10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off
A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps. Motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility.
Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler’s 10-minute pre- trip checklist:
- Check all fluids – There are several fluids that require attention: Engine Oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check all hoses and belts – A belt failure can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering, and the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
- Check the tires – Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.
Follow these tips to maximize fuel efficiency of your vehicle:
- Vehicle gas caps – about 17% of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
- Under inflated tires – when tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with a parking brake on. It can cost a mile or two per gallon.
- Worn spark plugs – A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in electrical and chemical erosion from heat.
- Dirty air filters – A clogged air filter creates a “rich” mixture – the proportion of gas to air is incorrect. This wastes fuel and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.
- Don’t drive aggresively – Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.
- Avoid excessive idling – sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
- Drive the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mile driven over 60 results in an additional 10 cents per gallon. Increase fuel efficiency by using cruise control.
Preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle stays reliable, and lets you avoid major repairs as well as the expenses that come with them.
At Southside Automotive Inc., we provide a complete preventative maintenance program, and carry all the necessary parts and expertise to take care of the little jobs that let you avoid the big ones. Choose from a comprehensive range of the fluids, oils, filters, and belts that your vehicle needs to keep running happily and healthily. Relax while your ride is inspected by our highly-trained technicians, and rest assured that it’ll keep running smoothly for miles and miles.
The first part of our preventative maintenance program deals with your vehicle’s fluids. Your car needs these fluids to keep running smoothly and prevent overheating. Most of our fluid change services are completed quickly so you can get back on the road in Marquette, MI. Our technicians are happy to monitor and refill your engine oil, automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid, anti-freeze, power steering and wiper fluids. We also perform checks on your radiator to ensure there are no small leaks caused by stones and other road debris.
The next area of our program deals with the filters in your car. Whether filtering oil, fuel, or air, your car’s engine and drivetrain rely on pure ingredients free from power-robbing particles. Your vehicle’s fuel system, for example, wants only the purest gasoline or diesel. When microscopic particles build up in the system over time they reduce its efficiency and cause issues like decreased gas mileage. The same goes for your engine’s air filter. An engine needs a mix of fuel and air to create combustion, and that can’t happen if your motor can’t breathe. Regularly changing your car’s filters will prevent this from occurring. Southside Automotive Inc. will make sure all your car’s filters are flowing smoothly and clear, as well as the often-overlooked cabin air filter which can make a huge difference in how pleasant a car is to be inside.
Tire balancing is an important area of preventative maintenance where we excel. If your car’s tires are out of balance, they could be putting undue strain on components in the suspension, braking, and drivetrain systems, which can cost you greatly further down the road. Ensuring a smooth ride with professionally balanced wheels and tires is a much cheaper, easier, and safer way to make sure your car stays on the road, while ensuring a long life for your tires.
Your car’s timing belts are extremely important to examine during the course of preventative maintenance. There are a number of events that need to take place for one full revolution of your car’s engine. These belts ensure that they all line up with each other, and occur at exactly the right moment. Should the belts become damaged or break, the events can fall out of sync and happen at the wrong time, which can be seriously detrimental to the health of your engine and your car overall. Southside Automotive Inc. ensures that all your car’s belts are healthy, and that all of those events keep happening at exactly the right time.
If you want Southside Automotive Inc. to make sure that your vehicle is well-equipped to continue transporting you safely for years to come, call us at 906-249-9219, or visit us in Marquette, MI so we can schedule a time to take a look at it!
Signs That Your Car May Need A Mechanic
Sometimes it’s hard to know when your car just needs a break and when it needs a mechanic. By being proactive when you notice something amiss, you may save yourself a lot of money and trouble by getting it diagnosed early! Our technicians are here to assist you in diagnosing potential vehicle malfunctions.
Do you have good sense? We bet you do! Use your SENSES to determine whether you should bring your car by for one of our professionals to inspect.
Do you FEEL anything out of the ordinary?
Some experiences that customers who have needed an automobile mechanic have in common are:
- Front-End Shimmy
- Steering Wheel Shake
Do you HEAR anything different or unique?
Some common sounds that warrant a visit to your mechanic are:
- Clunk or Clunking
- Noise When Turning
- Squeak or Squeaking
- Leaking Air Sound
Do you SEE anything new or questionable?
Some common problems you might see are:
- Unusual lights
Do you SMELL anything funny?
Some common smells that mean your car may need a repair shop are:
Do you SEE dashboard lights?
Some common dashboards lights that mean your car may need a repair shop are:
- Check engine
- Over heating
Very Professional and Polite
"Very professional and polite. They went beyond what was expected compared to any experience at other vehicle repair shops. I would recommend Southside Automotive for your next maintenance or repair needs."
- Nicholas Y -
Go The Extra Mile
"Wally and Marty, always have a smile on their faces and go the extra mile to make sure everyone is happy!"
- Benjamin M -
Pleased With The Service
"Great place! Super nice people, and pleased with the service."
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MON 8 AM - 5:30 PM
TUES 8 AM - 5:30 PM
WED 8 AM - 5:30 PM
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FRI 8 AM - 4:30 PM
SAT/SUN - Closed
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