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Maintenance: Is it Really Necessary?



Maintenance is an important part of vehicle ownership.


Car maintenance is one of those things that tends to get pushed aside and forgotten. Other times, maintenance may get delayed, due to other important expenses that arise. It can be easy to push maintenance aside.


Most car owners know that maintenance is required for keeping their vehicle operating in its best condition. But did you know that maintenance can actually help you to save money in the long run?


Here are some important facts about vehicle maintenance:



• Oil Top-Offs -can prevent engine failure

Low engine oil levels can cause devastating damage to the engine components. It’s a good idea to try to check your oil each time you fill up on gas. This helps to ensure that your oil doesn’t get forgotten.


• Oil Changes -can prevent engine failure

Dirty oil is bad for the engine. Oil should be the color of honey –anything too dark won’t do its job of cooling and lubricating the engine properly. When left unchanged too long, dirty oil can cause an engine to overheat. This is one of the reasons for changing the oil before winter and before summer. Vehicles can better cope with the extreme temperatures when the oil is clean. In Ketchikan, where the driving conditions are rough, it’s a good idea to have the oil changed every 3-6 months, or 3,000-5,000 miles, for most vehicles.


• Timing Belt Service -can prevent engine failure

Timing belts wear out over time. Eventually, if left for too long, the timing belt will break. In some vehicles, timing belt failure can cause serious engine damage. In “interference engines,” a broken timing belt can send a piston flying into an open valve, causing serious engine damage.


For many vehicles, timing belt replacement is recommended every 60,000 miles. If your vehicle has reached the 60, 000 mile marker on your odometer, check your owner’s manual to see if it is due for a timing belt service. Or call Carriage Works, we can look it up for you!


• Spark Plugs -can prevent catalytic converter damage

Worn out spark plugs can cause a vehicle to have trouble starting, but they can also cause an engine to misfire, allowing unburnt fuel into the catalytic convertor and causing damage. Old spark plugs can also cause damage to the plug wires and coils.


Most spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles. Platinum plugs can last 50,000 miles. 100,000-mile plugs should be replaced at 80,000 miles.


• Coolant Flush -can prevent a damaged water pump, blown head gaskets, and leaking intake manifold gaskets

Coolant plays an important role in preventing the engine from overheating. It is also a rust inhibitor and helps to keep the engine seals and gaskets lubricated.


Coolant should be flushed every 2-3 years, or 30,000 miles. Have your coolant checked every year to make sure it’s still clean. .


• Brake Fluid Flush -can save your braking system

Your brakes need fluid in order to stop effectively! Brake fluid is responsible for helping the brakes to work, and also absorbs moisture over time. Old brake fluid loses its absorption and can lead to spongy brakes. Keep your brakes in good shape: have a brake fluid flush every 2-3 years. A yearly brake inspection to check the fluid and overall condition of the braking system is also a good idea –especially before winter, since that's when the roads get icy. A yearly brake inspection is especially important in Ketchikan.



To make an appointment for maintenance, contact Carriage Works Auto Repair: 225-9344.

Carriage Works Your Ketchikan Auto Repair Specialists




Photo Credit: Dvortygirl