your auto transmission is a complex system with an important job to perform. Essentially, it’s responsible for sending power from the engine to the wheels. The engine generates power, but the transmission delivers it and helps to control your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you’ll have a manual or an automatic transmission. Either way, your vehicle transmission is involved in the process of shifting gears when you speed up or slow down.
This topic could be its own blog post, but you get the gist. Let’s review some key ways to care for your transmission.
Use the Right Vehicle Transmission Fluid
Unfortunately, you can’t just use any transmission fluid in your vehicle, but the owner’s manual will have clear instructions on which products are compatible with your vehicle. You can always talk to a local mechanic for guidance as well. While this step is best left to a professional, do your “homework” if you decide to take a DIY approach.
Come to a Full Stop
Before transitioning from drive to reverse, come to a full stop. Changing gears while you’re still in motion is hard on your vehicle’s transmission, so it’s best to avoid getting into this habit.
Have the Transmission Flushed
From time to time, bring your car in to your local mechanic to have the transmission fluid flushed. Once a year can be a good rule of thumb, but it really depends on how many miles you put on your vehicle. Again, the owner’s manual will provide you with more specific mileage details, or an auto shop can help.
Limit Using Your Vehicle For Towing
Towing heavy loads puts a strain on your vehicle. This is especially true during extreme weather conditions, so try to limit how often you use your vehicle for towing and keep it to a minimum.
Warm Up Your Vehicle Before Driving
Most of us turn the key in the ignition and drive off, but it’s not a bad idea to let your vehicle warm up a little, especially during colder months. Of course, this isn’t relevant if you park in a garage, and you never want to leave your car running in an enclosed space because it can be fatal.
Auto Transmission Repairs
If it’s been a while since you last had your vehicle transmission looked at, be sure to bring it in for a professional inspection. At Lafayette German Car Repair, we want to save you money. Check out our specials by clicking this link, or give us a call at (925) 284-3390. We’re here to help!