All cars need maintenance regularly. The older your vehicle gets, the more frequent the maintenance needs to be. Even though service costs increase due to additional visits, cars with more than 90,000 KMs can benefit in terms of longevity and negating unsuspecting and often massive repairs and expenses.
Regular service done by professional automotive professionals is necessary for any car model; however, that maintenance does not have to be done by a branded dealer. In fact, for most vehicles, any licensed technician can do the job with competence. Even a vehicle under warranty can be maintained by your choice of automotive professionals, without penalty to the car owner.
So what is scheduled maintenance anyway?
Scheduled maintenance is the required upkeep on common moving parts in your engine. Pistons in your engine block pump at mind-numbing speed during operation of your car and thus must be lubricated. This is where the frequency of oil changes can be the difference between a short or long life for your vehicle. Every vehicle requires a lubrication system because of the many moving and sliding parts that can create friction. These areas need to be lubricated to reduce the wear and tear of expensive and vital car parts. Most notably, oil is the primary key to keep your engine healthy because it flows through the entire engine under immense pressure and heat, which in turn “burns” or darkens the oil and degrades its quality over time.
An oil pump moves the oil from the reservoir pan through your oil filter and then into the engine block and crankshaft, and then the valves where it is returned to the oil pan. Since this cycle is concurrent whenever the engine is running, naturally the oil needs to be kept fresh; otherwise, it cannot do its primary job – which is to protect the integrity of the engine’s moving parts. Oil change and oil filters are to be changed regularly as detailed in the owners manual. If the manual is missing a good rule of thumb for oil changes is 5,000 to 7,5000 miles or 10,000 to 12,000 kilometres. That would also mean changing your oil filter, as it would not make sense to change your oil while leaving the filter the oil runs through dirty.
Types of Oil to Use for Your Car
Oil has many uses in your car including lubricating moving parts, sealing the piston rings, reducing heat and friction, neutralizing acidic byproducts, and also helping to reduce rust corrosion particularly in the engine block. There are different grades of oil, which refer to their viscosity and heat points. For most consumer vehicles the oil would be classified as SAE 5W 30, SAE 5W 20, or SAE 5W 40. SAE is a grade number as defined and tested by the Society of Automotive Engineers which measures viscosity levels at different temperatures. The W represents an oil grade and viscosity suitable for winter seasons.
In addition to using the correct oil for your vehicle, you may want to consider using an additive which may be helpful for older cars. Additives can help with reducing foaming, oxidation, corrosion, pressure and excessive wear. We carry several additives which we can recommend to you upon inspection.
Synthetic oils have become more popular over the past 10 to 20 years because of its ability to remain fluid and stable at a wide range of temperatures. The difference between synthetic and traditional oil is that synthetic oil is a manufactured product made from processed bases with few if any impurities, as opposed to natural crude oil. Under extensive testing, synthetic oil has proven to be better on car engines, while changing less frequently. The tradeoff is that synthetic can cost several times as much as traditional crude oil products.
The purpose of the oil filter is to capture any particles or impurities that the oil collects through the engine cycle. The canister holds fine cloth or paper layers. Just remember to change your oil filter whenever you change your oil, or vice versa.
The timing of your oil changes can fluctuate for different vehicles, their tasks, routines, age and the environment in which they do most of their work. Let us know of any unusual circumstances your vehicle has to help us determine the frequency, additives or oil quality we use in your car.
Your brakes are operated by hydraulic mechanisms, whether they are disc or pads. Hydraulics are essentially the manipulation of fluids used to create power. That, in turn, creates pressure and heat. As such, brake fluids need to be changed as part of routine automobile maintenance. This will help alleviate unexpected repairs to your braking components, of which there are many including wires, hydraulics, mechanics, hosing and rubber.
Power Steering Fluid
Also a function of hydraulics, the power steering mechanism uses power steering fluid to operate. This system doesn’t require nearly as much heat or pressure as brakes or shocks, so needs less changing unless in the case of faulty parts, leaks or accidents. The fluid is contained in a reservoir that is often visible by the consumer under the hood, customarily identified as a thick yellow substance. If the need arises that the power steering fluid needs to be changed, then we will flush and bleed the entire steering system to be sure that all impurities have been discharged to avoid recurring issues.
Tires and Wheels
Your car relies on its four wheels to transport you safely every trip. It is simply a matter of life and death to make sure your tires are safe, and your wheels are correctly aligned.
What is a wheel alignment?
A wheel alignment is a factory set of angles the wheels need to set to maintain safe steering and handling, proper tire wear and tear and vehicle suspension. Normal driving conditions over time will make the angles become askew, and thus will need to be adjusted to correct specifications every so often. At a glance, all car tires seem to be flat and straight, but there are minute angles that help keep your car and its tires performing efficiently and optimally. When an alignment is done, there are specific measurements for the “camber” vertical wheel tilt, the “caster” wheel axis slant, and the “toe” which is the front wheel direction compared to the rear set. To be clear, each car model has its own unique angles, and we access this information from a database when your car is on our care.
Seasonal and Winter Tires
Given our extreme environment here in the north, our tires become more critical when it comes to our safety. We provide tire change (with or without rims) service for all makes and models.