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Maintenance Tips

Written by Super User.

We all rely on our car, truck, minivan or 4 X 4. Chances are you've purchased a reliable car, one that requires little more than gas and maybe some air in the tires. Then one day your break down! Chances are the timing is bad. To top it all the repairs cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars!

Avoid Costly Repairs

While many of us often wait until something really serious goes wrong (costing us big buck) the reality is that maintaining your vehicle and fixing small problems now will avoid the big problems later. Trusting the professionals at Ami-Go Automotive is the first step to avoiding costly repairs. We will assist you in maintaining your vehicle, reducing the possibility of repairs down the road. In addition your can drive with piece of mind knowing that your family is safe.

Knowing your Vehicle

Modern vehicles should last well in excess of 160,000 kms. In fact odometre readings of more than 300, 000 kms is not uncommon. This is mileage without major drivetrain or engine repairs. However, there are a number of components which do not last as long. Knowing what these components are and when they are likely to fail, and then fixing them before they leave you stranded, can save you big bucks.

4 vital engine parts that wear out way before the engine does:

Water Pump:В  Your water pump can fail in two ways: the bearings can fail and eventually either freeze up or throw the belt off. Or its seals can fail and leak engine coolant.

Alternator: The alternator, which keeps the battery charged and powers the electric equipment on the car can fail in a number of ways.

Starter: Your starter one day will start to drag, click, or refuse to work.

Fuel Pump: Your fuel pump can fail with little warning, too

The above parts are likely to fail before 160, 000 to 200,000 kms. Their bearings, brushes, rubber parts, and more just don't last that long. By the time you hit 200,000 kms you may have replaced all 4 of them. Remember, you are always welcome to stop by Ami-go Automotive and we'll check them for free!

Other parts to be aware of:

Timing Belts - Many cars have a timing belt. If it breaks it can irrevocably harm the engine in many cars. Timing belts should be replaced on average every 100,000 kms. They may break any time after 100,000 kms or 7 years.

CV Joints - Bad CV joints on front wheel drive cars won't destroy your engine, but they're expensive to replace. CV joints have rubber boots which keep the grease in them and keep dirt out. The boots are meant to be replaced and the CV joint re-greased every 80,000 kms. This simple maintenance will allow your axles to last 200, 000 plus kms (if not the entire life of your car).

Rubber - Most of the time when you see a car on the side of the road it's because of something made of rubber. Rubber (like your tires and belts) wears out with time and mileage. Vehicle parts made of rubber need to be checked with regularly maintenance.

Radiator hoses - as well as the often ignored heater and bypass hoses can fail after 80,000 kms. This can overheat your engine, causing serious damage: especially in this day of aluminum engine parts.

Thermostat - Your engine also has a thermostat that can stick shut and overheat it. If you ever blow a hose or get the engine hot, the thermostat can be damaged. It works for awhile then sticks shut, overheating the engine again. It's not a bad idea to replace the thermostat whenever you replace the water pump or when you change all the hoses.

Transmission cooler lines - especially flexible rubber ones, can leak , as well as many other vital seals and gaskets. It's a good idea to look for leaks and discover their source. Also notice any loss of fluids when you check your fluids This should be done monthly or at least with every oil change.

Oil Pressure Light - Don't ignore this vital engine warning! When your oil pressure light goes on, shut the engine off. Your engine can run with that light on about as long as you can live without a heartbeat. An exception is if you are slamming on brakes hard or cornering fast. In that case, stay off the gas. If the light goes off quickly, continue on, take it easy, and add oil as soon as possible.

Engine Temperature Light - If your temperature light comes on, it's important, too. Turning on the heater can provide additional cooling. (Your heater is just a small radiator under the dash.) Stop to let your car cool off and check out the problem. This can save you a lot of money down the road.

Listen to your vehicle - Any new squeals, taps, knocks, or rattles can be a warning sign. Bring your vehicle in to Ami-go Automotive and have us thoroughly check and diagnose your vehicle. В