Maintaining your vehicle is extremely important, especially in the Phoenix heat. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the vehicle running smoothly and also helps to hold the value of your car. Not to mention, if you don’t maintain your car then repairs can get expensive and it’s just not worth the hassle. Here are some tips on what to lookout for when doing regular checkups.
Check Your Tires
Look for cracks or bubbles in the side walls of your tires.
It’s important to make sure they are properly inflated to the specified pressure in your vehicle’s manual. Having lower air pressure can cause the vehicle to decrease in fuel economy. Another important aspect to take into consideration, is that we live in Phoenix and it’s hot here. The heat can take a serious toll on the rubber of your tires. This is mainly focused towards cars that spend their day basking in the sun. As time goes on, the rubber can crack and become unsafe to drive any notable distance on.
You’ll also want to check your tread. The tread allows the ability of the tire to grip the road and displace water. Once you notice the tire going bald, that is a sign the tire should be replaced. Checkout The Dangers of Worn Tires For Monsoon Season to learn more about the importance of tread on your tires.
Tire with lots of little cracks on the sides of the tread.
Washing Your Vehicle Regularly
Most people do not realize how important it is to wash your vehicle. Car washes help the exterior by ensuring that your paint finish is not getting damaged or scratched by dirt and grime. Another thing to watch out for is bird poop. If you spot bird poop on your car then wash it off as soon as you can. Bird poop can literally eat a hole in your wax, clear coat and paint.
Getting your car washed 3-4 times a month will keep the exterior in pristine condition
During the summer, avoid getting car washes if your car has been baking in the sun, because it will kill the paint. The best time to get a car wash during the summer is in the morning, when the paint has been cool all night. During winter, in Phoenix, it is acceptable to get a car wash anytime.
MWL (Mirrors, Windows, and Lights)
Windows and mirrors are clean and not cracked
Make sure that all windows, mirrors, and lights are clean and not broken. You will want to replace any broken MWL as soon as possible because these are a huge contributor to your daily safety on the road.
Make sure all lights are operational
The Three B’s. Brakes, Belts, and Battery
If you feel your vehicle has ANY problems with the brakes, you should bring your car into Service Techniques immediately to do a quick checkup and we will help you determine if it’s time to replace them.
Get your break pads checked often
Check your belts regularly for wear and tear. If your belt is worn and has cracks, it’s better to replace it now than be stranded later.
The final B, is your battery. Batteries are susceptible to a few problems here in Phoenix, one being corrosion. Corrosion occurs on the batteries terminals and is caused by hydrogen gas being released from the acid in the battery. It mixes with other things in the atmosphere under the hood and produces the corrosion you see on the terminals. Excessive corrosion on the batteries terminals causes the alternator to work extra hard to charge the battery. Corrosion causes perfectly good alternators to go bad because they get overworked.
Corroded battery terminal.
With corrosion in a close second, the main issue with your battery in Phoenix, is heat. Heat can decrease the lifespan of your battery significantly. The 100-115 degree temperatures in Phoenix can often times take a batteries life in as little as 1 year! Getting stranded during the heat of a Phoenix summer is not fun and often happens at the worst times possible. Next time your driving, look for some small triggers that will tell you if its time to get a checkup. Do your headlights appear dimmer? Is there reduced airflow when you turn on your vent? Is your radio volume working correctly? Do your power windows sluggishly open and close? Any of these are sure signs that your vehicles battery is distributing low amounts of electricity and you should consider replacing it.
Lastly and arguably the most important out of the group listed here, is your fluids. The most common fluids are the motor oil, brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and power-steering fluid.
Consult your owner’s manual for the fluid types you should use in your vehicle
Motor oil: Motor oil lubricates the moving parts in a car’s engine. This prevents the high heat and friction that results during engine operation, from destroying components in the motor.
This is considered the most commonly neglected. If you do not get an oil change and your car burns oil, then eventually your car will create too much friction and overheat and blow up. So go in for the regular maintenance required in your car’s specific manual.
Brake Fluid: Brake fluid could be one the most important car fluid in terms of safety. The brake fluids help move the moving components in the vehicle braking system, which works in under high temperatures and pressures. This should be checked often by your Service Techniques professional to make sure no pressure was lost in the brake lines.
Coolant: Coolant helps keep the water from freezing and boiling during extreme temperature exposure. A 50/50 mixture of water to antifreeze helps increase the boiling point and decrease the freezing point. Heat through the internal combustion could destroy the engine quickly, water alone is not enough to keep the modern systems cool. Coolant is very important in Phoenix. When your vehicle’s engine is already working hard and heating up, it doesn’t help that the ambient temperature is 116 degrees Fahrenheit. If the coolant fluid levels are low, then it might not be enough to keep the engine cool and it may cause serious engine problems.
Transmission Fluid: Just like the motor oil, the transmission fluid lubricates the moving parts in the transmission, ensuring that the system gears work together without any problem. It also helps to keep the transmission cool.
Power Steering Fluid: Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that is pressurized to make turning the wheels turn easier. It is also a lubricant to protect the moving parts in the system.
Following these basic tips can help you keep your vehicle running smoothly and keep you safe on the road in Phoenix conditions. If you have any questions or concerns, call Service Techniques to schedule an appointment and get a diagnosis.
Service Techniques: Automotive Repair
116 N Roosevelt #115
Chandler, AZ 85226
Mon – Fri 8:30am – 6:30pm