Auto Maintenance Professionals
State-of-the-Art Expertise /
Personal Neighborhood Service
vehicle manufacturers publish a schedule of recommended maintenance
procedures to maximize the service life and utility of your vehicle
through 120,000 to 150,000 miles. In addition, the automotive service
industry has developed a similar maintenance strategy that can extend
the useful life of your vehicle to 200,000 miles and beyond. These
schedules consider your driving style and driving environment in
establishing the timing and type of maintenance tasks that are
and Filter Service
All power and drive train
lubricants, including synthetics, after time in use the molecular structure of the
break down and no
longer be effective. The effectiveness of the lubricant is
degraded by heating and cooling cycles and the subsequent buildup of
condensation and combustion contaminants. Under very good
conditions and gentle use of the throttle , these lubricants may be
effective for longer periods without damage too the engine.
Most driving in Wisconsin qualifies as "normal" or "severe" duty as
defined by manufacturers' guidelines, so a maintenance
schedule prepared with consideration for that type of duty should be
followed. An often overlooked consideration when establishing lubricant
service intervals is the degradation caused by extended storage or
seasonal usage on the effectiveness of lubricants. Depending
on storage conditions, condensation and corrosion products can
accumulate in the lubricant and attack the sensitive mechanical
components within. Although it is not frequently addressed in
factory published owner's manuals, lubricants should be examined and
serviced as necessary during periods of vehicle inactivity.
Lubricant/ Filter w/Synthetic Fluid
Lubricant (Towing /Plowing Operations)
late model vehicles
have the ability to illuminate a reminder "lamp" when serviceable
lubricants are nearing the end of their useful life. This is
a terrific feature. Prompt responses to these reminders will
assure long and reliable service-life for your vehicle.
We do not endorse extending engine-lubricant service
intervals beyond 7000 miles, even with premium synthetic lubricants.
Brake Fluid Service
Tire and Wheel
functional brakes are the most important safety consideration on any
vehicle. Modern brakes are designed to give many miles of
trouble free service. Regular inspections and services can
insure that your brakes will go the distance. Depending on
driving habits and environment, your front and rear brake friction
material will need renewal at 40,000 to 100,000 miles.
Periodic inspections in conjunction with each tire rotation
is recommended, to preclude an inadvertent loss of braking
effectiveness. Brake fluid and brake components
will, over time, react adversely with moisture in the air and result in
degradation of the braking performance and damage to the brake system
components. For this reason, brake fluid should be tested
regularly for moisture contamination, and should be completely replaced
every 24 months. For maximum service life, it is recommended
that disc brake caliper slides be serviced yearly to renew anti-seize
material that degrades over time.
Front wheel drive
cars provide a difficult challenge for tires. The front
wheels typically provide 70% or more of the braking force and 100% of
the acceleration and steering forces. If not rotated on a
regular basis, these tires will wear unevenly, causing; traction,
vibration, and handling safety concerns. Rear wheel drive vehicles
also benefit from regular wheel rotation. Tire pressure is the
most important factor effecting tire wear and traction performance.
Tires tend to loose a small amount of pressure over time,
additionally seasonal temperature variations can cause a reduction in
tire pressure. It is recommended that tire inflation pressure
be verified and adjusted on a weekly basis.
/Tire Rotation FWD
/Tire Rotation RWD /AWD
Vehicles with a full size spare,
stored externally on a decorative rim (Jeep Wrangler, etc.) should have
all 5 tires rotated every 10000mi.
A modern tune-up
is considerably more complicated than in years past. Changing
spark plugs and filters are only a small parts of today's maintenance
tune-up. A typical late model vehicle with computer
injection has a number of new systems to consider:
1) Fuel injection systems are sensitive to the cleanliness of
the fuel. A clean fuel
filter is essential to efficient
operation of your vehicle's power train. Here in S.E.
Wisconsin, abundant air born dirt will infiltrate your vehicle's fuel
tank and clog a fuel filter in a few short years. Your
vehicle manufacturer's recommend fuel filter replacement interval
should be strictly followed.
sensors have become commonplace on all vehicles
manufactured from 1996 on. Many vehicles operate with as many
four oxygen sensors. These sensors, located in your vehicle's
exhaust plumbing, allow the fuel injection system to
constantly adjust itself for optimum emissions and fuel
economy. They will degrade over time, causing poor
drivability concerns and poor fuel economy. In addition
oxygen sensors can be seriously damaged by poor fuel quality, or
injectors are critical to a modern engine's health.
On higher mileage engines these injectors can be partially
obstructed with gumy deposits caused by poor fuel or fuel impurities.
These deposits can make the injector stick causing a
misfire. Deposits can also degrade the normally fine fuel
spray pattern, causing poor running and increased emissions.
Periodic "in-car" cleaning of these injectors will insure
4) Intake system
plumbing can accumulate deposits over time.
These deposits are a result of a modern emissions control
strategy that recirculates a portion of the exhaust back into the
engine. Soot and carbon from this hot exhaust gas can
obstructing critical passages and causing drivability concerns,
sticking throttle, and poor emissions. Periodic
cleaning of these intake passages is recommended to insure smooth
5) Each computer controlled vehicle comes with control
software. As vehicle control strategies evolve
improvements are developed, manufacturers will make software 'upgrades'
available to correct manufacturing deficiencies and improve the
functionality of your vehicle. When performing tune-up
related services, it is recommended that your vehicle be updated with
the latest control software release.
Tiped Spark Plug
Tiped Spark Plug
Clean /AS NEEDED
Clean /AS NEEDED
6) Ignition systems on
late model vehicles operate with secondary voltages as high as 80,000
V. In order to cope with theses high voltages, ignition wires are
insulated with a new type of silicon. While providing high
initial performance, wires insulated with this material will
break down with high usage and cause ignition misfires when the wires
reached the end of their useful life. It is important that
all causes of ignition misfire be promptly addressed, as not only does
it cause poor drivability and fuel economy, but severe and expensive
damage can be done to the catalytic converter as well.
vehicle's steering system includes a power steering pump and associated
hydraulics, and a system of mechanical linkages and joints which
transmit the rotations of the steering wheel into directional changes
of the front wheels. Needless to say proper maintenance of
components is extremely important to vehicle safety. Power
steering hydraulic fluid is extremely robust and need not be frequently
changed. The fluid condition
should be periodically inspected for contamination, and the entire
system should be
periodically inspected for corrosion and leaks, especially on older
cars. Mechanical linkages and joints are subjected to high
of wear-and-tear. Items like ball joints and tie rod ends on
model vehicles usually have a service life of approximately 130,000
miles. Some of these components are fitted with service
for periodic lubrication. It has been our experience, that
lubable fittings when properly serviced will last indefinitely.
When steering linkages wear appreciably, handling can become
seriously degraded and tire wear is greatly accelerated.
If these components wear to the point of failure, a life
threatening condition will result. Periodic inspections and
services of these components are
inexpensive, and can save costly repairs later in a vehicle's life.
A vehicle's wheel
alignment should be verified whenever new tires are
fitted, and it should be adjusted anytime the vehicle develops a
handling concern, or uneven tire wear.
primary suspension components are springs and damping elements.
On most contemporary passenger cars, and some
SUV's, these components are combined into 'struts'.
The suspension system is designed to provide a comfortable
and smooth ride over a variety of pavement surfaces as well as allow
stable cornering behavior. Shocks and struts are in constant
motion while the vehicle is moving. They keep the car from
nose diving when braking, swaying when cornering, and bouncing on rough
roads. They also keep the vehicle's tires in contact with the
road surface, insuring consistent traction and even tire wear.
When suspension components start to degrade, handling, ride
comfort, and tire wear will all suffer. All damping
elements have a finite service life. Manufacturers of these
elements suggest that degradation in damping performance can be
detected as early as 60,000 miles, with full failure possible after
120,000 miles. These elements should be periodically
inspected for fluid leakage and damping performance on a regular basis.
Suspension springs can suffer from corrosion as well as
fatigue. Fatigued springs will alter a vehicle's steering
geometry and ride height, potentially creating an unsafe condition.
If springs corrode or fatigue to the point of failure, a
serious condition will result. Like
steering inspections, routine inspections of suspension components are
inexpensive and can save on costly repairs or worse.
Modern battery and
charging systems require very little attention, however there are a few
critical areas that should be inspected on a regular basis to insure
that your vehicle starts and runs reliably. A reliable
battery requires a properly functioning charging system.
Prompt attention to a charging system malfunction indication
can prevent irreversible damage to your car's battery. If
your battery is not of the 'maintenance-free' variety, periodic
inspection and adjustment of the electrolyte level is required.
In addition, the battery should be tested
seasonally, and the terminal ends and grounds periodically
Terminals & Cable Ends
The cooling system
on your vehicle has the most potential to cause reliability problems.
The primary culprit is reactivity between the anti-freeze
mixture and various components of the cooling system, which over time
can cause several
concerns: 1) Sludge build-up in the cooling system
will cause premature wear of the cooling pump bearings and seals and
potentially obstruct the radiator and heater core. 2)
Coolant in poor condition can accelerate corrosion in the
engine and the heater and radiator, causing leaks. 3)
Coolant over time can degrade cooling system hoses and seals
causing coolant leakage. Additional components that can be
effected are critical engine controls such as the thermostat and
coolant temperature sensor. Regular inspection of the coolant
coverage and condition and periodic renewal of the coolant are
recommended to preclude more expensive repairs.
Coverage and Condition
/30000mi or /24mo
(Extended Life, Yellow, Red
/150000mi or 5yr
Timing Belt Service
Most of today's four and six cylinder engines use a high-tech polymer
belt to drive the valve train. These belts typically have a
service life in excess of 100,000 miles, but some manufacturer's belts
are recommended to be replaced in as few as 40,000 miles.
Renewal of these belts is critical. Not only will a
belt failure cause the engine to immediately quit running,
but on a number of modern engines, severe engine damage can result.
replacement is a moderately complex task, and a thorough job can
include additional services which are sensible to perform at the same
time. There is evidence of belts continuing in
service well past their recommended renewal mileage, however; these
drivers are rolling the dice each time they drive, on potentially
expensive engine repairs!
/60000mi or per Factory