Maintenance Tips

Maintenance Tips 

Here Are Some Tips From Our Auto Mechanic in Erie, PA

Keep In Mind That Maintenance Should Always be Performed by Qualified Technicians

Always check your owner's manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle.

  • Change the engine oil and filter regularly - every 3,000 to 4,000 miles or 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers.
  • Have the engine tuned up regularly. A fouled spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Follow the service schedules listed in your vehicle owner's manual.
  • Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles or 15,000 kilometers to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel systems.
  • Change the crankcase vent filter (if your car has one) every 24,000 miles or 40,000 kilometers. This filter cleans the air that is exposed to the crankcase and the working components of the engine.
  • Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles or 25,000 to 30,000 kilometers. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle. The filter removes dirt and other foreign material from the transmission/transaxle fluid.
  • Check the manual transmission fluid level as specified in your owner's manual.
  • Check the differential (rear-end) fluid level.
  • Lubricate the chassis frequently to extend the life of the moving components of the suspension systems.
  • Check the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.
  • Change the vapor canister every 24,000 miles or 40,000 kilometers. The vapor canister collects gas fumes from the gas tank to prevent their escape into the atmosphere. These fumes are then burned by the engine.

Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

  • Brake Fluid - This check is done by loosening the clip on the master cylinder and removing the lid. If fluid is needed, consult your vehicle owner's manual for the correct type and fill to the recommended level.
  • Engine Oil - Correct engine oil level should be maintained to assure proper lubrication of your vehicle's engine. It is best to check the engine oil level approximately five minutes after a fully warmed-up engine is turned off or before starting the engine after it has been sitting for a longer period of time (overnight). Remove the engine oil dipstick, wipe the dipstick clean with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick until it fully sits in its tube. Remove the dipstick and read the oil level. Add oil only when the level is at or below the ADD OIL mark.
  • Transmission/Transaxle Fluid - This check should be done while the engine is running in neutral with the parking brake securely set. The transmission should be at operating temperature. Remove the dipstick, wipe clean, insert and remove again to check fluid level. (CAUTION: DO NOT OVERFILL.)
  • Windshield Washer Solvent - This check should be done by removing the cap of the reservoir and refilling with wash fluid solvent.
  • Antifreeze - This check is done by removing the radiator cap from the cooled engine and refilling, if needed, with antifreeze. (Caution: Make sure engine is completely cooled and you use the recommended engine coolant as identified in your owner's manual).

More Maintenance Tips

  • Keep your tires properly inflated for better fuel mileage and check them frequently for excessive wear.
  • Let your service technician properly align your vehicle’s suspension and steering if you notice any pull or vibration.
  • Use the thinnest viscosity oil that your car’s manufacturer recommends.
  • Keep your engine in proper mechanical condition.
  • Keep your engine in tune and make sure the air and fuel filters are clean.
  • Make sure your brakes are not squealing or dragging.
  • Repair body damage. That crunched front fender adds aerodynamic drag – just ask any race car driver.
  • Don’t use premium fuel if your car does not require it; using it is an unnecessary expense.
  • Don’t waste your money on those late-night “as seen on TV” products that are supposed to increase your mileage.
  • Check your gas cap. About 17 percent of the vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose, or missing altogether, causing millions of gallons of gas to vaporize each year.

Driving Tips

  • Avoid excessive warm-up time. Modern engines do not require it.
  • Don’t idle your engine for long periods. Turn off your engine when you leave the car or have to wait a long time.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can dramatically lower your fuel economy.
  • Driving within the recommended speed limit will improve your fuel mileage.
  • For new vehicles with aerodynamic designs, close the windows and turn on the air conditioning if necessary when driving on the freeway.
  • For older cars with inefficient air conditioning compressors, use the ventilation system and close the windows, temperature permitting.
  • Anticipate merging traffic and stoplights-decelerate and accelerate smoothly.
  • Plan your trip wisely. If you need to go several places, plan a route that allows you to run most or all of your errands in one outing.
  • Empty the trunk! Unnecessary items stored in your trunk add additional weight to your car and can decrease your fuel economy.
  • Carpool whenever possible or practical.
  • Listen to radio reports for alternate routes around congested areas.
  • Drive in the highest possible gear.
  • Try to keep your speed constant. Use your cruise control when on long stretches of road.

Tips for Improving Your Gas Mileage 

With today’s high gas prices, it’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to make minor modifications to improve your gas mileage.

  • Keep tires properly inflated
  • Perform regular tune-ups
  • Replace air filters regularly
  • Replace oil regularly
  • Replace spark plugs regularly
  • Observe the speed limits

  • Combine trips
  • Don’t haul unneeded items
  • Avoid quick starts and stops
  • Avoid excessive idling
  • Keep gas cap tight

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