At Thunderbird Auto, we ensure you have all the information you need about your vehicle. As a result, we like to offer as many helpful tips on auto repair and auto maintenance as we can. Take a look at these tips, visit us for service, or schedule your next appointment today. We offer comprehensive auto service to drivers in Phoenix, Surprise, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Glendale every day, covering these items and many more.
What is General Maintenance on a Car?
General maintenance matters whether you’re trying to keep a new car in like-new condition or attempting to keep an aging car on the road for as long as possible. Our family-owned and operated automotive repair facility works with cars of every age to perform general and preventative maintenance.
As part of every tune-up, we check the:
•Battery, charging and starting
•Powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks)
What is Preventative Maintenance on a Car?
Preventative maintenance ensures that your car drives like new. We have a few tips for drivers in the Phoenix area because there are maintenance items you might forget, including:
•Have your oil filter changed every 3,000 to 4,000 miles
•Check all of your fluids, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer fluid, and antifreeze
•Check your tire pressure
•Keep your engine tuned
•Have your chassis lubricated on a regular basis
•Check battery cables and posts for corrosion or damage and clean them as needed
•Check your lighting system, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights, on a regular basis
•Inspect engine belts
•Have the air filtration system checked throughout the year for clogging or damage
•Check your windshield wipers! Over 20% of people have wipers that streak or smear things on the windshield, which means they should be replaced. In general, you should replace your wipers every 6 months.
How to Save Fuel While Driving
With gas prices on the rise, conserving fuel is more important than ever before. How can you skip a gas station trip and stay on the road longer?
•Check your gas cap to see if it is damaged, loose, or missing. 147 million gallons of gas vaporize every year due to gas cap issues.
•Are your tires inflated to the proper PSI or KPI? This can waste one to two miles a gallon.
•Regularly test and replace spark plugs. Dirty or worn spark plugs misfire while you drive, which wastes fuel over time.
•What condition is your air filter in? A dirty or dusty air filter will lead to too much gas being burned for the amount of air present. Swapping out a clogged or damaged air filter can improve your gas mileage up to 10%!
•Don’t drive aggressively, or you might lower your highway gas mileage up to 33%.
•Avoid idling your car for more than a minute or two.
What Should You Look For in a Pre-Trip Checkup?
If you’re headed on a road trip or long journey, complete a 10-minute pre-trip check-up first.
•Check your fluids: Antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluids.
•Check your hoses and belts: Over time, hoses can degrade, become brittle, and crack or leak. Older hoses and clamps might be due for a replacement.
•Check your tires: Inspect the tread for wear issues and check the air pressure. Now is also a good time to look for bald spots or bulges.
Preparing Your Car for Summer
Summer’s harsh weather, especially in Phoenix, will take a toll on your car. Before the summer heat hits, you should take stock of the following systems in your car:
•Oil and oil filters
How Should You Prepare Your Car for Winter?
Car failures that are an annoyance in summer can become deadly in the winter. Whenever snowflakes are on the way, you should check a number of things in and around your car:
•Fuel and fuel de-icer
•Oil and oil filter
•Tires and emergency kit