Courtesy of Paul’s Automotive
[media-credit name=”MVL” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit] It is very tempting to skip routine maintenance/service for your vehicle, and buy something that makes you happy. After all, for the cost of your payment the vehicle should maintain itself. Like all our valued investments (houses, vehicles, children) your vehicle cannot take care of itself. Poorly maintained vehicles cause thousands of wrecks each year. The bill for accidents resulting from unperformed vehicle maintenance tops $2 billion a year, according to the Car Care Council, an advocacy group based in Bethesda, Md.
Even if you are lucky enough to avoid a crash, putting off maintenance is likely to reduce your valued investment’s lifespan. Failure to replace radiator fluid at service intervals (minimum) may cut your vehicle’s life in half. A failed timing belt may cost you your engine. Failure to maintain your brake system (this includes replacing fluid) may cost you more than you can conceive.
Wintertime is often too cold, too gloomy. We simply do not want to leave our houses so we tend to put off our “to do list” until spring. Now spring time is here and it is time to think about what we put off ‘til tomorrow and do it today. Unload the unnecessary from your vehicle. If it is not likely to snow do you need snow chains in your trunk? Lightening the load of your vehicle helps fuel mileage and longevity. Other things to consider for fuel mileage is a clean air filter; cleaning the injection system; and adjusting the tire pressure to the proper PSI for your vehicle.
According to PortableACNerd.com, if your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter we recommend changing it each spring. Winter moisture and debris causes these filters to plug and reduces the air flow from the dash vents; thus, reducing the efficiency of the air conditioner.
Pot holes caused by harsh weather and traffic are difficult to avoid. Suspension/steering component damage may occur when a pot hole cannot be avoided. This damage leads to premature/uneven tire wear. Broken motor mounts may allow for vibration damage to occur to other components. That front end shake you feel may only be the loss of a wheel weight but it could be due to dangerous wear in front end components.
Fluids are housed in metal and/or plastic containers and flow through porous seals and hoses. These small pores allow for condensation to find its way into the system (automotive fluid is thicker than water). The condensation turns to vapors as the fluids heat up during operation. The vapors create air pockets in the systems creating excessive pressure and break the fluid down. Failing fluid loses the ability to lube and protect internal components of your vehicle’s systems.
Minor issues found in a spring inspection could save you expensive repairs and use of vehicle time loss later. Beware–just because a service has the same name at different service centers, it does not mean they cover the same items. Do not be embarrassed to ask what services are due for age and mileage of your vehicle.