Now is a great time to show your Vehicle Some Love!
- Change your oil.
We all should know the importance of regular oil and oil filter changes. Making sure to change the oil filter will keep the oil deposits and dirt and particulates out of the combustion chamber where they can cause damage. How often should you change your oil? Consult your car owner’s manual, which should give a listing typically between 5000 and 7000 miles. Browns Automotive recommends changing your oil every 3000 miles on vehicles with over 150,000 miles or using a high mileage oil.
- Have an ASE technician inspect your vehicles.
Getting your vehicle routinely inspected can save thousands in vehicle repairs by locating issues before they become a major problem. Un-expected breakdowns come at the most in-convenient times and if we can foresee a problem, you can schedule a convenient time to get the problem solved. Browns Automotive performs free digital inspections with every service. We will use tablets to photograph or video any issues we find and then email them to you. We will also include educational videos where applicable.
- Clean your car and get rid of road salt on your undercarriage.
Winter is tough on vehicles. Road salt and grim can damage your vehicle by eating away at its undercarriage. Clean off the road salt and grime with a garden hose or even a sprinkler if you have one. Wash your car with a soap specifically made for car finishes (dish soap can strip the finish and is not recommended). Use a soft cloth or mitt to remove dirt without driving it in the car finish. Pay attention to fenders (which accumulate a lot more dirt than other areas) and use a separate cloth/mitt for wheels and tires, which will keep them from spraying dirt and grime onto other clean areas of the vehicle.
Wax your car at the beginning of the warm season and then six months later at the end of it. All of these steps should keep your ride looking in great condition.
- Check air pressure in tires.
Tire pressure can affect your gas mileage and tire wear. Make sure your tire pressure matches the manufacturers recommendations for your vehicle. Tire pressure specification is typically found on a sticker on the driver door or in the driver door jam. Check the pressure when the tires are cold. If the tire pressure is too low, you’ll get lower gas mileage, and your tires will wear out on their sides. Browns Automotive offers Free Tire Pressure and Thread checks without the need of an appointment.
- Rotate your tires.
In addition to checking pressure, you should make sure you have rotated your tires in the last 5000 – 10000 miles. Some people rotate their tires after each oil change, which is a handy way to remember. This is why we check for tire rotation with every oil change and perform a free rotation as needed. Rotating tires on a regular basis is a good way to ensure they wear evenly and maximizes their life, which saves you money.
- Change your engine air filter.
The air filter is an important component that ensures dust and dirt from the outside air don’t contaminate your engine. If the filter is clogged or dirty, it will lower your gas mileage (by as much as 10%) and cause loss of power with the engine. And nobody wants that. So check your air filter and change it if it is dirty or more than six months old. Less if you live in a particularly dusty area.
- Change your cabin air filter.
When using your air conditioning or heat, the vehicle will either pull air into the vehicle from the outside or recirculate the air in the cabin. This air gets filtered by the cabin air filter. New Mexico has a dusty climate and a lot of allergy causing pollens. Replacing the cabin filter can help you breathe easier.
- Clean out the excess stuff in your trunk.
Carrying too much extra baggage in your trunk increases the weight of the car and wears on your gas mileage. Take some time before the spring and summer month to clean out your trunk. It should save you some money over the summer months. Be sure to keep road side safety gear such as: Flashlight, jumper cables, fluid funnel, blanket, roadside triangle and spare tire tools
- Check your radiator and gas caps.
Not many people think of their radiator cap and gas caps – they take them for granted. Radiator caps wear out over time and that lowers pressure in your cooling system and makes it more likely to have a boil-over in the hot summer months. Gas caps ensure a tight seal with your gas tank, which keeps gas vapors inside your tank and out of the air. The EPA estimates over 140 million gallons of gas across the nation are lost due to this. And this isn’t just an environmental issue – wasted gas vapor costs you money. So tighten up your cap or replace it
- Check battery and spark plugs.
Spark plugs last a lot longer than they used to, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about them. Dirty plugs cause misfiring, and the misfiring contributes to a loss of fuel economy. Many of us can also see our vehicle battery posts accumulate corrosion. This happens faster if the battery connections aren’t secure. Clean off your battery posts in preparation for the summer. Browns Automotive will perform a free battery test without an appointment and help you determine at what mileage your spark plugs are due to be replaced.