Car Maintenance Services to Schedule With Your Auto Technician

By: Tom Kline

Don't risk being stranded or getting less than you should from your car at trade in. A little attention to the basics now will improve its appearance and performance for years to come.

Now scheduling with your service center is easy, thanks to this handy checklist of items for the spring season. Don't miss the first checklist, with items you can do yourself.

1.First, find a quality service shop. Look for one that services cars equal in value to your own (their parking lot will speak volumes!). Go inside and check out the equipment in the service bays (for example, our RK Chevrolet service center has state-of-the-art, computerized equipment. This facilitates faster diagnosis and repair, getting you back on the road quicker.)

To find out the qualifications of the technicians, scan the walls for trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work and training classes.

2.Have your technician check the tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses. (RK Scion technicians recommend that belts and hoses be inspected monthly).

Worn, glazed or frayed belts should be replaced, as should bulging, rotten, or brittle hoses. Clamps should be tightened.

3.Anything that is worn or damaged should be replaced to prevent sudden breakdowns.

4.If your air conditioner system is faulty, have it checked. Cooling inefficiency could be the result of a lack of air flow across the condenser. Have your mechanic make sure the electric cooling fan motor near the condenser is coming on.

In fan blade models, the fan should turn very fast. Also have your mechanic check the Freon level and pressure. Air conditioners on older vehicles often contain ozone-depleting chemicals that could be released into the air if the system isn't working properly.

5.If your engine is experiencing hard starts, rough idling, or stalling, have it fixed. Often times, the trouble stems from basic things like worn spark plugs, a dirty air filter, or bad ignition wires, but if you're not mechanically inclined whatsoever, it's best to go straight to a professional.

(Taking care of little things early will likely improve your gasoline mileage and prevent minor problems from becoming expensive repairs later on.

6.Don't neglect your transmission. RK Toyota technicians report that routine service can eliminate costly repairs down the road. A manual transmission does not usually experience trouble, except for the clutch, which can be problematic if improperly adjusted or abused.

A common problem with automatics is fluid breakdown from overheating. Fluid and filter changes every 24,000 miles can avoid premature transmission failure but few people heed such advice.

Don't miss Part 1 of this series: RK Auto Group Spring Checklist of Services You Can Do On Your Own.

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