Despite your best efforts, your car will be in the repair shop at some point. However, there are certain things that you can learn that may help you avoid frequent visits to the auto repair shop. Here are 5 secrets about auto repair you should know:
1) Not every mechanic is the same – not even close!
There are good ones out there who charge fair prices and provide great service. However, there are also unqualified mechanics who prey on people’s lack of vehicle knowledge to sell them unnecessary services or charge for repairs which were never needed.
2) It’s better to go to a specialist than a general mechanic
There are many different specialties in the world of auto repair, and your car likely falls under several categories. Some types of specialty services include: transmissions, brakes, mufflers and exhaust systems, air conditioning services, wheel alignment, etc. If you have issues with more than one part or system on your vehicle, it’s important that you visit a shop which specializes in each individual service. This will ensure that all repairs are done properly and eliminate any future problems related to areas other than those which were fixed. For example, improper wheel alignment can cause uneven tire wear which results in extensive and expensive damage requiring an entirely new set of tires.
3) Many car manufacturers offer free roadside assistance for their vehicles
For example, most Honda and Acura models come with a free limited warranty on parts and labor performed at certified dealerships. If you have a new or newer model vehicle, don’t be afraid to ask your dealer if they will provide free roadside assistance on your behalf. There’s no reason not to take advantage of it!
4) Your new battery should last around 4 years
It’s been said that batteries are essentially just storage tanks for electricity, which is why they die after a few years even when you haven’t used them much. However, this doesn’t mean that your new battery won’t last longer than the average time frame. In fact, your battery should last at least 4 years if you drive around 40-50 miles per day.
5) The engine oil doesn’t change everything
While the every 3,000 mile oil change may be a crucial part of keeping your car running smoothly for many drivers, it’s actually not necessary in terms of keeping your vehicle running properly. If you have had your current vehicle for several years and have never switched to synthetic oil, now is the time to do so. Synthetic oils are less likely to break down over extended periods of use, which means that they require fewer changes throughout their lifetimes than conventional or semi-synthetic motor oils do.
Five Fun Facts About Car Maintenance
While there are many things you need to do to keep your car running smoothly, these are a few of the tasks associated with basic automobile maintenance:
- Changing the oil and replacing the oil filter
- Rotating and replacing tires
- Checking and replacing wiper blades
- Checking fluid levels
- Checking and replacing brake pads and rotors
While many of these tasks don’t seem very exciting, you might be surprised by the following little-known facts about them.
Almost 900 Million Oil Changes Each Year
In 2007, drivers in the United States registered over 254 million passenger vehicles. On average, Americans drive their passenger cars and trucks just over 10,000 miles per year, and they get an oil change every 3,000 miles. That translates to nearly 900 million oil changes!
Different models of cars and trucks take different amounts of oil, but most engines require 5 to 7 quarts. That means that in one year, Americans use at least 1.1 billion gallons of oil in their vehicles. Much of this oil is reused and recycled.
The First Auto Tires Were Like Bike Tires
Drivers used to have to replace their tires far more frequently than we do now. It’s not uncommon to get 50,000 miles or more out of a single set of auto tires these days, but this longevity is due to the advanced technology and materials used to manufacture modern tires. Today’s tires have a long lifespan due to radial belts, synthetic and natural rubber components, and body plies, or layers. When inventor Philip Strauss designed the first tire in 1911, the structure of tires was very different. These tires resembled bicycle tires in design, with an inner tube that was inflated to provide a firm foundation for the outer rubber shell.
Windshield Wipers Were Invented by a Woman
You can thank Mary Anderson, who invented windshield wipers in 1903. Anderson was in New York City and noticed that the streetcar driver had to keep his window open in a sleet storm in order to reach his arm out of the car and manually clean his windshield with a squeegee. Anderson received a patent for the windshield wiper, but she was unable to sell the invention to automakers, who claimed that the device had no commercial value. After Anderson’s patent expired in 1920, windshield wipers became a standard feature on automobiles. Today, changing windshield wipers is an important part of automotive maintenance. Wiper blades come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some are even heated to help keep your windshield clean in icy conditions.
Your Car Uses Six Primary Fluids
Think you can get away with just changing your oil? Think again! Believe it or not, you car actually uses six different fluids:
- Motor oil
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
It’s important to replenish and change these fluids according to the car’s maintenance schedule, and it’s also imperative that you properly dispose of the old fluids. Many of these substances are hazardous to people and animals.
Antilock Brakes Were Invented Over 50 Years Ago
Anti Lock brakes have been around for over a half-century, despite the fact that they are a relatively new safety feature on most passenger cars. In 1958, the British company Road Research Laboratories developed an anti-skid braking system. The “Maxaret” system was first used in production on the Jensen FF Sports Sedan in 1966.
Initially, Maxaret and other anti lock braking systems were simply too expensive for automakers to implement, but advances in computerized braking now allow anti lock brakes to be installed on almost any new car.
Are You Looking for an Independent Auto Repair Shop You Can Trust?
If you’re considering making a change to an independent auto repair mechanic trusted by thousands of happy customers, look no further than autoTECH Blackhawk. Why? We differ from other automotive repair stops because we are a relationship shop. This means that the more of your car repair needs we support you with, the better able we are to customize our recommendations based on your driving habits and needs. Whether you want to keep the daily driver in ‘good enough’ condition, style your new car so that it’s customized just for you, maintain your favorite car in ‘like new’ condition, or even train your whole family to be more knowledgeable about cars – we partner with you to ensure that your cars meet your needs. We also offer an industry-leading 3-Year/36,000-mile warranty, so we only use Original Equipment and manufacturer-recommended products. Contact us now to book your no-contact, friendly appointment! We truly value your trust and your business, so thank you for staying local with your auto repair needs.