Your Car’s Year in Retrospect: Did You Do Your Annual Maintenance?

Walnut Creek Car Repair
admin 2019-01-21


Now that we’re in the beginning of 2019, you’re probably trying to plan ahead for the entire year. Did you actually do your car’s annual maintenance in 2018? Maybe you did oil changes and replaced dim headlights or did small maintenance here and there. But did you do everything required for optimal function?

Scheduled Car Maintenance is Key

It’s important that you schedule yearly maintenance. Like, by actually putting it on your schedule. Make a plan and put aside time. These checkups and predictable services for your vehicle prolong its running life and prevent more expensive problems down the road. Following a basic car maintenance schedule includes yearly flushes of your vehicle’s transmission fluids and radiator belt and hose inspections. These things aren’t done at oil changes or tire rotation appointments.

Keep Good Records

For 2019, set your goal to stay on a regular maintenance schedule for your car. Keep track of all work done by creating a maintenance log. You can use a smartphone app or a notebook tucked inside the glove box. Being able to look back on your maintenance records will give you a better picture of your car’s overall health.

What Does My Car Need?

To know what your car needs, as opposed to what the average car needs, you’ll need to check your owners manual. Owner’s manuals are usually obtainable online or from the manufacturer even for old models. For most cars the fuel filter, exhaust, engine oil and filter, belts, battery and cables, automatic transmission fluid, hoses, lights, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid and tire pressure, tread and general condition should all be checked every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Then once a year, include maintenance to check coolant, cabin air filter, brakes, steering and suspension and power steering fluid.

These are just guidelines for scheduled car maintenance. You’ll also want to consider how you drive since aggressive driving can wear things out much faster that expected. Also city driving is harder on your vehicle than highway driving, which tends to make things wear out faster, too.

If you do regular maintenance on a schedule that matches your car’s needs and your driving style, you’ll get the most out of your vehicle. For professional advice about scheduled car maintenance, feel free to call or stop into Lafayette German Car Repair. We’re here to help you.


Taking Care of Your Automatic Transmission

BMW Repair
admin 2018-12-24



Automatic transmissions are famously complex, and mysterious to many. For simple to understand parts of your car, you may feel more at ease with how to care for them, because you know how they work. Admittedly, auto transmission repair for automatic cars is definitely something for the experts to handle. But caring for your automatic transmission and preventing predictable damage is completely within reach of any car owner.

Do these simple things to keep your automatic transmission running smoothly:


Check Your Transmission Fluid

On many vehicles checking the transmission fluid is easy, and can be done during the same stop as you check your oil. Unlike oil, you’ll want to leave you engine idling while you check this. Pull out the transmission fluid dipstick, wipe it off, and put it back. Wait a few beats before pulling it out and taking a reading. There will be markings on the dipstick for max and minimum levels. If it’s low, you may have a leak.

Your transmission fluid be bright red, clear, and have a sweet smell. If it smells fishy, is murky, or is a dark color, take it to an auto transmission repair specialist.


Use The Recommended Transmission Fluid

Automatic Transmission Fluid is sometimes referred to as “ATF”. You can find what ATF is recommended in the user’s manual for your vehicle. If you’re having trouble finding the original recommendation or believe there’s a reason it may be inaccurate (like your transmission has been replaced), ask your auto transmission repair specialist. Be consistent, and stick with the recommended type.


Keep Your Cooling System in Good Shape

Your cooling system is responsible for keeping your engine cool, but also your transmission fluid, which is pumped through your gear box. Long before your engine overheats, you can have scalding transmission fluid damaging your transmission. So take care of your cooling system so it’s in optimal shape, not just working acceptably to avoid an overheating engine.


Have Your Transmission Fluid Flushed Annually

Put having your transmission fluid flushed on the list of things you do once a year. A flush is not the same as having your fluid changed, and should be done by a professional. The more driving you do, the more important this is. If your vehicle has as transmission filter, have it changed at every flush.


Never Move Between Forward and Reverse While Moving

It can feel cool and slick to put it in reverse while you’re still rolling forward, huh? Like you smoothly skipped a step and saved time? Or you coaxed your car into doing something difficult? Well all you’re really doing is hurting yourself in the long run. This is puts a serious strain on your transmision and can set you up for big trouble.

Let Your Car Warm Up

This is especially relevant during cold weather, but still something worth minding year round. Turn on your car and wait a minute or two before driving. Your transmission will thank you for it.

If you have any concerns about your car’s health or think you may need auto transmission repair, contact Lafayette German Car Repair today. We can inspect and remedy any problems your car may have.