Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know what maintenance is scheduled for my vehicle?
Every vehicle has a recommended maintenance schedule from the manufacturer. Our data base has a service schedule available to our customers to keep their vehicles performing at optimum levels.
2. Why should I replace the spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor?
Every vehicle uses a high voltage ignition system. When a vehicle develops an ignition misfire, electricity from the ignition system takes the path of least resistance. This can leave a path known as a carbon track on any of the secondary ignition components, mostly known as a distributor cap, distributor rotor, ignition coil, spark plug wires and spark plugs.
3. How often should the hoses and belts be replaced?
Belts and cooling system hoses should be changed on average every three years or every 50,000 miles. This will vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle.
4. How do I know if I need a wheel alignment?
The most common complaint that we hear is, "My steering wheel isn't straight." If your vehicle seems to drift to one side when you are driving on a straight roadway, it is probably time to have the alignment checked.
5. How long does an alignment last?
Unfortunately, alignments don't last a specific amount of time. Your cars alignment depends on several things including your driving style, tire wear and road conditions.
6. How often should my vehicle have a wheel alignment?
Once again, there is no set time frame on having your wheels aligned. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in question number 4 above, an alignment check can determine if you need an alignment immediately.
7. How often should the engine antifreeze/coolant be flushed?
This depends on the visual condition of the coolant, it's pH level and the mileage of the vehicle. Conventional coolant flushes can be done, on average, every 15,000-20,000 miles, or every other year. Extended life coolant can be done every 20,000-60,000 miles. Extended life coolant has been found to create other issues if not properly maintained, including radiator or heater core blockage, and, in some instances, engine gasket deterioration.
8. If a 50/50 mix of water and coolant is good, then isn't 100% coolant better?
Pure antifreeze doesn't transfer heat as well as a 50/50 mix. It also carries a lower freeze point.
9. My vehicle has noticeable or excessive smoke coming out of the tail pipe, what does that mean?
Depending on the color of smoke, this can be caused by the vehicle burning oil or by a rich running condition. A rich running condition is better described as the vehicle getting an excess amount of fuel caused by a faulty emission sensor or an ignition malfunction.
10. I just had my car serviced because the "check engine light" came on and shortly after the repair, the light is on again. Did my repair shop make a mistake?
The "check engine light" or "service engine soon" light can come on for a variety of reasons. The light basically means that the vehicles computer has detected a sensor reading out of normal parameters. The computer then stores what is known as a code. This code aids in diagnosis of the vehicle's running condition, but by no means tells you exactly what the problem is. This code is then used in conjunction with factory style flow charts to properly diagnose the problem. For example, the computer may give the code "PO300," which is known as a "random misfire." Using the factory style flow charts will help the mechanic determine what is causing the random misfire and how to fix it.