Posted On: Saturday, March 3, 2012
Having a hard time getting your vehicle the proper service? Is it not fixed right the first time? Lets see if the Unlimited Service team can help. Between us we have 30+ years of automotive experience and know how. This page is dedicated to helping you get your vehicle on the right track;
BENEFITS FOR KEEPING YOUR VEHICLE MAINTAINED WITH SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE:
Prolong the life of your vehicle
Increase Re-Sale value
Reduce the risk of breakdowns
Prevent frequent and costly repairs
Reduce gas consumption
Maintain your warranty
Keep your vehicle safe
Keep your vehicle in top running condition
In the old days when you went to the gas station to fill up your gas tank there was someone there who would “pop the hood” and check a few things for you such as oil level, inspect belts & hoses and tire pressure and other maintenance items.
Today, with self serve gas stations their isn’t a person pumping your gas and inspecting under the hood for you. And most people believe, due to misleading adds by the automobile manufactures, that they don’t need to “pop the hood” until they have 100,000 miles on the car. Because of this motorist are paying the price.
The price of breakdowns and high cost emergency repairs due to un-performed maintenance. Most breakdowns and high cost emergency repairs can be avoided. When you keep your vehicle properly maintained by a certified technician who is trained to look for potential problems you can avoid the breakdowns. If you are told the fan belt is cracked and needs replaced you are looking at about to repair it. If you don’t then one day as your driving down the road thinking all is well, guess what, the belt breaks, your car overheats and your stranded. I sure hope you have a car phone because now your looking at a tow bill, a possible overheated engine and the original belt that needed replaced, and what time were you supposed to pick up the kids?
The following suggested maintenance items and intervals are a basic guideline. You should read your vehicle’s owners manual for more specific details on keeping your vehicle properly maintained. Yes, your vehicle does have suggested maintenance items even if the salesman told you otherwise.
There may be other items depending on your vehicle-as always we suggest you refer to your vehicle’s owners manual for specific maintenance guidelines.
The single greatest factor extending engine life is regular oil changes. Most vehicle manufactures recommend having the oil and oil filter replaced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. There are two sources of oil contamination, external & internal. External contamination includes dirt that gets into the engine from many sources. Internal contamination is the by-product of combustion which includes soot, fuel vapors, and other solid & liquid contaminants made worse by heat.
Our oil change service includes replacing the oil & filter, lube chassis, inspect and top off all applicable fluids, and a 10 point safety/maintenance service.
The cooling system is one of the most important systems in a vehicle. Preventative maintenance includes periodic flushing of the cooling system, thermostat replacement, and new antifreeze/coolant in correct proportions every 3 years or 36,000 miles. Flushing the cooling system is necessary because antifreeze looses it’s ability to protect against freezing if it’s diluted. Additives prevent rust and corrosion breakdown and silicates form granules that can be abrasive to water pump seals and also clog the radiator and heater core.
BELTS & HOSES:
Belts & Hoses should be replace every 4 years or 40,000 miles. Over time belts get brittle and cracked and stretched. Belts never break while your car is sitting in the driveway, they break when you are driving which means you will be stranded. Hoses wear out from the inside out. If a hose burst you loose coolant and the engine will overheat causing major engine damage.
The power steering system should have the fluid flushed every 30,000 miles. A powerful cleaner will dissolve and suspend the varnish and gums in your car’s power steering unit. Flushing the entire system will remove all old fluid and suspended debris. This will help keep the power steering pump and rack & pinion in good condition longer.
The brake system should be inspected annually or every 12,000 miles and have the brake fluid flushed every 36,000 miles. Brake systems have become more sophisticated but they still need proper maintenance. Brake fluid absorbs water which deteriorates the electric solenoids in the ABS system and the wheel cylinders & calipers. When brake fluid gets hot the water in the system boils and creates air pockets which give you a low brake pedal and reduce braking. Today’s ABS brake systems are very sophisticated which makes them very expensive to replace. A little maintenance now will save you big bucks later. Not to mention your safety.
Automatic Transmission fluid flush & filter change should be replaced every 36 months or 36,000 miles. Clean transmission fluid is critical to an automatic transmission because the fluid serves three important functions, transmitting energy, cooling, and lubricating. Clean, cool lubricant is critical to prevent heat buildup that hardens seals and gaskets and causes valves to stick and metal parts to warp. Most of the contaminates in the transmission come from the inside due to normal wear of the band and clutch materials, all of which are made worse by heat. It is much less expensive to have your transmission fluid and filter changed than to replace your transmission.
Your vehicle is under constant attack by dirt and other contaminants that can destroy your engine and transmission. Today’s high performance engines and transmissions are extremely precise, with clearances between moving parts measured in the thousands of an inch. Several filters in your automobile help to trap these contaminants from enter your engine and transmission and to filter out contaminants produced internally as well.
Oil filters should be changed with the oil every 3 months or 3,000. Air filters keep the air coming into your carburetor or fuel injection system clean. This allows your engine to get the air it needs with little resistance, while making sure the air is as clean as possible. Air filters should be inspected monthly and replaced 10,000-15,000 miles. Fuel Filters keep the fuel clean for your engine to run properly. Dirty fuel can lead to erratic engine performance and even a complete shutdown. Contaminants in the fuel can result in costly repairs, excessive engine wear or even a complete overhaul. The fuel filter should be replaced every 10,000 miles. Transmission Filters are the most neglected filter on most vehicles. Most of the contaminants in the transmission come from inside due to normal wear of the band and clutch materials. Transmission Filters should be replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles. See Transmission Service. PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) filters vent harmful contaminants like fuel and air vapors back into the engine where they can be burned as part of normal internal combustion instead of escaping into the environment. PCV filters should be inspected at every oil change and replaced every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. When you replace your vehicles filters be sure to use those only recommended by your vehicles manufacturer. Get the best filter available. Two filters may appear to be the same, but there will be differences that can result in systems failure.
Your battery needs routine care to keep it in top condition. In cold weather the battery looses half its strength while the demands on the battery increase. Oil is thicker so the engine doesn’t turn over as easily. All components of the charging system must be in good working order to ensure dependable starting performance. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. You should have your battery & charging system inspected annually or when you notice the “charge” light come on and you experience hard starting problems. Replace your battery before the end of its life so you don’t end up stranded with a dead battery.
Your vehicle’s exhaust system may have six or more components: the manifold, exhaust pipe, muffler, resonator, tail pipe, and catalytic converter. These items need regular inspections to make sure their are no problems developing like exhaust leaks, holes in the muffler, a plugged converter and so on. Allowing these problems to continue can cost you several hundred dollars in repairs if not taken care of early. Have your exhaust system inspected annually.
Definition-An adjustment to bring an engine, motor or other device into proper operating condition.
Yesterday’s tune-up consisted of replacing the points, condenser, and sparkplugs, adjustment of the carburetor, ignition dwell, and timing. Today the points & condenser have been replaced by an electronic ignition system. Timing in most cases is now computer controlled along with almost all parameters of the engine’s operations, through sensors and actuators. Today’s tune-up is a combination of diagnosis and maintenance. Don’t expect a “Tune-up” with yesterday’s definition to fix your driveability problem. If your vehicle hesitates, is missing or doesn’t have the power it used to a new set of spark plugs probably won’t make it better. Your vehicle needs to be diagnosed by an expert diagnostician to find the cause of your vehicle’s driveability problem since malfunctions may be camouflaged by computers whose function is to keep the engine running as efficiently as possible. When the computers can no longer compensate for mechanical discrepancies, they may just fail and need replaced along with repairing the original cause. Periodic diagnostic services and maintenance can prevent this situation. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule for replacing the spark plugs and other “tune-up” items. We recommend an annual comprehensive inspection of your vehicle if you don’t follow the maintenance schedule.
If shocks and struts were like air filters or tires you would immediately know when they had gone bad. But they’re not. Shocks and struts can wear out gradually over time from normal use. Shocks and struts primary purpose is to maintain constant contact between the tire and the road, as well as ride comfort. You should have your shocks and struts inspected after 25,000 miles for the original shocks and struts and every 6,000 miles thereafter. Shocks and struts cannot be repaired, they must be replaced. You should have them replaced if an inspection identifies the following symptoms: roll or sway on turning, front end dive when braking, rear end squat when accelerating, bounce or slide on a rough and winding road, bottoming out on bumps, fluid leakage from the shocks and struts, or any defect of the component. Keeping your shocks and struts in good working order can prevent costly and unnecessary wear and tear on your tires, steering linkage, ball joints, springs, and C.V. joints and could also prevent undercarriage damage to the oil and transmission pan, exhaust system and more.
Your tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles or twice a year. This helps to avoid uneven wear on your tires making them last longer.
FUEL INDUCTION SERVICE:
It is important to have your fuel system serviced to help remove combustion and chamber deposits on internal components which reduce fuel economy and cause driveability problems such as missing, stalling, hesitating and so on not to mention saving you from having to replace expensive parts like fuel injectors. A Fuel Induction Service will clean the fuel injectors, clean the throttle body, clean plenum an air intake system and clean the intake valves of combustion and chamber deposits. You will see better performance and fuel economy almost immediately. You should have this service performed every 30,000 miles or annually.
You should have your vehicle’s air conditioning system serviced annually by a professional who is certified to do so. An annual service can help you save money by detecting problems early before major damage has occurred to the air conditioning system. It is normal for freon to escape the system very slowly causing the temperature of the air to slowly get warmer. That’s why when the warmer months get here and people start using the air conditioner again, they notice it is not as cool as they remember. There may be other causes of freon leakage such as loose fittings or cracked hoses, leaks at the evaporator and compressor. All these items should be inspected when it is serviced as well as using the original type of freon the vehicle was manufactured with. We strongly recommend avoiding so-called “Drop-In” refrigerants. Unapproved blends are dangerous and may cause costly damage to your vehicles air conditioning system or maybe even fires under the hood.