Wipers are an essential safety item on any vehicle. Performing a visibility tune-up is all about making sure the blades make the best possible contact with the windshield. It can also lead to
How well are you capturing the necessary maintenance work on each vehicle that arrives at your shop each day? Each week? Maybe you are quick to point out a dirty air filter, but gloss over those worn out wiper blades. It pays to keep track of each maintenance task for each vehicle you work on and notice trends over time. But even then, how many maintenance tasks should you expect to see each day? And, maybe more
What happens after the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties wear out? If you look at any factory-recommended service intervals, after 100,000 miles they cease to exist. What does it take to keep a vehicle going for 120,000, 180,000 or 250,000 miles? The key is maintenance and
I’m tired of hearing about winter, talking about winter and experiencing winter, and I bet you are, too. However, what has been the worst winter in a generation may in fact be a blessing in disguise for independent repair shops across the country. The harsh elements will leave many vehicles in need of service and National Car Care Month in April is the ideal time to capture your share of these service and repair opportunities. It is also a chance to improve relationships with customers and attract new ones, leading to more long-term business.
Changing the automatic transmission filter and fluid is a great preventive maintenance practice, ensuring a clean and proper working transmission assembly. The most important factors are installing the correct filter for the vehicle application and the correct installation procedures of the filter. An incorrect filter installation or the wrong filter will ultimately cause erratic shifts and possibly cause damage to the transmission assembly.
The cold snap that hit most of the country in early January was the onset of one of the coldest winters most states have seen in years. And since cold weather can have adverse effects on vehicle systems, you probably experienced an influx of customers whose vehicles were towed in with dead batteries, or ones that were flooded due to ignition systems that could not fire the fuel. Let’s look at some VW and Audi maintenance schedules and see what we may have been missing that could help our customers avoid costly tows and generate some additional revenue for our efforts.
As I removed the timing belt and balance shaft belt, I noticed this soda can tab holding one of the crank sensors in place. Apparently, the customer knew of this from a year ago when the balance shaft belt broke but couldn’t afford the sensor or a new water pump.
In addition to checking the strength of the antifreeze, a cold-weather starting inspection should also include testing and visually inspecting the battery and cables, starter, alternator and changing to the auto manufacturer’s recommended engine oil. Because cold weather slows down the chemical reaction between its electrolyte and its battery plates, the average battery can lose more than 50% of its cranking amperage at 0 degree F. For that reason, cold-weather starting quickly separates OE-specification from non-OE-specification batteries.
Gary Goms defends the oil and filter change, but suggests introducing the term, “recommended maintenance interval,” and explains how shops can capitalize on profitable lubrication, drivetrain, filter, lighting, battery and tooling services in the process.
Before they fail is the short answer. The long answer is it depends on the type of hose, the age of the vehicle and the application. Today’s cooling hoses, fuel line hoses, vacuum and emissions hoses, PS hoses, A/C hoses and brake hoses are all very durable and long-lived, but they don’t last forever. There are no factory recommended service intervals for any type of hose, but all automakers do recommend inspecting hoses when normal maintenance or repairs are performed.
Irv Gordon, a 73-year-old retired science teacher from Patchogue, NY, holds the Guinness Book of World Records recognition for most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle, and has driven more than 2.99 million miles in his shiny red Volvo.
Tech Update: Air, Fuel And Oil Filter Replacement Intervals, Take Motorists’ Driving Habits Into Account
Filters have long been a common maintenance item. But with longer factory service intervals and “lifetime” filters becoming more common, how often do filters really need to be replaced? There’s no simple answer. The safest advice used to be to follow the filter service interval recommendations in the vehicle owner’s manual (assuming the owner’s manual hasn’t been lost and that somebody will actually read it!).