Your car’s suspension system keeps your vehicle’s auto body connected to your wheels, dampens the up and down movement when rolling over irregularities in the road, and controls the involuntary, bouncing movement naturally created by your car to make your travel a lot more comfortable and stable.
Suspension system components related to how your car handles and behaves on the road include:
• Wheel Alignment
• Shock Absorbers
Like many aspects of vehicle maintenance, Chassis Lubrication frequency is largely dependent on how the vehicle is used. A vehicle that is used near or in water on a regular basis will need lubricated more often.
It is recommended to lubricate the chassis with each oil change, maintenance service, or safety inspection.
Symptoms of a chassis in need of lubrication include pops and squeaks seemingly coming from the car body or frame.
• Tires - There are several maintenance related services related to prolonging the life of your tires including: Inflation, Rotation, and Tire Tread Depth Inspection. Tires are designed to wear over time.
• Wheel Balance - Proper wheel balancing will help prevent wheel vibration, promote even wear of your tires (prolonging the life of your tires), and enhancing performance including better acceleration, braking, and fuel economy.
• Brake Rotor Discs/Drums - There are two kinds of brake systems: disc brakes and drum brakes. Disc brakes are the most common today. When you step on the brake pedal, the pads squeeze a disc-type rotor that's attached to the wheel. The resulting friction, when applied to each of the wheels, slows the car. And with drum brakes, shoes push out against a spinning brake drum, which is attached to the wheel. This friction slows the car. If brake pads/shoes are worn too much without replacement, damage can be done to the more expensive rotor disc or brake drum.
• Brakes Pads/Shoes - These are the most frequently replaced part of the braking systems. They are designed to wear away over time with frequent use.
• Brake Calipers - These hold the brake pads in the disc brake system. If pads wear down too much, damage can be done to the calipers as they press against the rotor disc.
Power Steering Related
In power rack-and-pinion steering, fluid is pressurized by a pump and pushes on either side of a piston to help you turn the car's wheels.
Changing the fluid helps to prolong the life of other, more expensive system components. Seals, O-rings and internal power-steering components will wear out and contaminate the fluid, forcing the pump to work harder and eventually break down.
System components include:
•Rotary Control Valve
Coolant, aka antifreeze, is the fluid that absorbs heat from the engine and then dissipates that heat when running through the radiator. It is also dissipated through the heat exchanger when you crank your heat in the winter.
Servicing involves flushing your car's cooling system,replacing the old coolant, and inspecting the raditor and hoses for damage, replacing them as necessary. Flushing the coolant and refilling the system removes dirt and rust that can clog up the cooling system. Also because of the hot, hostile environment, coolant will break down over time and rust inhibitors get used up, leaving the small cooling passages in your engine and radiator vulnerable to corrosion.
Most headlamps have multiple bulbs. If the high beam bulb goes out, you may not recognize it without proper inspection until you need them to drive safely on the road. There are also improvements you can make to your driving simply by upgrading your headlamp type.
You can have new bulbs and still have difficulty seeing at night. This often because of damaged or scuffed lenses. Lens can be either replaced or often cleaned & polished to keep you safe on the road a night.
Under The Hood
• Spark plugs & wires - Spark plugs are devices in the cylinder that take in high voltage electricity and create a spark that ignites the gas and air mixture, and the resulting combustion ultimately powers the car.
• Belts - The car's water pump, power-steering pump and various other accessories are all powered by rubber drive belts. On some cars, each of these is driven by its own belt. In newer cars, all components are driven by one serpentine belt. There is also the timing belt which allows the crank shaft to drive the camshaft. During the inspection, your mechanic will look for signs of wear or excessive slack. He'll also look for signs of oil leaks from the adjacent seals, which can damage the belt and considerably shorten its life.
• Battery & Cables - Your battery powers the starter and all electronics when the engine is not running. The alternator charges the battery so you can restart your car when necessary.
• Engine Oil and Filter - Oil undergoes thermal breakdown due to high operating temperature. When this occurs, the oil becomes less effective as a lubricant. And without a good lubricant (read: expensive), parts of the engine rub together and wear each other out.
• Oxygen Sensor - The O2 sensor is to monitor how much unburned oxygen is in the auto's exhaust. Monitoring oxygen levels in the exhaust is a way of gauging the fuel mixture. It tells the computer if the fuel mixture is burning rich (less oxygen) or lean (more oxygen).
• Engine Air Filter - An air filter catches all the above-mentioned crud long before it can get to the engine. Often, the filter will be protected in a plastic box, to even further guard the engine from contaminants. You want to make sure not to starve your engine of air by letting the filter get overly dirty...it will make the vehicle run less efficiently..
Check Engine Light
The light could mean a costly problem, like a bad catalytic converter, or it could be something minor, like a loose gas cap. Prior to 1996, carmakers had their own engine diagnostic systems, primarily to ensure their cars were compliant with EPA pollution-control requirements. Starting with model-year 1996, automakers standardized their systems under protocol OBD-II, which stipulates diagnostic trouble codes and mandates that all cars provide a universal connector to access this information. The Check Engine light can even be turned off by some code readers, even though this action alone does not actually repair the underlying problem. In many such cases the light will simply come back on later.
Many confuse the Check Engine light with the Service Required light on many vehicles even though the two lights are not related. Check Engine light indicates trouble where the service required light is simply a notification that you should schedule vehicle maintenance.
• Wiper Blades
When it comes to safety behind the wheel, being able to see clearly is one of the most vital. This is why you cannot underestimate the importance of wiper blades; they remove rain and weather elements but also dust, debris, dead insects, and anything else that may get in your line of sight. When wiper blades start to become worn and threaded, they can just smear things and make it worse.
• Washer Fluid
Washer fluid can be key when it comes to removing debris from your windshield. Washer solvent is not merely water but is made of chemicals that resist freezing, help dissolve and clear away bugs, etc.
Cabin Air FiIlter
The cabin air filter helps trap pollen, bacteria, dust and exhaust gases that find their way into a car’s HVAC system. It also prevents leaves, bugs and other debris from entering the system.
A dirty filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and cause contaminants to become so concentrated that passengers breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car than when walking down the street. A restricted cabin air filter can also impair airflow causing interior heating and cooling problems. Over time, the heater and air conditioner may also become damaged by corrosion.
Tail Light Related
• Tail Lamps
Most tail lamps have multiple bulbs. If the backup bulbs goes out, you may not recognize it without proper inspection until you need them to drive in reverse safely
You can have new bulbs and other vehicles still have difficulty seeing you. This often because of damaged or scuffed lenses. Lens can be either replaced or often cleaned & polished to keep you safe on the road.
Different transmissions use different fluid types. The important thing to remember is that transmission fluid is just as important as engine oil and services much the same purpose. Transmission fluid lubricates the working parts of the transmission, which is what controls how you care changes gears in acceleration or deceleration.
Automatic transmissions generate more heat, which causes more fluid degradation. Contamination is more common in manual transmissions as synchronizers, bearings, and gears in the transmission wear out.
Changing your transmission fluid, sometimes called a flush, will prolong the life of your transmission.
If your vehicle is stalling, hesitating, or lagging, it may be that your fuel filter is clogged.
Inspection and replacement recommendations vary based on manufacturer and fuel delivery system of the vehicle.