Car Tips

Simple Maintenance Can Keep You and Your Vacation on the Road

With a change of seasons upon us, many Californians are starting to plan family vacations and road trips. Before you hit the road, make sure your preparation includes getting your car in shape for the weather that awaits you. We can help!

“With a few quick and relatively inexpensive steps, you can keep your vehicle and vacation running smoothly,” said Kathleen Hamilton, former director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. “You should be enjoying your trip, not worrying about whether your car will make it home.”

If you would like us to check your vehicle before any trips begin, give us a call or make an appointment online. You’ll have more peace of mind on the road.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips

Summer : Hot weather can be rough on cars. Higher temperatures speed up a car’s wear and tear, as fluids and lubricants break down more quickly.

Winter : Cold weather is rough on cars, too. Lower and freezing temperatures affect your battery, and systems with fluids – like your radiator and heater and lubrication system. Ice can damage your windshield wipers.

Fuel & Air Induction Cleaning Service

By following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule (see your car’s owner’s manual) and taking the following precautions, your car will be ready for any weather – a long, hot summer or when Jack Frost arrives:

Taking a trip? Whatever the season, consider a pre-trip inspection by a qualified technician before you leave. Repairs made on the road may be more costly, and disrupt your vacation plans.

Operationally, check the air conditioning and heating systems, and inspect the belts and hoses. You may want to have our service professionals inspect the entire system.

Inspect batteries and battery cables for corrosion, cracks and dirt. Hot or cold weather can shorten a battery’s life, so have it tested if it’s near the end of its warranty. Its a lot easier to replace a dying battery before failure than replace a dead one on the roadside.

Have our licensed brake experts inspect your brake pads and linings for wear. Uneven or faulty braking can bring loss-of-control disasters on the road.

Change the engine oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications. Our service technician will also check the coolant, brake, automatic transmission, windshield wiper and power steering fluids.

Replace ragged wiper blades. This is especially critical as rain and snow seasons approach, so do it before your vision on the road is obscured by faulty wiper blades.

Check the air pressure in all tires, including the spare, to make sure they are properly inflated. Uneven or excessive tread wear are signs that it may be time for rotation or even replacement. We check inflation on each of your service visits.

Test your car’s interior and exterior lights, including turn signals and high beams, to make sure they work. This is also a good time to clean the lenses to get maximum visibility. We have lighting replacements for your vehicle to make all its lighting functional.

Change your car’s air filters according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications. A dirty air filter lowers gas mileage and reduces engine performance, whatever the season may be.

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, our service professional should inspect your radiator, pressure cap, belts, and hoses. When needed, we flush and refill the cooling system according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications. Never head to “snow country” risking a freeze up in your cooling or windshield washing fluids. We add anti-freeze for all systems needing protection.

Check engine light. Never leave on any trip – even a short one – with your car’s “check engine light” or “malfunction indicator light” lit up. This light alerts you to a malfunction if it’s on while driving your car. If this light is on, have the problem immediately diagnosed by our qualified technicians before you risk damage to your engine.