Preventive Maintenance

Does Preventive Maintenance Really Pay?

Our expert staff of technicians understands the importance of preventive maintenance. Such maintenance extends the life of your vehicle and keeps you and your family safe on the road. When performed regularly, preventive maintenance will:
  • Reduce the depreciation of your vehicle
  • Make the car worth more
  • Avoid costly repairs to transmissions, engines and other vehicle components
  • Make car perform better
  • Allow you to travel safer
  • Reduce "down time" for repairs
  • Allow you to plan service work and not get CAUGHT with so much repair work
BRAKE FLUID FLUSH: For years many Asian vehicle manufacturers have recommended changing brake fluid. Most of these vehicles had master cylinders vented to the atmosphere, and since brake fluid is hygroscopic (it absorbs moisture from the air), they recommended changing the fluid because moisture causes expensive brake components to corrode, and it also lowers the boiling point of the fluid. If brake fluid boils on a hard stop, the pedal will simply drop to the floor. We recommended brake fluid flushes on those vehicles, but we really did not start recommending changing brake fluid on most other vehicles until antilock brake systems became commonplace. In some vehicles, the main ABS valve assembly can cost as much as $2000, so it only makes sense to try to preserve them. While the results are not 100% scientific, my study showed that as our brake fluid flushes increased by 375% over a 4 year period, master cylinder replacements decreased by 50%. The average brake fluid flush costs $95 (less if performed with a brake job), and an average master cylinder replacement was $345. Our ABS hydraulic repairs in the same period are almost nonexistent. We recommend flushing your brake fluid every 30,000 miles or 2 years.
TRANSMISSION FLUID FLUSH: Transmission fluid has friction modifiers that wear out, and other additives to prevent varnishing up of internal components. We used to remove the pan to change the filter and just 4 or 5 quarts of fluid. After we invested in a machine that completely exchanges all 12 - 18 quarts of fluid, transmission overhauls and replacements dropped by 44%. At an average of $1458 for a transmission, it appears that flushing the fluid is a bargain. We recommend flushing your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles or 2 years.

COOLING SYSTEM POWER FLUSH: Engine coolant (antifreeze) has additives to prevent corrosion, lube the water pump bearings and seals, and prevent electrolysis. The “anti-freezing” part does not wear out, however. Since we started recommending power flushes, water pump jobs have dropped 17%, and replacing rusty, leaking freeze plugs has almost stopped! We recommend flushing your antifreeze every 30,000 miles or 2 years.

OIL, LUBE & FILTER CHANGE: I don’t even think I need to repeat how important I feel simple oil changes are to the life of the engine. Since manufacturers started extending the recommended intervals on oil changes, our engine replacements have nearly tripled. An average engine replacement costs $3783. As little as an oil change costs and as much protection it gives your engine we recommend changing you oil and filter every 3,000 miles or 3 months no matter how long the manufacturer says it can last. If using full synthetic oil we recommend every 5,000 miles or 5 months.

POWER STEERING FLUID FLUSH: Recently I had an equipment salesman ask to demo a power steering fluid flush machine. Being skeptical, I asked why, after power steering has been around commercially since 1951, we should start changing power steering fluid? His reply made sense, although I can not confirm his facts. Since the majority of vehicles today use aluminum rack & pinion steering gears, the aluminum wears and microscopic shavings start circulating through the gear and the power steering pump. The figure he quoted me was a 28% decrease in rack & pinion assembly replacements with regular power steering flushes. We’ll keep investigating, but at nearly $550 for an average rack replacement, it might be a big money saver. We recommend flushing your power steering fluid every 30,000 miles or 2 years.

FUEL FILTER AND FUEL/AIR INDUCTION SERVICE: Your vehicle's heart and lungs are found in its air and fuel induction system. Over time, these systems clog with unburned fuel that bakes on as carbon deposits. Today's vehicles require a regular "clean up" to improve performance, lower emissions and pollutant's in the environment and improve/restore fuel economy. Fuel filters should also be changed at regular intervals or when performing our fuel/air induction service. Over time, fuel filters clog with fuel contaminants and may cause performance and/or fuel system component problems. Vehicles with a serviceable fuel filter should be changed at regular intervals. When the fuel/air induction system and/or fuel filter clogs you may experience hard starting, hesitation, stalling, loss of power, poor fuel economy, rough idle, pinging or knocking from engine and/or engine misfiring. Staying on top of your fuel/air induction routine maintenance will hopefully prevent these issues before they start. To keep your vehicle running smoothly, quietly and efficiently, let our team of trained experts inspect your fuel system every year. We recommend replacing your fuel filter every 30,000 miles or 2 years and performing our fuel/air induction service every 15,000 miles or 12 months.

AIR CONDITIONING PERFORMANCE: Your vehicle's air conditioning system works with the heating and ventilation system to provide you with cool, dry air for comfort. Modern technology requires that only certified individuals inspect your AC system for the proper operation. Our ASE-certified technicians are all qualified to inspect your air conditioning system and are equipped to replace or repair anything incorrect in the system. We will inspect for loose belts, leaks, AC operation, and if needed, recharge your system.

DRIVELINE SERVICE: Driveline Service is usually recommended every 30,000 to 50,000 miles/12,000 to 15,000 miles for some all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. The driveline fluid should be serviced because heat, moisture, extreme pressure and loads cause gear oil to break down or to be contaminated, leading to lubrication failure and worn gears. Changing the fluids when scheduled reduces wear and prolongs the life of internal driveline components. All-wheel and four-wheel drive differentials work harder than conventional two wheel drive differentials. For these vehicles, servicing the driveline when scheduled is especially important. With this service, you'll experience smoother gear shifting, quieter operation and extended component-life, which will reduce major repair costs due to worn gears. Driveline service includes flushing out old worn-out lubricant from manual transmissions, front and rear differentials, transaxles, and transfer cases. Install gear oil additive required for vehicle application and fill with the correct amount of gear oil.

IGNITION SYSTEM: Your car's ignition system gets the vehicle going and ensures that it runs smoothly. Spark plugs must fire properly to assure engine performance and emission control. New plugs should be installed at the specified mileage. Check the specification section of your owner’s manual for the proper type of spark plugs for your vehicle. Spark plug wires should also be inspected for evidence of cuts, cracks, splits and corrosion. Also at the time of changing the spark plug wires the distributor cap and ignition rotor should be replaced. Some of the newer vehicles are going to DIS (distributor less ignition) and COP (coil over plug) systems. These systems have ignition coils and/or sensors that send signals to the computer. This is what takes place of the distributor cap and/or spark plug wires. This is a more efficient system because it is computer controlled, but also can be more costly when replacing them.

STEERING AND SUSPENSION: The steering and suspension systems have the important job of controlling where your car goes and how it rides. The systems are not only important for safety reasons, but also enhance the comfort level of the vehicle. You should have the suspension and steering components of your vehicle inspected and adjusted according to the manufacturer's recommended intervals. Proper inspection and adjustment will extend their life. We recommend replacing your shocks and/or struts every 50-60,000 miles. The other components in these systems will be inspected whenever we do your 3,000 mile service.

As you can see, it really appears that preventative maintenance pays off in the long run. A J.D. Powers study stated that if the average owner keeps their vehicle 10 years and spends $2000 per year on maintenance and repair, they will save over $500,000 on new vehicle costs and high ticket repairs over their lifetime. If that half-million dollar figure is accurate, I’d have to say that maintenance does pay.

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