Tag Archives: steering

Myth Behind the “Maintenance-Free” Cars

Are you “Car Care Aware?”  April is national preventative maintenance month and Axleboy Automotive is challenging you to take a hand in being proactive toward maintaining your automobile.  The first step toward cultivating a proactive mindset is to dispel the false notion behind the maintenance free car.

“Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the marketing and sales tactics of dealerships,” says Scott Carline, president and owner, Axleboy Automotive.  “Consider this: What motivation does a car salesman have to sell a ‘maintenance-free’ car?  The answer is all too clear.  Car dealerships know that if drivers don’t take appropriate care of their cars, they will eventually have to purchase a new one.”

At Axleboy, we know that if you really want a car to last 100, 200 or even 300 thousand miles it must have regular preventative maintenance both at the shop and at home.  While opening up the hood may seem daunting to some, there are plenty of things that every-day car owners can watch for.

The Car Care Council and most vehicle operations manuals recommend that, on top of routine mechanical service, car owners *regularly perform the following 10-point check of their vehicle:

 

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  4. Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  5. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
  6. Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
  7. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
  8. Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  9. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  10. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

*Regularly is a very broad term that, in the case of this article, is used to mean “at least once per month.”

 

Schedule your appointment at Axleboy today by calling (636) 939-5337 or clicking below.

The Pothole’s Revenge

Potholes, chuckholes, ruts or tire biters…call them what you will.  These road hazards seem to come back with a vengeance every year.  As drivers, we do the best we can to dodge them but there always seems to be one or two that are unavoidable.

After hitting a pothole, most drivers think, “{censored} pothole!!! I hope my car is okay.”

Upon first inspection, things may appear to be just fine.  Tires and wheels can easily be visually inspected, but there are several other issues that may not be as visually apparent.  According to the Car Care Council the following are signs that there may be more damage to the vehicle than initially anticipated:

  • Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming-out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads. These are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Key components are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals and hub units and tie rod ends.
  • Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear. These symptoms mean there’s an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling.
  • Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the rim. These problems will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions.

If you have got any of the symptoms described above, give us a call at (636) 939-5337  or click below to request an appointment.

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