If you own a car, you know what your biggest fear is. It is ‘your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of a 14-lane highway.’ Scary, right? It scares the bejesus out of car owners.
So, how do you ensure that you don’t end up stranded when running late to work? Keep your car in perfect order.
For that, you have to routinely visit an auto repair shop. A visit to an auto repair shop shouldn’t only happen when there is a fault in your car. A regular visit will ensure any issue with your car is fixed before leading to a bigger fault.
Also, car service helps the vehicle function on top condition, increases its life, and improves performance.
How To Find a Good Auto Repair Shop?
Two professions where you need to trust the guy you are handing the job over to: barber and mechanic. Auto repair is a delicate job. It has to be handled professionally. If you know the mechanic, trust him, he’ll not con you off. But there’s always a chance to be robbed of your hard-earned money at the hands of an inexperienced mechanic.
So, if it’s your first time, you have to ensure you find the right person for the job. If you can get a referral from friends and family, that’s great. But if no luck there, the internet is your friend.
Say you live in Sudbury, On, and want to find a reputed auto repair service in your area. You just have to write auto repair in Sudbury in Google search, and it will give you a list of all the repair shops near you.
Go through the list, read customer reviews. The one with the most satisfied customers is who you should take your car to.
Now that you have found a good mechanic, here is a checklist of services you should avail there:
The oil change is one of the most basic services done on a car. It is a routine job that must be done at fixed intervals. An oil change usually takes 30-45 minutes.
But an important question here is that how often you should get your vehicle’s oil changed? There is no one answer to this question.
One answer is that you should get the oil changed before the sludge starts forming in the it. Oil sludge hampers the flow of oil through the engine and affects its running.
But, the timing of the oil change also varies according to the type of vehicle you are driving, how old it is, and what terrain you are driving in.
You can take your car to an auto repair shop to learn how frequently you need to change your car’s oil.
Wheel alignment is one of the standard maintenance services of a car. Tt adjusts the angles of the tires so that they are set at an optimal angle.
Wheel alignment prevents the car from drifting on one side while also improving tires’ durability. It also increases fuel economy and makes the drive smooth.
If wheels are not aligned properly, one of them will take the extra load. They will also push against each other and create uneven frictions and resistance.
Under normal circumstances, four-wheel alignment takes one hour. Alignment should be done according to the intervals mentioned in the manual. However, if there is no instruction about wheel alignment in the manual, you should bring your car to the repair shop at least once a year for wheel alignment.
For some, brakes are one of the most important parts of their vehicle. While for others, a brake is just a pedal that brings a car to a stop.
But a majority of drivers agree upon the importance of brakes. They are absolutely vital. Sometimes, the difference between a fatal accident and a narrow brush is how quickly the brakes respond.
Brakes should always be in top-notch condition. Therefore, every visit to your auto repair shop must include a thorough inspection of your vehicle’s brakes.
The schedule of brake inspection also depends upon your vehicle, the road traffic, and the terrain you drive in. However, it is recommended to get your brakes thoroughly inspected after every six months or 20,000 to 60,000 miles.
Routine brake jobs can sometimes be as simple as just replacing brake pads. But other times, it could also mean repairing or replacing the complete system, including, rotor and caliper.
Like brakes and oil change, suspensions also need routine maintenance. Suspensions are the part of the vehicle that keeps it connected to the road. A car with well-maintained suspensions smoothly goes over bumps and seamlessly turns in any direction.
So, it is usually recommended to get the entire suspension system checked after 15,000 miles. But, if your car has been to a rough terrain, it is recommended to get the suspensions checked after you come back.
If there is a part in the system which is worn out, you might have to get it replaced. But for most suspensions, parts won’t wear out for at least 50,000 miles and even more.
CV Joints and Driveshafts
A vehicle’s axle, driveshaft, CV joint are integral to its drivability and performance. The driveshaft is a cylindrical component made of steel or aluminum. It connects to the transmissions through CV joints or constant-velocity joints.
The CV joints enable the axle to bend and accommodate the wheels’ bounce. The axle carries the weight of the car while also sustaining the forces from breaking and acceleration. So, it is normal for an axle, driveshaft, and CV joints to wear out over time.
There are signs to look out for that indicate the system requires maintenance. For example, CV joints make clicking or clunking noises when they are in need of a repair.
If the car vibrates during acceleration, then you have a damaged driveshaft, though it can also be an issue with the axle. If you are sensing disturbance while turning and steering, then there is an issue with the driveshaft.
A routine CV joint, driveshaft, and axle inspection take 60 minutes or less. So, during your regular visit to the auto repair shop, get them thoroughly inspected too.
Preventive maintenance means taking your car to the repair shop and getting it checked for any possible fault which might become serious in the future. Preventive maintenance includes a thorough inspection of different car parts to check their working.
Complete maintenance includes suspension and steering inspection, brakes and axles, fluid filters, belts, and hoses, checking the level of vital fluids, like engine oil, brake oil, exterior and interior lights check, checking exhaust system, battery check, checking tire pressure, wear and inflation, inspecting hinges and locks, reviewing the level of ball joint wear, components, and checking tire wear and inflation levels.
The schedule to follow for preventive maintenance depends on your model’s make, the environment it is driven, and load hauling. If your vehicle drives mostly in the city with stop-and-go traffic, your maintenance schedule will be different from a vehicle that does long hauls frequently.
Remember what Penny said when Sheldon Cooper told her that her car’s check engine light is on? Yes, never do that in real life! It can put your life and the life of your loved ones in real danger. Don’t wait for an accident or a big fault to get your car checked and inspected.
A regular visit to the mechanic is important to ensure that it doesn’t break down randomly and always gives you a smooth drive.