What makes a dashboard light come on?
Today's vehicles are manufactured with complex interrelated systems. On-board computers continuously monitor and store information concerning the performance of these systems. A warning light comes on because the computer has sensed a signal from one of the systems or components that has gone outside of its normal operating range. The computer then sends a signal to turn on the dashboard light to let you know something is wrong!
The potential causes for a warning light can range from improperly tightening your gas cap to engine, transmission or braking system performance issues. While dashboard lights can go on and the car still appears to be driving “fine”, ignoring some lights can lead to serious issues, such as engine damage or other component failure. In some instances, this can be a safety hazard. That's why it is recommended to have your car looked at by a certified professional as soon as possible for both your safety and peace of mind.
How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change or every 5,000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the manufacturer recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle's engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems or failure of emission tests.
What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut off the engine! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.
When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual. If intervals are extended, ensure you use oil that is capable of extended mileage changes.
What causes milky brown engine oil?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.
How to make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
What is synthetic motor oil?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather) or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.
When should I replace my car's fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car's fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum-tipped spark plugs.
What should I do when I need to replace a burned out fuse?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.