Care Care Tips & Vehicle Maintenance
Car Care Tips
The technology in today’s vehicles has become so sophisticated, many drivers are unaware of how their vehicle’s systems actually work. Although it is not important for drivers to completely understand these systems, it is important to have a basic understanding of the systems and components that have the greatest impact on safety, dependability and performance. Regular maintenance is the key to continued performance and safety, as well as protection from costly repairs.
Below is a list of some of the important systems you should have serviced and inspected on a regular basis. Always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for detailed recommended service intervals.
Brakes: Obviously, brakes are an important safety device. You should have your brakes inspected as part of your routine service. Any sign of poor braking performance should be addressed immediately. We recommend having your brakes checked every 20,000 Km. or once a year, whichever comes first. Also keep in mind, that brake fluid is just like every other fluid in your car and needs to be changed on a consistent basis. We recommend every 45,000 Km.
Cooling System: Have your cooling system checked as part of your maintenance program. Problems with your cooling system could lead to excessive engine wear. If cooling system problems are not addressed, it will lead to expensive repairs. Coolant should be flushed and changed every 40,000 Km.
Emission Control Systems: The emission control system is currently being examined by the Drive Clean Program. A malfunctioning emission control system can also lead to poor fuel economy and performance.
Filters: All the filters on your vehicle should be replaced as part of a regular service regimen. Air and fuel filters should be examined on a regular basis and changed as required. We examine your air filter on every visit as part of our regular inspection.
Fluids: Oil should be changed every 5000 km or 3 months, which ever comes first. You should also check engine coolant, transmission and power steering fluid, as well as brake fluid. We can customize a maintenance plan specific to your vehicle. For more detail on maintenance schedules, click here.
Suspension: Your suspension system not only absorbs bumps, but also ensures proper tire-to-road contact. Worn suspension components compromise steering control and may lead to premature tire wear.
Tires: Tire pressure should be checked regularly. Proper tire inflation is not only a fundamental component of safe driving, but also ensures optimum tire life. Damaged tires should be replaced immediately. We inspect your tires and tire pressure on every visit.
Spark Plugs: It is essential to replace spark plugs in accordance to the intervals specified in your owner’s manual. Worn spark plugs will result in poor engine performance and may cause excessive emission outputs.
Windshield Wipers and Lights: Inspect your windshield wipers regularly. Worn windshield wiper blades will cause streaking that can impair visibility. Periodically walk around your vehicle to ensure all lights are working. This includes brake, tail, signal and headlights.
The key to owning a reliable and safe operating vehicle is regular maintenance. The minor expense associated with regular service is by far, money well spent. A lack of maintenance will almost always ensure costly break downs. If you notice any problems with your vehicle, have a professional examine it. Small problems caught in time, could eliminate major and expensive repairs.
- Keeping your vehicle in top operating condition will save you fuel and money, reduce your long-term maintenance costs and minimize harmful exhaust emissions. A well-maintained vehicle is also more reliable and could be worth more when you want to sell it.
- Read the owner’s manual carefully to become familiar with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and requirements. Maintenance regimes vary widely from one vehicle to another – the manufacturer of your vehicle knows best.
- It’s usually best to leave the servicing of your vehicle in the hands of trained automotive professionals. They have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and correct problems and to put you on the road to safe, fuel-efficient driving.
- When purchasing motor oil, look for a brand that is rated as being “Energy Conserving.” Using the lowest multigrade of oil recommended in your owner’s manual can improve the fuel efficiency of the engine, particularly when starting it cold.
- Virtually all of your vehicle’s mechanical systems can affect fuel efficiency if not properly maintained. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for checking the engine, cooling and ignition system, brakes, drivetrain and emission-control system.
- Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 8 psi (56 kPa) can reduce the life of the tire by 15 000 kilometres and increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption by 4 percent. For improved fuel efficiency and enhanced safety, give your tires the attention they need.
- Your tires need special attention during winter. Cold temperatures decrease the air pressure in tires, which adds to the rolling resistance caused by snow and slush. Measure tire pressure regularly, especially after a sharp drop in temperature.
- Head off problems that can cost you fuel and money by performing a monthly check.
- A poorly maintained vehicle can boost fuel consumption by up to 15 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by even more.
- A clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by 10 percent.
- Under-inflated tires are estimated to cost Canadian light-duty vehicle owners almost 643 million litres of fuel annually. At $0.79 per litre for regular unleaded gasoline, that amounts to more than $500 million a year in wasted fuel
- Neglecting to replace worn-out oil results in poor engine performance, higher fuel consumption and possibly severe engine damage.
- A well-maintained vehicle is more reliable and could be worth more when you want to sell it.