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Reasons to see your mechanic twice a year

Mechanic updating client wearing a mask

Next to our homes, our automobiles can be one of the biggest investments we make. And it’s more important than ever to maintain them properly — not only to keep them running in tip-top and dependable condition for safe and secure driving but also to maintain their value.

That’s why paying a visit to a mechanic twice a year for one hour each time is recommended for all vehicle owners. Today’s cars, trucks and vans are complex machines, with many parts — some computerized— so it’s important to find experienced well-trained mechanics to help keep it running in proper order. Keeping a vehicle that way will not only maintain your safety on the road, it will also prevent costly repairs and save you time down the road. Prevention is the key.

While it’s important for drivers to keep an eye — and an ear — on how their vehicle is running, when it comes to service, qualified mechanics like those at Boult Automotive in Penticton can offer the expertise and tools to help keep you and your vehicle on the road and avoid problems that could lead to breakdowns.

Tires 

Inspecting Tires
Inspecting Tires

At this time of year, as we leave winter behind and head into the warmer months of spring, a key issue is the tires on our vehicles. Changing over to all-season from winter tires is important to maintain proper traction on the road. The time for those studded winter tires is over. Remember, no studs in the summer!

Tire pressure and the proper tread are important so your tires provide optimal performance on the road. Proper tire pressure can also play a part in the fuel mileage your vehicle gets so it’s worth keeping an eye on this. 

A mechanic can advise you on the wear your tires are showing and the expected life they have left. And you can also check the tread yourself by using the old Toonie trick to help measure the depth of tread on each tire. If the tread barely covers the silver outside of the coin and does not reach the gold centre — it’s time to get new tires.

Tire rotation is also important as that will help even out the wear on your tires and it’s a good idea to get a wheel alignment, too. After a winter hitting the potholes caused by the Okanagan winter’s harsh effects on our local roads, as well as other debris, wheels need to be realigned in the spring.

Brakes 

Brake repairs in Penticton
Brake repairs in Penticton

It’s important to have your vehicle’s brakes inspected regularly to make sure they are working properly and are not worn down. If they are, they will need to be replaced.

Changing pads before they are worn down saves your rotors. Brake pads are a reasonable fix and part of every inspection at Boult Automotive. The brakes are one of the most important parts of your car and dependable brakes that stop your vehicle in time are critical to your safety on the road as well as to others. A properly trained mechanic can advise you on the condition of your brakes and tell you if they need replacement or adjustment.

Oil changes and lubrication maintenance 

Penticton Oil Change
Penticton Oil Change

As a driver, you should not only be aware of what is happening on the road around you but you should also listen to your vehicle. Squeaks and squeals can tell you something is wrong and needs attention.

A mechanic will help prevent that by lubricating the chassis — normally during an oil change — to help reduce friction caused by parts of your vehicle rubbing during day-to-day driving.

Lubrication also helps protect the undercarriage of your vehicle and helps maintain the life of its many parts.

As for oil changes, they are extremely important. The oil acts as the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine and regular oil changes — using the proper oil recommended for your vehicle’s make and model — can help avoid costly auto repairs. Changing the oil prevents the build-up of dirt in the engine that can affect performance and lead to internal damage. Regular oil changes can also save you money at the pump because a well-lubricated and proper-running engine improves a vehicle’s fuel mileage.

Talk to your mechanic about how often you should get an oil change and what is the best type of oil for your vehicle. As part of the oil change, a new oil filter will be installed. It is an important component as it filters out sludge and other debris, picked up by the oil flowing through your engine and that helps the engine run better. A clogged oil filter is harmful to your vehicle’s engine. If your vehicle is driven in dusty conditions (so common in Vernon and throughout the Okanagan), you may require more frequent oil changes.

Filters

Speaking of dusty conditions, they also affect the other filters in your vehicle. Engine air filters and cabin air filters should be checked regularly to help keep your engine running in tip-top condition and the air inside the car properly filtered.

Fluids

In addition to oil, your vehicle runs on several other fluids and they also need to be regularly checked and, at times, replaced. At this time of year, with grit on the road, washer fluid can run down quickly and may need to be topped up.

A trip to the mechanic will also give you an idea about the levels of brake and transmission fluid in your vehicle. Both are important to the running of the engine. Engine coolant should also be checked to help prevent overheating. Low levels of any fluid in your vehicle could be a sign of a leak and a qualified mechanic will check for that too, including checking all hoses.

Batteries and lights 

Battery Replacement Penticton
Battery Replacement Penticton

When a mechanic services a vehicle, he or she will also check the condition of the battery and charging system to make sure they are still providing the required power and there is no corrosion. The battery provides power to not only start the vehicle but also to power the lights and a myriad of other electrical elements, It’s important to have a battery that is operating in proper working condition.

Speaking of lights, burned-out rear bulbs and headlights also need to be replaced. They’re not only unsafe but not replacing them can result in a driver getting a ticket if pulled over by police.

Engines and emissions

A vehicle service will include a mechanic checking and tuning the engine and its components, to make sure they are all running properly. In today’s vehicles, much of the engine operates on computerized components and a properly trained mechanic will have the proper diagnostic equipment to not only check those components but also make any required adjustments.

Your mechanic will also check drive belts in the engine to make sure they are not worn, frayed or cracking and check or replace the spark plugs, which will also help fuel economy.

Exhaust emissions will also be checked to make sure those travelling in the vehicle are safe from any exhaust fumes. 

Exhaust Repair Penticton
Exhaust Repair Penticton

In addition to all this, a mechanic will also check windshield wiper blades to make sure they are still in good working condition as driver view sightlines are extremely important, especially in poor weather.

So remember, not only should you be vigilant as a driver when it comes to your vehicle, but you should also take it to a mechanic such as Boult Automotive to take a look under the hood in order to make sure your ride keeps you on the road. Your mechanic may not be able to tell the future but a tuned vehicle with clean fluids, a charging system working properly and good brakes will prevent the most common breakdowns and more visits to the shop. Take the two hours a year for checkups.

At Boult Automotive, we do a free checkup on every vehicle that has work done at our shop.

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News from © iNFOTEL MULTIMEDIA, 2021
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