Preventive Maintenance Goes A Long Way

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Preventive Maintenance Goes A Long Way

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Automotive Maintenance is something most of us ignore, until our vehicle stops functioning, that is. And then we wonder what went wrong, where. Auto Maintenance is one of the most serious aspects of ownership. It determines the longevity, performance, and reliability of whichever vehicle you drive. Therefore regular maintenance is crucial. (Follow your car or truck Owner’s Manual)

Owner checks and service

When you fill up the gas tank you should check

ENGINE OIL LEVEL

Inspect the engine oil level and add the proper oil when necessary. Note: Remember most cars should burn oil every 2000 miles or more. If you never had to add oil, it means the top half of your engine is not getting proper lubrication. That would indicate an engine problem. Reason is, the upper half of your engine “Valves” needs oil to lube all the moving parts in the engine head area.

NOTICE: It is important to check your oil regularly and keep it at the proper level. Failure to keep your engine oil at the proper level can cause damage to your engine not covered by your warranty.

ENGINE COOLANT LEVEL

Inspect the engine coolant level and coolant mixture when necessary.

WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID LEVEL

Inspect the fluid level in the windshield washer tank and add the proper fluid when necessary.

The following information covers the tests, inspections, and services required to maintain the safety, dependability, and emission control performance of the vehicle. Complete the necessary repairs and procedures on time. Use only the recommended fluids and lubricants.

At least once per month

Tire Inflation

Visually inspect tires including the spare tire. Verify that the tires are inflated to the pressures specified on the Certification/Tire label located on the driver door lock pillar.

Tire wear inspection and rotation every 6000 miles

Tire rotation may be required for high mileage highway drivers prior to the Engine Oil Life System service notification. Check the tires for wear and, if necessary, rotate the tires.

At least once per month

Starter switch check

CAUTION: When you are doing this inspection, the vehicle could move suddenly. If the vehicle moves, you or others could be injured

  • Ensure that you have enough room around the vehicle, which should be parked on a level surface.
  • Firmly apply both the park brake and the regular brake.
  • Start the engine:

On automatic transmission vehicles, try to start the engine in each gear. The starter should work only in PARK (P) or NEUTRAL (N). If the starter works in any other position, the vehicle needs service.

On manual transmission vehicles, put the shift lever in NEUTRAL (N), push the clutch down halfway and try to start the engine. The starter should work only when the clutch is pushed down all the way to the floor. If the starter works when the clutch is not pushed all the way down, the vehicle needs service.

Automatic transmission shut lock control check

CAUTION: When you are doing this inspection, the vehicle could move suddenly. If the vehicle moves, you or others could be injured. Personal injury or property damage may result. Make sure there is enough room around the vehicle, in case the vehicle does move. Do not use the accelerator pedal, and be ready to turn OF1 the engine immediately if it starts. 

  • Ensure that you have enough room around the vehicle, which should be parked on a level surface.
  • Firmly apply the parking brake. Be ready to apply the regular brake immediately if the vehicle begins to move.
  • With the engine off, turn the key to the RUN position, but do not start the engine.
  • Without applying the regular brake, try to move the shift lever out of PARK (P) with normal effort.
  • If the shift lever moves out of PARK (P), the vehicle needs service.

Ignition transmission lock check

  • With the vehicle parked, set the parking brake.
  • Try to turn the ignition key to LOCK in each shift lever position:
  • With an automatic transmission, the key should turn to LOCK only when the shift lever is in PARK (P).
  • With a manual transmission, the key should turn to LOCK only when you press the key release button.
  • On all vehicles, the key should come out only in LOCK.

Park brake and automatic transmission park (p) Mechanism Check

CAUTION: When you are doing this inspection, the vehicle could move suddenly. If the vehicle moves, you or others could be injured. 

CAUTION: When performing this check, the vehicle could move suddenly. Personal injury or property damage may result. Make sure there is enough room around the vehicle, in case the vehicle does move. Do not use the accelerator pedal, and be ready to turn OFF the engine immediately if it starts. You or others could be injured, and property could be damaged. Make sure there is room in front of your vehicle in case it begins to roll. Be ready to apply the regular brake at once should the vehicle begin to move. 

Follow this procedure to test the parking brake and an automatic transmission PARK mechanism:

  • Park on a fairly steep hill, with the vehicle facing downhill.
  • Keep your foot on the hydraulic brake pedal.
  • With the parking brake set, perform the following test:
  • Start the engine.
  • Place the transmission in NEUTRAL.
  • Slowly remove foot pressure from the regular brake pedal. If the vehicle moves adjust Park Brake. In order to check the PARK (P) mechanism of an automatic transmission, additionally perform the following test:
  • SHIFT TO PARK (P).
  • Release all brakes. If the vehicle moves adjust Park Brake.

Under body flushing service

Every spring uses  plain water to flush any corrosive materials from the underbody. Clean any areas where mud and another debris can collect thoroughly. And also, go to the nearest car wash and high-pressure spray engine with soap and rinse. All the above will keep oil and debris from softening hoses and corroding electrical components. Especially cars in colder climates, due to the salt trucks spreading the roads, can do a lot of damage to electrical components in the engine bay, anti-lock wheel sensors, and ride controls.

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38 Years as an Automotive Repair Technician / Mechanic
Import & Domestic Gasoline and Diesel Electronic Engine Control Diagnostic & Repair
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