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The 5 most overlooked preventative maintenance items

Harvey Field
Published:06/09/2008 Business
The 5 most overlooked preventative maintenance items     Print Snohomish Times    
Many people perform their own vehicle inspections and minor repairs and rightly consider themselves good stewards. But between soccer matches, long hours at the offi ce, and the occasional weekend in Vegas even the most common checks can get overlooked. Its important to seek professional automotive service to help you ensure your vehicle is safe and reliable. Along with other vehicle components, we will be certain to inspect these fi ve things that often get overlooked:

Keep time. The timing belt is probably the single most overlooked maintenance item in newer cars. There are no sure telltale signs that the timing belt is worn until it breaks. If the timing belt breaks pistons could collide with valves that are still down (open), wreaking havoc on your engine and perhaps ruining it completely. Timing belts need to be replaced at intervals ranging from 30,000 to 105,000 miles, depending on the model. Not all cars have timing belts, and V-confi guration and horizontally opposed engines have multiple timing belts. Your owners manual should give you specifi c information and of course, were here to assist you as well.

Watch your temperature. Todays tightly controlled, low-emissions engines are more sensitive than ever to changes in operating temperature. We will check your cars thermostat and make sure that it still opens and closes at the right temperature. Well replace it if necessary.

Keep it clean. The fuel fi lter does exactly what its name says - it cleans out impurities from the fuel before it gets into the fuel-injection system and engine. Fuel-fi lter replacement is usually easy and inexpensive, and a clogged, neglected fuel fi lter can lead to expensive repairs such as premature fuel-pump failure or clogged fuel injectors.

Give yourself a brake. Brake fluid can become contaminated as slight levels of air and water enter the system from the hoses and brake hardware. As a result when the brake fl uid ages it loses its original physical properties. Most importantly, it doesnt disperse heat well, and in extreme conditions might boil. We will help to ensure full braking performance by replacing the brake fl uid and bleed the lines at least once every two years.

Get geared up. Replacing your cars automatic transmission fl uid is relatively inexpensive, and can save costly transmission repairs in the long run. As transmission fl uid is subjected to extreme heat and stress, it loses some of its original qualities and becomes contaminated with small metal fragments as the gears wear. Although some new transmissions are sealed for life, most automatic transmissions should get fl uid changes every 30,000 miles or so, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Well be sure to take care of this for you when youre in for service.

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