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Vehicle maintenance is the routine of regular or preventative maintenance of parts, components and fluids of your vehicle to keep them in peak working order. While the manufacturer has a recommended scheduled maintenance service plan, they are a one size fits all plan. Often, we see issues arise from lack of maintenance as the vehicles get older, even when the manufacturers scheduled maintenance plan is followed. At Eccles Auto Service we have developed our own maintenance schedule to help prevent any costly and unplanned breakdowns from unexpected or premature part or fluid failure. What is the Eccles Auto Service maintenance plan?
Here are the most common system and components that should be regularly maintained on your vehicle.
Having your oil and oil filter changed is likely to generate the single biggest return on your routine-maintenance investment. Replacing the dirty oil and filter will help protect the internal parts of the engine from premature wear. It’s important to use the manufacturer recommended grade and specification of oil for your vehicle for the best protection and fuel mileage. We recommended having your oil and filter changed every 6,000 kms or 4 months for most vehicles.
Most tire and vehicle manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 10,000 – 12,000 kms to get the most life out of them and we agree with that. At Eccles Auto Service during a tire rotation, we also check your tire pressures, all your steering and suspension components, as well as your brakes. We then send you a detailed report on the health of all those components.
Something else that needs to be checked in order to get the most life out of your tires is your alignment. Often hitting a pothole or rubbing up against a curb is enough to put your alignment out. Even if your alignment is out just a little it can start to cause irreversible tire wear. With our Hunter Hawkeye Elite alignment rack, we can quickly check your vehicles alignment and let you know if it needs to be adjusted. We recommend having your alignment checked annually.
Don’t wait for a rainy day to discover that your windshield wipers are worn and need replacement. Worn wipers can hinder visibility in rainy or snowy conditions. We recommend that your wiper blades are replaced at least once a year.
A dirty air filter prevents the engine from breathing properly, which can decrease fuel mileage, performance and make the engine work harder than it needs to. At Eccles Auto Service we check your engine’s air filter every time you come in for an oil change service. Most vehicles need this filter replaced every 1 to 2 years.
Your vehicle may also be equipped with a cabin air filter, which filters the air you breathe in the vehicle. A dirty cabin air filter reduces the airflow through the vehicle’s ventilation system. Cabin air filters help keep pollens, bacteria, smoke, and other materials from reaching the inside of a vehicle. Eccles Auto Service recommends vehicles equipped with cabin air filters, have them replaced annually.
Due to our climate and the products they put on the roads, we often see brakes wear prematurely due to seized or rusted components. To ensure the longest brake pad and rotor life you should have your brakes inspected every 10,000 – 12,000 kms and serviced annually.
The vehicles brake fluid also needs to be serviced. Brake fluid naturally absorbs moisture over time. This moisture can cause your brake pedal to feel spongy or allow the brake fluid to boil under heavy application. European manufacturers have long recommended replacing the vehicle every 2 years. More recently, some import and domestic vehicle manufacturers have recommended replacing the fluid as well. Under the Eccles Auto Service maintenance plan, we recommend having your brake fluid changed every 3 years.
Though many spark plugs are designed to last anywhere from 60,000 to 160,000 kilometers, they can still get dirty or fail prematurely. Ignition wires lose insulating ability over time, and the connection to the plug or ignition coil can degrade as well. Having your service technician regularly inspect your ignition system can help you avoid conditions that may result in poor performance or reduced fuel economy. We recommend checking your spark plugs on most vehicles around 96,000 kms.
Another issue that causes poor performance, running issues and reduced fuel economy is carbon build up. Carbon will build up on the throttle body, intake runners and the valves. Eccles Auto Service uses BG induction services to help reduce the carbon in your engine. Depending on your vehicle, this is a service we recommend having done every 24,000 to 48,000 kms or every 1 to 2 years.
The days of a vehicle having either an automatic or manual transmission are gone. There are many different kinds of transmissions now including, automatic, manual, constant velocity transmission (CVT) and automatically shifted manual transmission (ASMT or DSG). What remains the same is they all have vital fluids that need to be serviced in order for the transmission to operate in peak performance and not suffer from component failure. Eccles Auto Service has a plan for your vehicle’s transmission services to keep it running for a long time.
If you drive a vehicle that is rear wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, there are some other components that need to be serviced as well. These vehicles will have either a transfer-case, a rear differential, a front differential, or all of the above! Each of these components are filled with fluid that needs to be serviced. When they are neglected the fluid can break down over time and stop protecting the parts it needs to. This will cause unnecessary component failure and cost you more money. We recommend replacing these fluids every 72,000 kms, or more often if you tow a trailer.
The cooling system in your vehicle depends on specific formulations for lubrication of components and to heat as well as cool your engine. Like all the other fluids in a vehicle they have a service life. Over time they stop lubricating components as well as it should or it can become acidic, damaging internal gaskets and components. Eccles Auto Service recommends replacing your coolant every 5 years or anytime a major cooling system component is replaced.
The importance of good shocks and struts in a vehicle is often over looked. This is a system that affects your vehicle’s steering, braking power, and stability. So, it’s important to have these functions inspected regularly and to replace parts when they become worn. In order to maintain a proper ride and not cause wear and tear on other components your shocks and struts should be regularly inspected and replaced every 80,000 to 100,000 kms.
Other components that should be routinely inspected include ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms, stabilizer links, among others. Eccles Auto Service will inspect all of these components during a routine oil change service, which we recommend every 4 months or 6,000 kilometres.
Drive belts are essential for keeping your vehicles electrical (alternator), engine cooling (water pump) and air conditioning systems running. Checking for cracks in the belt is not enough anymore because the belts no longer crack as much as they used to. We use special tools to measure the grooves in the belts for wear and recommend when its time to replace it.
Another new belt technology that is out is a stretch belt. This is a belt that does not have a belt tensioner to take up the slack. They have self tensioning technology. These belts are a one time use belt and can only be used once. If you have to remove the belt, you have to replace it. Eccles Auto Service recommends replacing your serpentine belts every 4 years.
Timing belts allow your vehicle’s engine to operate. They connect your engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft and play a vital role in controlling the pistons and valves in your vehicle. Timing belts do have a service life and need to be replaced to avoid costly damage if one breaks. Not all vehicles come equipped with a timing belt. At Eccles Auto Service we will let you know if your vehicle has a timing belt and when it needs to be replaced.
The average battery has a life of about 4 years. Extreme heat and cold are hard on automotive batteries. Not only that, but as technology in your vehicle continues to change, the demand on your battery increases. We test your battery and charging system as part of our courtesy inspection, to be sure that it has the power to start your vehicle.
Regular preventative maintenance is imperative to keep your vehicle in top working order. With regular scheduled maintenance will help extend the life of your vehicle and reduce the chance of vehicle breakdown drastically.
We have developed an expert plan to ensure you are getting the right service at the right time. Book an appointment at Eccles Auto Service today!