Today, our expert auto repair technicians in Grand Rapids, Michigan are explaining two regularly forgotten maintenance services necessary to keep any car or truck in good condition.
1. Always check up on your belts and hoses
Your car’s belts and hoses are hardly ever talked about when it comes to repairs, but these mechanisms provide the base from which your vehicle operates on a daily basis. The belts are responsible for kick-starting the alternator to keep the water pump running. Hoses are absolutely essential to the cooling system. The coolant and heater hoses are made up of flexible rubber compounds so they can absorb vibrations between the engine and radiator, or the engine and body’s firewall.
Newer cars and trucks are equipped with a serpentine belt, taking care of the operation of most engine parts. If you drive a newer vehicle, your Grand Rapids auto repair technician should inspect the belts for cracks, fraying and any exposed threads. For drivers of older vehicles that have a V-belt, the auto tech should check for glazing, cracking, or excessive wear.
The belts should be evaluated for signs of wear and hoses for any signs of deterioration. Have your Grand Rapids car shop test the coolant fluid levels, searching for cracks or heat damage. In addition, you should replace the hoses every four years (or whenever one fails). Finally, a regular coolant flush, can keep your hoses stronger and working longer.
During a complimentary Courtesy Inspection at our auto service center, our ASE-certified technicians never fail to inspect belts and hoses for any damage.
2. Change all filters regularly
Not only does your vehicle have an oil filter and fuel filter, but it also comes with an engine filter and sometimes even a cabin air filter. A majority of automotive shops will change out your oil filter and fuel filter during scheduled maintenance services, they may ignore items like your engine air intake filter and cabin air filter.
Your air filters’ longevity correlates a great deal with your personal driving habits. For instance, regularly driving through dusty rural roads or cities with heavy construction likely leave your filters dirtier quicker and in need of more frequent replacement. Some signs that you may have a faulty cabin air filter are reduced heating or cooling efficiency, a smoggy or musty smell from the air vents, or even contracting sinus headaches or having allergic reactions while driving. Typically, a clogged engine air intake filter will lead to worse gas mileage and reduced “driveability.” If you are noticing hesitation while accelerating or a loss in engine power, it is probably your engine filter that needs a checkup.
The engine and cabin filters work constantly to keep clean air circulating throughout the engine and the passenger cab. Their function is to maintain air quality in the engine and make sure the air you breathe is contaminant-free. If a cabin air filter clogs, the heater and air conditioner may also stop. Any time your vehicle’s AC system is inspected without first checking the cabin air filter, you may end up paying unnecessary repairs.
As with any filter, the most important point is to replace it when it gets dirty. Don’t just clean the filter and re-install.
Next time you’re scheduling a maintenance service for your car or truck, remember to have the auto shop check your belts, hoses and filters. To schedule routine maintenance today, call Christian Brothers Automotive in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We’ll show you the nice difference!