This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vehicle repair and service. We've thrown in some of our favorite tips and recommendations, too. Please call us or consult our Contact Us page for answers to your specific questions. We are happy to assist you!
What are the consequences of postponing maintenance?
Many parts on your vehicle are interrelated. Ignoring maintenance can lead to trouble: specific parts, or an entire system, can fail. Neglecting even simple routine maintenance, such as changing the oil or checking the coolant, can lead to poor fuel economy, unreliability, or costly breakdowns. It also may invalidate your warranty. Properly maintaining your vehicle is less expensive than repairs from negligence.
If I don't take my car to my car dealer for maintenance or repair will I void my warranty?
As a vehicle owner you should know about the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. In 1975 the US Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act - a federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Among other things Congress wanted to ensure that consumers could get complete and straight forward information about warranty terms and conditions. In short the Magnuson-Moss Act gives you these rights. Generally your vehicle manufacturer's warranty cannot require you to return to your auto dealer for vehicle maintenance - or to use only the brand of replacement parts offered by that dealer. By law your vehicle's manufacturer's warranty will stay in effect when you have regularly
Why does my vehicle's maintenance schedule recommend so many fuel system services?
Modern engines have long abandoned carburetion with its many parts destined for failure in favor of simple and direct electronic injection of fuel. No longer are we shackled with the necessity of constant adjustment or repair. A properly maintained fuel delivery system today offers much improved reliability and efficiency than those systems of old. Millions of cars today run at a level of efficiency considerably reduced, due to the high concentration of carbon deposits accumulated in the fuel injection system, intake valves, combustion chambers, oxygen sensor and catalytic converter. Carbon build-up clogs fuel filters, reduces fuel flow, distorts fuel spray patterns, limits fuel automation and decreases combustion efficiency. Carbon build-up gradually robs your vehicle of performance and fuel economy, and may cause numerous problems such as engine malfunction, high emissions, excessive fuel consumption, loss of performance, rough idling and hard starts. Simply infusing an additive into a gas tank will not adequately decarbonizes injectors, cylinder heads, valves, intake plenums, exhaust emission sensors, and other critical components.
When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs.
I see a fluid leak under my car, what is it?
You can identify fluids by their color and consistency: Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator. A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak. A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power-steering fluid leak. A puddle of clear water usually is no problem. It may be normal condensation from your vehicle's air conditioner.
How often should I change my oil?
Most car manufacturers say to change your oil every 7,500 miles unless you drive in severe conditions. Severe conditions are defined as dirty or dusty roads, extremely hot or cold climates, a lot of stop and go driving, taking long trips or if you tow a trailer. If you answer yes to any of the severe driving conditions, your vehicle falls into the severe conditions category, or the 3,000 mile oil change interval.
What is that milky brown engine oil?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.