We all know that keeping up with regular maintenance on your vehicle is the best way to save money and increase the car’s longevity. A majority of Texas drivers are familiar with the need for regular oil changes and engine tune-ups, but what about the smaller, less obvious maintenance requirements that most people don’t think about?
Today, our expert auto repair technicians in Grand Prairie, Texas will explain two such neglected maintenance services every car and truck needs, but frequently don’t get.
1. Always check up on your belts and hoses
Generally, a car’s belts and hoses tend to be ignored until they fail, but maintaining these mechanisms is essential to the operability of the car or truck. Your belts power the alternator so the water pump can do its job. Hoses are crucial to the cooling system. The coolant and heater hoses, thanks to the flexible rubber compounds they are made of, can absorb the vibrations between the engine and radiator, or the engine and body’s firewall.
Serpentine belts are the standard in newer cars and truck and work to operate most of the engine parts. If you drive a newer vehicle, your Grand Prairie auto repair technician should check for cracks, fraying and exposed threads. For drivers with older vehicles, the auto tech should check the V-belt for any glazing, cracking, or excessive wear.
Belts should be checked for signs of wear while it’s more important to look for deterioration in hoses. Ask your Grand Prairie car shop to check the coolant fluid levels, search for cracks or heat damage, and replace the hoses every four years (or when one fails). Hoses will last longer and remain stronger with regular flushing of fluid.
Our ASE-certified technicians always check belts and hoses during any complimentary Courtesy Inspection at our auto service center.
2. Change all filters regularly
There are several filters in your vehicle: an oil filter and fuel filter, engine filter and, possibly, a cabin air filter. Although it is very important to replace all of them when they get dirty, most automotive shops only check the oil filter and fuel filter during scheduled maintenance. This likely leaves the engine air intake filter and cabin air filter in bad condition.
When you regularly drive through dusty rural roads or cities with heavy construction, your air filter’s lifespan will shorten and it will need to be replaced more often. You can be sure your cabin air filter has been compromised if you notice any smoggy or musty smells in the air vents, less heating or cooling efficiency, or even you getting sinus headaches or having allergic reactions while driving. Clogged engine air intake filters will usually be accompanied by reduced gas mileage and poorer “drivability.” If you start to notice hesitation while accelerating or a loss in engine power, you should have your engine filter checked out.
It’s the job of the engine and cabin filters to keep clean air running throughout the engine and the passenger cab. This maintains air quality in the engine and gives you contaminant-free air to breathe. If the cabin air filter gets clogged, you may also have trouble with the air conditioner. If your car is taken to a mechanic who inspects the AC system or cooling system without first checking the cabin air filter, you will be stuck paying unnecessary repair bills.
Always have a soiled filter replaced. Cleaning the filter and re-installing it, won’t be enough. Remember to have the auto shop check your belts, hoses and filters next time you go in for regular maintenance service. To schedule routine maintenance today, call Christian Brothers Automotive Green Oaks in Grand Prairie, Texas. We’ll show you the nice difference!