CAR CARE TIPS

At Team Ryan Automotive, we want our customers in Buford, GA, Sugar Hill, GA, Flowery Branch, GA, Suwanee, GA and surrounding areas to get the most out of their vehicles.

What’s the key to keeping your car running for a long time? Regularly scheduled maintenance and lubrication using the manufacturers recommended type and formulation of oil, grease and liquids is what will do the trick. Replacing normal wear-and-tear parts such as timing belts before they break is also a good path to follow on the road to long vehicle life. Taking good care of your vehicle can make the difference between being the proud owner of a good looking, long lasting, reliable machine, and saying goodbye to a rusty, faded-paint jalopy that fell apart or broke down long before it was designed to.

The Maintenance Difference

We all know somebody with an older, high-mileage vehicle that just keeps on running year after year. What's their secret? ...you may wonder, scratching your head with one hand while holding a repair bill in the other? At its core, that high performing vehicle is no different than a two-year-old hulk that barely cleared 65,000 miles before it got hooked up to the wrecker truck, never to be seen again. 

The secret is that there is no real secret to getting a vehicle to last a long time. The difference is the owner's dedication to having all maintenance completed in a timely fashion. Regular fluid checks and an careful adherence to scheduled lubrication will keep the powertrain going strong. What kind of oil, brake fluid, and grease used is just as important as when it is changed. The best oil in the world will do your engine no good if you never change it. Cleaning and protecting the finishes of the vehicle inside and out will keep things looking good. Paint, plastic, leather, and fabric need help to survive the constant assault of sun and elements. Utilize both of these plans together and you will enjoy happy motoring for a good, long time. Follow the accompanying 10 handy tips for keeping your vehicle in top shape.

FOLLOW THE CAR CARE TIPS BELOW TO KEEP YOUR VEHICLE RUNNING RELIABLY:

  1. Tip 1: Check and change the oil. No single step will help an engine last more than regular oil and filter changes will. Checking and changing your oil and oil filter will help your engine and vehicle run smoothly. Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes.
     
  2. Tip 2: Moving components require regular lubrication and should be checked as often as the oil is changed. Driveline components, like CV and u-joints, are flexible components that, if not properly lubricated, can break down and cause other major components to go with them. The driveline may have to be removed to access the zerk grease fitting.
     
  3. Tip 3: Transmission and differential fluid are other important fluids to check during service intervals. While not requiring frequent service, these fluids must be changed according to service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity. On many newer cars, the automatic transmission is sealed. On cars where it is not sealed, check the transmission dipstick with the engine warmed up and running (see the owner’s manual for details). Also check the power-steering-pump dipstick (it’s usually attached to the fluid-reservoir cap) and the level in the brake-fluid reservoir. If the brake-fluid level is low, top it up and have the system checked for leaks.
     
  4. Tip 4: Pay attention to battery life. Inspect the battery’s terminals and cables to make sure they are securely attached, with no corrosion. If the battery has removable caps, check its fluid level every few months—especially in warmer climates.
     
  5. Tip 5: Brake fluid can attract moisture, which will corrode components. Brake fluid should be replaced once a year to keep calipers, hoses, and other components in top operating condition. Other important fluids to consider changing on a regular basis include power steering fluid and coolant. Each fluid has its own service interval, so be sure to check with the manufacturer. Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This means it is adept at attracting moisture. Moisture causes components to corrode and fail. Replace fluid and bleed system once a year. Brake fluid is cheap. Calipers, hoses, and sensors are expensive. For most people it makes sense to have a shop check and service the brakes. If you handle your own brake work, remove all wheels and examine the brake system. Replace excessively worn pads or linings, and have badly scored rotors or drums machined or replaced. The brakes should be checked at least twice per year; more often if you drive a lot of miles.
     
  6. Tip 6: Fully functioning climate control systems are important to your comfort and your overall safety. A complete flush and fill of the coolant system is necessary for ridding the system of dirt and rust collected from the engine, radiator, and various hoses. Refrigerant may also be checked prior to the onset of warmer seasons. Prevent overheating by removing debris with a soft brush and washing the outside of the radiator with a detergent solution.
     
  7. Tip 7: Wheel alignments can realign your wheels to your manufacturer’s specifications. Wheel alignments improve straight-line tracking and reduce tire wear. If you feel unusual pulling to one side, it is time for a wheel alignment.
     
  8. Tip 8: Avoid stop-and-go driving. Not only is it frustrating to drive in, it wastes fuel and adds unnecessary wear and premature age to crucial components.
     
  9. Tip 9: Flush the cooling system and change coolant once a year. A 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water will keep the cooling system in good shape and prevent corrosion and deposits from building up inside the cooling system.
     
  10. Tip 10: Keep it clean. While washing the outside of the vehicle is obvious, most everything the vehicle ran over can also get stuck to the underside. Hosing off winter salt and road grime is a good idea. Nothing keeps paint looking good and protected like a coat of quality wax. Apply wax at least every six months. Protect the interior plastic by parking the vehicle in the shade, using a window deflector screen, and applying a UV protectant to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.

Regular Maintenance For Every Two to Four Years

  1. Drain and Flush the Cooling System. Considering the hassle of collecting and safely disposing of old antifreeze, you may want to leave this to a shop. We responsibly dispose of all waste products here at Team Ryan Automotive. Find out more about our dedication to the environment here: Team Green.
     
  2. Change the Automatic-Transmission Fluid. Many models require that you replace the fluid and filter every 36,000 miles—sooner if the normally pink fluid takes on a brownish tint. With some cars the fluid and, if applicable, the filter can go 100,000 miles or more. With other late models, the transmission fluid never needs to be changed. 
     
  3. Replace the Drive Belts and Hoses. Do this every two to three years, even if they don’t show any wear. If a belt becomes noisy, have it adjusted.
     
  4. Change the Timing Belt. If your vehicle has a belt instead of a chain, stick to the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval—usually every 60,000 to 80,000 miles. Check the owner’s manual or consult a dealer. Failure to change the timing belt can result in a very expensive engine repair if the belt should break.

By following these tips and the service intervals listed inside your owner’s manual, you can guard against major repairs and unexpected failures. Proper vehicle maintenance can save you money in the long run, and improve your safety and the safety of your passengers, while neglecting suggested services at regular intervals will void vehicle and parts warranties.

Stay on top of routine vehicle maintenance and visit us today or contact us online when your vehicle needs to be serviced by our professionals.

Areas Served: Buford GA | Sugar Hill GA | Suwanee GA | Braselton GA | Flowery Branch GA and surrounding areas