April is National Car Care Month, which is when guys like me remind you to get you vehicle in and get it completely checked over. If you haven’t had it in for a while, you might find that a few things need a little work. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly overlooked items that we see on a daily basis.
Gas is sprayed out of fuel injectors into the engine and any contaminants between the gas tank and the injectors will clog things up. Get the fuel filter replaced as scheduled if your vehicle has one and keep the fuel system clean. Your vehicle will run smoothly and get better gas mileage.
Battery cables corrode very slowly over time, which eventually will cause the charging system to fail. The terminals must be tight, clean and sealed to ensure that current flows through the electrical system like it should.
Many times the rubber hoses for the cooling system look just fine. But if your vehicle is over five years old, your mechanic should give them a thorough inspection. The rubber deteriorates from the inside out and could blow out without any warning.
Most newer vehicles have a cabin air filter in their dash. It’s like your furnace filter in your house and it’s designed to keep the air that you breathe inside of the vehicle clean. Sneezin’ and weezin’ are really good reasons to change the filter every spring season.
Many people don’t get their timing belt replaced when they should. It’s more of an internal engine part that you don’t see from the outside and most of them should be replaced at around 10,0000 miles. Check with your mechanic to see if your engine has one and when it should be replaced. If this breaks while you are driving, you are not only stranded, but you might have some serious engine damage as well.
Brake fluid can become contaminated with moisture over time, which can lead to corrosion in the internal parts of the brake system. High tech brake system parts such as the modulator have very precise passages that the brake fluid goes through and they can be very expensive to replace if they are damaged by brake fluid corrosion.
Shocks and struts absorb bumps on the road and give you a nice smooth ride. But they wear out gradually and you might not realize how bad your ride quality has gotten after years of driving. Have them inspected and replaced if needed and you can get a lot of that “new car ride” back into your vehicle.
The Car Care Council has an awesome website full of all kinds of maintenance information and tips. You can even enter the year, make, miles and model of vehicle and they will automatically send you reminder emails for recommended maintenance for your rig. Check it all out at carcare.org and remember to get your vehicle in and get it inspected.