Following Your Vehicle’s Recommended Service Intervals

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If you are in the Denver or Front Range region of Colorado and you are reading this article, then you most likely care about your car and that it runs smoothly and efficiently.   Even though you care, most of us still have that moment of dread when your service advisor tells you that the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends some additional service.  Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises, and you start to worry about spending more money than you eygyxpected.

You also start worrying that if you say “no” to these recommendations, you might be harming your car or compromising safety.

I’ll take the risk here of sounding like your dad, but you really should have done your homework.  All of this stuff is actually in your owners manual.  But who actually reads those?  I bet it’s not on your nightstand for your bedtime reading, right?

Cars are complicated machines and it takes care to keep them in  good running order.  That is why manufacturers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent costly break downs.  In a typical owners manual, you will find:  oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure, and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment.  And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks, valve adjustment, – yes, the list is really long!

Thank goodness, this isn’t a test and you don’t need to have it all memorized either!  At Aspen Auto Clinic we have access to you manufacturer’s recommendations.  So do not be surprised when your ASE Certified Technician at Aspen reminds you that something is due on your vehicle.  Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule.  Let Aspen Auto Clinic help you stay on top of important maintenance.  We also have an easy system you can sign up to use to track your vehicle history with us too and you can get email reminders to help you stay on schedule as well.  You can expect your service advisor to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood if any do come up.  We’ll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget and lessen your stress.

Lemon Eliminators at Aspen Auto Repair Clinic in Centennial, CO

Remember the Ghostbusters from the 80’s?  When there was a paranormal situation, “who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!”  Just like the Ghostbusters, the ASE Certified Technicians at Aspen Auto Clinic ready to zap out and eliminate any  “lemon” vehicles out there!

A vehicle is the second most expensive purchase next to a home that most Americans make.  Aspen Auto Clinic offers a Pre-Purchase Inspection that you can schedule when you are considering a used car purchase.  This small investment is available to make you a more educated consumer with your vehicle purchase and can even save you several hundred dollars on the deal!

The Pre-Purchase Inspection form that you received after an ASE Certified Technician inspects your car will be given to you.  You can even come out and see the results and speak to the technician for any additional questions you may have for him.

You will be given a copy of this form with information that will assist you in making your decision before you purchase the vehicle.  After our inspection you may feel more at ease with the vehicle you are considering or you may find out things you can use to negotiate a better price.  In some cases you may even find out information that may have never been reported to CarFax about the car or truck.

The Pre-Purchase Inspection will cover a number of checks and inspections.  The experts will test drive the vehicle and check on the following:  Computer Scan, Test Drive, Interior, Exterior, Electrical System, Cooling System, Under Hood, Under Vehicle, Brake Performance, Hydraulic System, Additional notes from the ASE Certified Technician, and also a schedule for maintenance recommendation for the vehicle.

In these areas the vehicle will be thoroughly inspected for any issues. There are 3 different categories that individual portions of the car or truck my fall into:  be checked off as okay; or will need attention in the future; or needs immediate attention.

Here is the breakdown of the entire inspection so you can be sure to know what you get for your Pre-Purchase Inspection.

During the Test Drive:  Stereo, Upholstery, Power Mirrors, Power Seats, Power Windows, Interior Lights, 4×4 System, Transmission Performance, Engine Performance, Heating and Air Conditioning System will all be reviewed with an overall performance of the vehicle will be assessed for you.

The Technician will also be doing a computer scan for Readiness Codes, Diagnostic Codes, Visual Emission Inspection System, and Spark Plug Electrode Inspection.

The interior will be checked for: Door locks, Hood latch, Trunk latch, Spare Tire, and Jack/Emergency Equipment.  The exterior will be inspected for Exterior Light, Body and Trim, Windshield, Wiper and Wash system, Body damage, Glass, Paint, and Security System.

The Electrical System will also be inspected for Alternator Output, Battery levels and age, and  Starter Draw.

The Cooling System is inspected too.  That will include a pressure check for leaks, fan operation, coolant condition and hose condition.

Under the Hood, the inspection continues.  Battery, Battery Terminals, Engine Oil, Power Steering Fluid, Cooling System, Brake Fluid, Auto Transmission Fluid, Belts, Hoses, Timing Belt, Air Filter, and Tune Up.

Then Under the Vehicle the inspection goes on.  The Emission System/Evaporative System, Front Suspension, Rear Suspension, Steering Components, Exhaust System, Driveline System, Manual Transmission Fluid, Transfer Case Fluid, Fluid Leaks, Fuel Filter, Front Differential Fluid, and Rear Differential Fluid.

Brake Performance will also be checked.  The Pedal Shimmy, Warning Lights, ABS Lights, and Pedal Performance will be inspected.

The Hydraulic System will be fully inspected for you as well.  This will include the Master Cylinder, Brake Hoses and Lines, Wheel Cylinders, Brake Hardware, Calipers, Proportioning Valve, ABS System, and Fluid Condition.

Aspen Auto Clinic’s Technicians and Service Advisors have your safety and vehicle’s health as a top priority.  They will give you a complete run down of all of the details so that you can make the best decision for you and your family on the vehicle you are thinking about buying.

You will be a more educated on that particular vehicle before you buy it.  Just like if you were to get a new pet from a shelter and take him or her to the vet for a check up, Aspen Auto Clinic will give you the “medical report” for your car.

Aspen want to be sure to make lemonade out of any potential purchase of a used vehicle and keep you from any “lemons”.  We can fix anything that has to do with a car or truck but also want you to be educated on what you may be buying.  You deserve to know what you are getting into and bringing home.

One couple brought in a car to the Jet Stream location a few years ago and had this to say, “We couldn’t be more pleased with having the Pre-purchase Inspection done by Aspen Auto Clinic.  We were looking for a car for our new licensed 16 year old driver and wanted to be sure it was a good purchase as well as a safe vehicle for our teen.  We were even able to save a few hundred dollars on the purchase price by taking the report with us back to the seller.  Aspen Auto Clinic has been maintaining the car ever since we bought it and we are so happy to report that our now high school graduate still has a safe, good car to take to college this fall! Thank you Aspen Auto Clinic!”

Let Aspen Auto Clinic be your “Lemon Eliminators” for your next used vehicle purchase.  Just a phone call away to schedule your appointment for a Pre-Purchase Inspection at one of our 6 locations ready to serve you.

 

 

 

 

Englewood Heading in the Right Direction: Power Steering

Power Steering System Aspen Auto Clinic 122012

Power steering is pretty standard now on every car, truck and SUV in the South Denver Colorado areas these days.  Now there are even some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the heart of the power steering system is a pump.  This pump is driven by a belt that is powered by the engine.

The power steering pump generates boost that helps you as you steer your pick up truck around Englewood, CO.  Power steering systems all use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth.  Hoses can develop leaks.  It’s always a good idea to inspect them every time you have your oil changed.  This inspection is always included with an oil change at Aspen Auto Clinic.  Our ASE Certified Technicians perform a courtesy visual inspection with every oil change!

The power steering fluid level is also checked during an oil change service at Aspen Auto Clinic along with other fluid levels.  Low power steering fluid can damage the power steering pump.  The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so you need to use the correct type of fluid.  Just ask your Service Advisor at Aspen Auto Clinic and he or she will be happy to give you detailed information about your specific vehicle.

In addition to providing boost, the power steering fluid cleans, cools, and lubricates the power steering system.  The lubricants and detergents are depleted over time so you will need to replace your old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well and can result in rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid.  Many manufacturers recommend power steering service intervals in your owner’s manual.  This important service is sometimes unfortunately left off the maintenance schedule.  If you are not sure when to have this service performed, every two years is a good rule to follow.

Your local south Denver area Aspen Auto Clinic will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with clean, fresh fluid.

If you are experiencing difficulty steering, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump, you may have a power steering problem.  Another symptom of a power steering issue is if you have to frequently top of the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast.  Aspen Auto Clinic wants you to be sure to have your power steering system serviced regularly to keep you headed in the right direction in Colorado.