A vehicle that runs well is a necessity you can’t do without. Especially in rural areas like Locust, NC, where public transportation isn’t available, a well-functioning vehicle is indispensable. At Whitley Automotive, we ensure your vehicle stays reliable so you won’t find yourself stranded. Keeping up with vehicle maintenance, including brake replacement, is imperative. Whitley Automotive in Locust, NC can take care of all your vehicle maintenance to ensure you don’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Regular maintenance also has other benefits, including better fuel economy, less expensive repair bills, and a safer ride. All maintenance is important, including brakes, filters, oil changes and more.
Each time you bring your vehicle in for an oil change, we inspect the brakes. The brake system is the most important safety feature on your vehicle and must be kept in good working order. If you hear squealing, scraping or grinding, don’t wait to bring your vehicle in to check the brakes for brake replacement. If the pads get too low, they’ll score the rotors so much we won’t be able to turn them, and they could cause the calipers to overextend.
Without oil, the engine won’t run very long. It lubricates all the moving parts inside the engine, including the pistons and valves. As oil ages, it picks up carbon and dirt, which diminishes its lubricating properties. It won’t dissipate heat as well and could score the cylinder walls. Additionally, the more “gunk” that gets into the oil and less lubricating properties, the more friction it creates inside the engine, thus decreasing fuel economy.
Timing belts are made of a rubber-like compound and, like serpentine belts, will stretch. Timing chains also stretch their links over time. They keep the valves and pistons synchronized. Your owner’s manual tells you when to change the timing belt, and this is not a “maybe.” If it says 60,000 miles, change it at 60,000 miles. If you have an interference engine and the belt stretches too much or breaks, the pistons will hit the valves and cause catastrophic damage. Normal timing belt replacement is usually every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. Timing chains generally last 100,000 to 120,000 miles.
When you bring your vehicle into Whitley Automotive in Locust, NC, we always check and top off the fluids. However, that is not the only maintenance fluids required. In addition to regular oil changes, you need to flush the coolant every three to five years, depending on your driving style. Transmission fluid also requires flushing, generally every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, again, depending on your driving habits. Finally, about every five years, you should flush the brake fluid and power steering fluid.
Tires are the only thing between your car and the road, which means they are critical. Never rely on the tire pressure monitoring system to warn you when the tire pressure is low – check each tire manually. Also, rotate the tires at every oil change and balance them at least once per year.
When checking the air pressure, look at the tire tread to make sure it is thick enough. Also, look for uneven wear, such as a worn path in the middle of the tire, on each edge, on one edge, or scalloping. Wear in the middle of the tread usually signifies too much air pressure, and on both edges of the tread, low tire pressure. Wear on one side of the tread and scalloping are signs of alignment or suspension issues.
Always check the air filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. It keeps dirt and debris out of the engine. Clogged air filters cause poor fuel economy, as the engine becomes less efficient. You should replace the air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on your driving habits.
Other maintenance items include checking the belts and hoses, keeping the battery terminals clean, and replacing the cabin air filter and fuel filter. Whitley Automotive can take care of all your vehicle maintenance needs.