Summertime means that you’re likely finding yourself on the road more often. Whether you’re driving to your favorite local hiking spot or are visiting out-of-town relatives, you need a car that is running safely and reliably.
This is why it’s important to have tune-ups performed regularly. Oil changes, brake services, and alignments in Longmont all help boost your car’s longevity and ensure that it’s running smoothly. Here’s how regular maintenance improves vehicle performance.
Your tires play a critical role in getting you and your vehicle safely from Point A to Point B. During a tune-up, your technician will check the tread to see if your tires are becoming worn and perform a rotation to help your tires wear evenly. This will help you get the most out of your tires before they need to be replaced.
They will also check the air pressure to make sure they are properly inflated. Tires that are overinflated are more susceptible to road damage, while under-inflated tires can increase your chance of crashing.
One of the most important maintenance tasks you can have done for your car is an oil change. Motor oil lubricates your engine and keeps metal parts from scraping against each other. This guards against damage while keeping your engine’s overall temperature cool.
Old or thick oil cannot perform these tasks as efficiently, putting your car at risk for damage or overheating if you skip tune-ups. Your technician will replace your existing oil and filter to keep all parts running smoothly.
When the car in front of you brakes suddenly, you need to be able to react quickly. If your brake pads are worn or if your rotors are damaged, your vehicle might not be able to stop in time.
Your technician will inspect the condition of your hydraulic brake system and operating hardware and replace worn brake pads if necessary. Signs that you need to replace your brake pads include a brake pedal that feels soft or “spongey” when pressed.
Owners of older vehicles with non-electric ignitions should plan on having a tune-up performed either annually or every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Newer cars with electric ignition and fuel injection systems can go longer—on average, drivers can last from 25,000 to 100,000 miles without needing a major tune-up performed.
It’s a situation that many people have been in. You’re late to work when you get in your ride, put your key in the ignition, turn, and—nothing.
One of the most common reasons for car service in Longmont is a vehicle that won’t turn on. Though this can occur for several reasons, your vehicle’s electrical system is most likely to blame. Read on to learn how to find the source of the problem and determine whether it’s a quick fix or an issue that requires the hand of a skilled mechanic.
Did you turn the key and nothing happened? First, check to see if your interior lights turn on. If the lights, radio, A/C, or other electrical features of your automobile aren’t turning on, the issue is most likely with the battery.
Your car’s battery provides an electrical current even when the vehicle isn’t turned on. Even if your vehicle does crank on, a dying battery might make this cranking sluggish or take longer to start the entire vehicle.
How old is your battery? The average battery should last anywhere from three to five years with proper maintenance. If your battery is past the four-year mark, a replacement might have been inevitable. Next, take a look at your battery. Does it appear swollen or bloated? Excessive heat might have caused damage that shortened its lifespan.
Luckily, a dead battery can also be simple to fix. Find someone to help give your automobile a jumpstart, which will give your battery enough of a charge to get your engine running again.
Are your interior lights on but nothing happens when you turn the key in the ignition? Your alternator might be to blame.
While your battery is responsible for providing the initial charge to start your vehicle, your alternator makes this supply last. This device uses an alternating current to recycle your automobile’s limited electrical supply, which prevents your battery’s energy store from depleting.
Other signs of a faulty alternator include a car that shuts down after being jumped or a weak electric signal while it’s driving. You might notice that your headlights are dimmer than usual or interior lights that fade in and out.
Do you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition? Your starter could be the reason why your vehicle isn’t turning on.
Your starter motor is what causes your engine to turn, allowing it to start the rest of your vehicle. A starter that is worn or not engaging properly will often produce a grinding noise, which can cause engine damage if not addressed quickly.
Another warning sign is seeing smoke, especially if it’s accompanied by a burning smell. This could be signaling that too much power is being drawn to your starter through the electric supply.
Your car is an investment. Regular preventative maintenance is one of the best ways that drivers can keep their vehicle running smoothly and prolong its longevity. This will help save you time and money in the long-run, since you will be able to identify and prevent costly damage before it occurs.
However, keeping up with regular tune-ups is easier said than done. If you’re not a natural-born mechanic, here is a list of the most common car maintenance mistakes to avoid.
1. Skipping Oil Change
Having regular oil changes in Longmont is one of the most crucial car maintenance tasks. Oil keeps your engine lubricated and helps siphon away heat, reducing the likelihood of damage or overheating. While the general rule of thumb used to be having a replacement done every 3,000 miles, drivers can now go anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500 miles before needing to have an oil change done.
2. Skipping Brake Checks
Are your brakes making an annoying squeaking or grinding sound? Don’t just raise the radio volume and hope it goes away. Your brakes are an important part of your vehicle’s safety features, and these strange sounds are often a sign that your brake pads are worn. Another common sign is a brake pedal that feels spongy or takes too long to engage when you press down.
3. Ignoring the Check Engine Light
Even if the sign of trouble isn’t immediately obvious, there’s a reason why your check engine light is on. While this can sometimes be due to a bad sensor, there might be something else amiss with your vehicle. Having your light checked is quick and easy, but waiting can result in expensive issues down the road that could have been avoided.
4. Using Home Glass Cleaner On Windshields
Though it might seem convenient, never use home glass cleaner on your vehicle’s rear windshield. These products often contain ammonia, which can deteriorate the thin red wires that are responsible for defrosting your glass. Instead, use a product specifically formulated for auto glass.
5. Not Checking Your Fluids
Though motor oil is the lifeline of your vehicle, it’s not the only fluid that needs to be checked and replaced regularly. Your engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid all need to be checked, replaced, and/or topped off regularly. Each fluid has its own respective reservoir under your engine hood that will let you see where your current levels are.
When your tires are worn or past their prime, accidents are more likely to occur. While they might not seem like pressing matters at the moment, even low tire pressure can cause a blowout or pricey damage if left unaddressed. This is why you should inspect your vehicle’s tires regularly to make sure they are still performing as they should. If you notice the following signs, you should plan on replacing your tires as soon as possible.
1. Worn Tread
Tire tread is the rubber of your tire that makes contact with the road. You are likely familiar with a tread pattern, which is made up of the grooves that are molded into the surface. As you drive your car, the tread will naturally wear down. This reduces its ability to provide traction and grip the road, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
Your tread depth should never fall below 1/16 of an inch. You can measure this with measuring tape or use the penny test. Stick a penny upside down in one of the grooves with the head facing you. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, then your tread is too low. Plan on replacing your tires right away.
2. Uneven Wear
While inspecting your tire tread, also take note of its uniformity. Do all tires show the same amount of wear, or are the front tires significantly more bare than the back set? While poor tire pressure or a bad alignment is often to blame, you should also consider how often you rotate your tires.
For front-wheel drive vehicles, the front tires are more likely to wear first. This is because they’re responsible for accelerating, steering, and braking, receiving most of the force of these normal driving functions. To encourage even wear, it’s smart to have your tires rotated on a regular basis—preferably every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
3. Bulging At Sides
Are your tires misshapen and appear to be bulging at the sides? This is a common sign of deflation. You might be dealing with something as simple as low air pressure or more pressing like a puncture that is causing air to leak.
Inspect your tire for damaged areas that might be allowing air to escape—there is a chance you might have run over a nail or cracked your sidewall. A technician might be able to patch up minor damage or suggest that you replace the entire tire.
4. Making Strange Noises
While a certain amount of road noise can be expected while driving, your ride should be relatively quiet. If you are hearing strange sounds coming from the areas where your tires are positioned, that’s often a sign of impending auto repair in Longmont.
A probable cause is that your tires are out of balance, especially if you hear a thumping sound coming from under the seats. However, if your steering wheel is also vibrating, you might be dealing with suspension issues.
Now that summer is here, you’re likely running your car’s air conditioning more often than usual. Not only do you need to stay cool as you’re driving, but you also need to remove the heat that collected if your car was parked in direct sunlight.
If your A/C system stops working suddenly, it won’t take long for your everyday work commute or a weekend road trip to become extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are some warning signs to watch out for that will clue you in to your air conditioner’s health.
Along with regular tire rotations and oil changes in Longmont, CO, periodic A/C checks should be at the top of your car maintenance to-do list. Beat the heat by looking out for these common symptoms of a faulty A/C system.
Hot Air Coming Through Vents
When you turn on your A/C, do you notice that only warm or hot air is making its way through the vents? You might be dealing with a refrigerant leak. Since A/C systems are pressurized, they must be completely sealed in order to function correctly.
As a result, when a leak occurs, your refrigerant levels cannot simply be topped off. Your system must be recharged with pressurized refrigerant before it will begin blowing cold air again.
Strange Noises from Car AC
As with any other car issue, you should be concerned if you hear unusual sounds coming from your air conditioner system. When functioning properly, you should only be able to hear your fan running quietly in the background as it blows out cool air.
If you hear a banging or rattling sound, there might be sticks, trash, or other debris stuck in your blower motor. There is also a chance that your condenser or compressor belt might be worn and in need of replacement.
Humid Inside Car
In addition to keeping you cool, your A/C is also responsible for pulling moisture from the cabin air. This water is siphoned away and deposited outside your vehicle in the form of water—on a hot day, you might notice this as a puddle underneath your car.
However, if you notice condensation inside of your vehicle, your air conditioner system might not be functioning as it should. This could be due to a clogged drain or hose that is causing water to back up and drain directly into your vehicle instead of the ground outside.
Driving with faulty brakes is dangerous, and it can lead to a fatal accident. Therefore, it is important to check your brakes all the time to make sure that they are working properly. When you bring in your car for maintenance or for auto repair in Longmont, make sure that your brakes aren’t forgotten. They should be checked if they have gone through wear and tear and might need replacing. They should also be checked to see if they need tightening.
Your brakes should be checked at least once a year. They should be checked more frequently if you drive a lot. All components of your brake system should be verified to be in the best condition to ensure a safe drive.
Your brake fluid should also be checked. The brake fluid requires regular changing as well, similar to an oil change. Doing so helps in preventing any damage to your car. If this isn’t done regularly, there can be a blockage in the brake system, which can cause more problems that are more expensive to fix.
To avoid any untoward incidents with your brakes, you should listen to any warning signs. Your brakes might be telling you something you shouldn’t neglect. Here are some warning signs from your brakes. If you experience any of these, it is best to bring your vehicle to a car repair shop.
1. Screeching, grinding, and other noises when you step on the brakes
2. The car pulls on one side when driving
3. The brake pedal almost hits the floor before it engages
4. The brake pedal requires extreme force to engage
5. The brake engages with the slightest touch
6. The brake pulses or vibrates even when just normally driving
7. The brake light is turned on on the dashboard
The brakes experience normal wear and tear with regular use. To ensure that they are in top condition, you should always have them checked. If they are already worn out, you should get them replaced immediately to avoid accidents that can be caused by it. Moreover, don’t let the brake pads be thin enough that they hit metal to metal. If this happens then it can be more costly to replace the rotor or the drum. In some cases, when the brake pads are still thick then the brakes might just need tightening.
The brakes can be easily checked by your trusted mechanic. They can be checked during regular maintenance check-ups so you don’t need to take additional time off for this. When you bring in your car for maintenance, make sure to have the brakes checked too.
Therefore, always listen to your brakes because they might be hinting at something.
Wheel alignment is one of the crucial maintenance steps that should be done to your car. Doing this regularly can help ensure that your car is performing at its best. Moreover, it can help guarantee better fuel economy and improved handling. There are lots of reasons why a car would need a wheel alignment. For instance, if you’re driving in Longmont and hit a pothole, chances are your wheels will need an alignment after that. There is nothing to worry though because this is easy to do. Just bring in the car to a maintenance service facility and they’ll do the trick for you.
Benefits of Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment has an important role in ensuring that your car performs at its best. Here are the benefits of getting wheel alignment:
- Extends tire life
Properly aligned tires have a longer lifespan. Since the suspension system is in the right orientation, the tires are also in the right orientation. If not, this can lead to uneven wear and tear of the tires, which can lead to a shorter lifespan. With a longer tire lifespan, you can save on getting new tires in short periods of time because your old tires can serve you longer.
- Promotes safety
If your tires aren’t aligned, it can result in difficulty in steering and handling. If this happens and you’re driving fast on the road, it can lead to an accident. You might find it difficult to steer your wheels if they aren’t aligned, which can either cause you to panic or simply be unable to steer them. Hence, an accident is imminent if this is the case
- Adds comfort Aligned wheels are easier to drive. If you are a long-distance driver, you would appreciate the comfort of having aligned wheels. You won’t have to spend extra effort to turn and maneuver your car. Even if you’re a city driver, you would definitely appreciate the comfort that aligned wheels provide.
When to Get Wheel Alignment?
There are signs that tell it’s time to go to a maintenance service facility and get your wheels aligned. Some of the tell-tale signs include:
- An uneven orientation of your car
- The car gets easily pulled on one side
- Your ride gets too bumpy even on smooth roads
- You have a hard time steering your car and maneuvering it
- Your tires show uneven wear and tear
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you should immediately seek help to align your wheels. Neglecting it can lead to more serious and more expensive problems. It doesn’t take a lot to do this so it is best to get it done immediately.
Unlike in the past, cars nowadays aren’t just there as a piece of luxurious gear. Since people travel a lot today, cars have become an integral part of people’s day to day activities. They allow us to move faster and go farther. Therefore, it is important to care for them as well. Some people skip regular car maintenance without realizing how important it is. To help you understand why you should bring in your ride to a reputable car service shop in Longmont regularly, here are the top reasons regular car maintenance can help you.
1. Provides enhanced safety
Regular car maintenance allows you to see if there are underlying issues in your vehicle. Doing it can easily pinpoint any problems especially regarding critical components in your car. This can help you avoid getting into accidents due to car trouble. Even before an important car component fails, you can already get it repaired or replaced to avoid getting into accidents. Some of the common car problems that can lead to accidents include a faulty brake system, worn out drive belts, and worn out tires. With regular maintenance, your mind is always at ease even when taking your car for long distance travels.
2. Helps avoid expensive repair or replacement costs
If there is anything faulty in the car, it can create a domino effect of problems. Therefore, with regular car maintenance, you can already identify the key problem and get it fixed before it affects the car’s ecosystem. For instance, worn out tires can blow up and can force you to drive on a flat. This can damage the rims of the tires, which are a lot more expensive to replace. Therefore, with regular car maintenance, you can see minor problems and get them fixed before they cascade into bigger problems that are costly to solve.
3. Better resale value
A well-maintained car has a better resale value. If you plan on selling your car someday to get a new one or just because you should invest in it with regular car maintenance. Second-hand car buyers can be meticulous, and if you want to jack up the price of your car, make sure that it is taken care of regularly by trusted mechanics.
4. Improves car’s performance
There are components of a car that are susceptible to faster wear and tear. If not addressed quickly, they can affect the overall performance of the car. They can make it inefficient and more costly to use. When you bring in your car for a regular check-up, these components are checked to see if they are performing optimally. Hence, if they are, you can be sure that you’re getting the most from your car without overspending for it.
If you love your car, you will bring it in regularly for maintenance checks. This ensures that your vehicle is healthy and that you’re driving a car that is in top condition. If you aren’t familiar with what things to check in your car to make sure that it is performing at its best then you should go to a dependable car service facility and let them do the checkup. For starters, here are some of the important aspects they check.
There are different things a car service facility checks with your tires. They check the tire pressure to ensure that you’re driving it in the best fuel economy that it can offer. This also helps ensure that you are given utmost comfort and handling when driving.
They also check the tread depth for safety. Tires that have shallow tread depth tend to be slippery when driven on the highway, especially if it’s raining. Therefore, old and worn out tires should be immediately replaced.
They also check the alignment of the tires to avoid having a bumpy ride. When needed, they will rotate and re-align the tires to make sure you get a smooth drive every time.
When you bring in your car for maintenance, it is crucial for the facility to check your engine. They make sure that your drive belts are still in the best condition and are tight enough to ensure an efficient drive.
They also check the oil levels in your car. If necessary and if you’ve driven a lot in Longmont, they will do an oil change. This guarantees the best engine performance. Regular oil change is needed to make sure that the engine is always in top condition.
Like the oil levels, they will also check the engine coolant level. This helps prevent overheating of your car. They also see to it that all filters are still in good condition. They will recommend replacements if there are any worn out engine filters.
To ensure safety during night driving, the lights on your car should always be functioning at 100%. During maintenance, they can already spot busted lights, which most owners overlook. Of course, no one wants to drive at night with broken lights and not see the road.
Your car needs battery power to start. Oftentimes, the battery is neglected until you can’t start your car. To avoid this from happening, bring your car for a maintenance checkup and have your battery replaced before it gives out. It is tedious to have to jumpstart your car because your battery died. It is worse if your car stops in the middle of nowhere with no one to jumpstart it.
One of the best measures to prolong the lifespan of your car and its engine is to perform regular oil changes. Keep in mind that the oil in your car is like the lifeblood of the vehicle. If it isn’t changed regularly, there can be debris in the oil that can block several parts of the engine and cause it to fail. The great thing is, a regular oil change is easy to do, especially with the assistance of a trusted car service facility in Longmont, Co.
The oil change can be done as part of regular maintenance. Therefore, you don’t need to take extra time off to do this because it can be done alongside other maintenance checks. Experienced mechanics will recommend getting your oil changed when you have driven about 3,000 miles or when three months have passed, whichever comes first. Still, with the use of high-performance oil, this can be prolonged and timing can be extended.
To further appreciate why you should do regular oil changes, here are the benefits of doing so.
1. It provides better engine performance
Clean oil guarantees that your engine is in top shape. When you change the oil regularly, it guarantees that there is no debris in the oil that goes around the engine. The debris can cause blockage in the engine, which can lead to it performing poorly. Worse, the engine can fail when oil is not changed immediately.
When your car’s engine is in top shape, it allows you to drive optimally with the best fuel economy. Hence, you don’t waste any fuel and get your money’s worth every time you top up.
2. Avoid debris build-up
Pristine oil is debris-free, which means there is no debris build-up inside the engine. Imagine the engine is like the heart: if there is debris or plaque in the arteries, it can be fatal. This is the same with the car; if the engine is blocked, the car will fail. It will be costly to repair it if there is even still a chance to revive it. It will be more expensive to buy a new one when this could have been avoided with a regular oil change.
3. Better fuel economy
As mentioned before, if the oil is clean, the engine performs at its best. Hence, you get the best fuel economy. You get a lot of drive with every gallon of fuel.
4. Reduced emissions
With clean oil, your car doesn’t produce any harmful emissions. In a way, you don’t contribute in polluting the air around simply by changing your oil regularly.
5. Prolongs the life of your car
It is expensive to buy a new car so as much as possible you want to extend the life of your existing vehicle. With just a simple regular oil change, you can do this and add more years to your car’s life.