We at LEXSERVICE feel that an informed, educated client is one that works with us in maintaining optimum performance of their vehicle. Having a general knowledge about some of the common issues related to maintenance and repair will assist them in knowing when to bring their vehicle in so we can help keep it in top-running condition.
Below are some frequently asked questions about auto maintenance:
Q: What’s a tune up? How often should spark plugs be changed?
A: On newer cars, a “tune up” is a scheduled maintenance service which involves the replacement of some parts, including spark plugs. Typically, spark plugs can last 90,000-100,000 miles before they need replacing.
Q: What is a “basic maintenance package”?
A: A basic auto maintenance package should include the following: oil and filter change, tire rotation, and an overall vehicle inspection which includes hoses, belts, steering, suspension, and even safety items such as seat belts. Basic maintenance should occur every 5,000 miles to maintain optimum vehicle performance and to prevent internal damage.
Q: Do I really need to follow the auto maintenance schedule in my Japanese auto manufacturer’s manual?
A: Yes! Your automobile manufacturer provides this information as a promise of sorts: as long as you maintain the schedule provided, your vehicle will do all that they promise. Following the schedule is one of the best ways to sustain your vehicle’s performance over the course of many years.
Q: If I go to an independent mechanic will it void my manufacturer’s warranty?
A: No, as long as the independent mechanic/repair facility is licensed and provides documentation of the repair. Such as your invoice.
Q: Are synthetic oils better for my vehicle?
A: In some cases, synthetic oil may allow for better performance. Some cars are designed to use synthetic oils and should be complied. If not recommended by the manufacturer, then regular mineral based oil changes every 5,000 miles as part of the scheduled service is sufficient.
Q: If I’m thinking about buying a used car from an independent seller, should I bring it to a mechanic first? What should I consider when buying a used car?
A: You should absolutely have a licensed automobile technician inspect a used vehicle before purchasing. This is especially true for vehicles with more than 50,000 miles.
Q: What do I do if my car overheats?
A: Safely pull the vehicle to a stop and immediately turn the engine off. Stay out from under the hood, as this may cause personal injury. Call a tow truck and DO NOT DRIVE it to avoid further. potentially fatal, engine damage or other costly repairs.
Q: My steering wheel shakes when I drive above 40mph? Why does it do that?
A: This could be caused by any number of factors: tire balancing, worn suspension components, and alignment are all possibilities and fairly simple to repair. It should be diagnosed at your earliest opportunity.
Q: My steering wheel shakes when I brake? Why does it do that?
A: Typically, this is due to warped break rotors which can cause vibration during braking. This is seen mostly in after-market, non-genuine factory manufactured brake pads. Always use genuine factory parts for quality performance and care of your vehicle.
Q: What is that substance leaking under my car?
A: There are many fluids circulating throughout your vehicle and may subsequently appear under your car. In some cases, it could be as simple as water condensation. If you discover frequent puddles under your car, always have a professional check for any fluid leak.
Q: What’s the difference between genuine parts and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts?
A: Genuine parts are sold only by dealerships and are the highest quality parts available. OEM in most cases can perform adequately. However, they are not the same parts as the ones provided by the manufacturer, nor do they have the same durability or tolerance in wear and tear and, in many cases, have shorter warranties or none at all!