At Excellent Auto Repair we feel that the most important things you can do to maintain your vehicle are as follows:

  • Change your oil every 3000 miles.
  • Follow the manufacturer's schedule of maintenance.
  • Have wear items inspected often.
  • Have seasonal maintenance inspections performed.

We offer two types of oil change service. The budget oil change includes up to five quarts of regular motor oil, a new oil filter, and the required labor. We also stock synthetic oils when called for by the manufacturer's specification or your preference. This service takes about twenty minutes, we recommend scheduling it with us in advance.

The lube, oil, filter (LOF) maintenance service includes a road test by a certified technician, a preventative maintenance safety inspection, a check over of all drive belts, hoses, tires, suspension, steering, and lubrication of all doors, chassis lube points, hood and trunk hinges, checking all fluids, a new engine oil filter and the required labor. This service takes about forty-five minutes and is best scheduled with us in advance.

For a total maintenance program we recommend that you follow the maintenance schedule outlined in your owner's manual. In case this is no longer available to you, please advise us. We have the OEM maintenance recommendations for all cars in our computer files and we will be happy to provide you with a copy.

In addition to scheduled maintenance it is important that the wear items such as tires, belts and brake pads/shoes be inspected regularly. We always recommend that these items be serviced sooner rather than later to prevent breakdowns or costly additional repairs such as when a brake pad wears to its metal backing plate and damages a brake rotor.

At 30K your car needs a major service to keep it operating at optimum performance. We use a maintenance guide to perform services at mileage intervals. These services can be found in your owners' manual. Most cars will require the following:

OIL SERVICE

TIRE ROTATION

WHEEL ALIGNMENT

CHECK BRAKES

FUEL FILTER

AIR FILTER

VALVE ADJUSTMENT*

SPARK PLUGS

TRANSMISSION SERVICE

REPLACE BRAKE FLUID
* (if applicable)

Air filter - Replace the air filter about every 15,000 miles for normal driving conditions. A dirty air filter will not cause the engine to run bad, stall, or misfire. A dirty filter can cause reduced fuel economy and higher exhaust emission gases. Fram filters offers air, fuel, oil, pcv and interior cabin filters for most cars and trucks. We have been using Fram filters in my shop for years and they are probably one of the most recognizable aftermarket filter brands on the market.

 

 

 

 

 

Battery - Check terminals and cables--loose or dirty battery cables are a common "no start" condition. Cable ends and battery terminals should be cleaned with a wire brush and light sand paper periodically to remove any corrosion build up. Battery terminal protecting spray coatings can also be helpful in reducing the formation of corrosion. I have used A/C Delco batteries for many years and find them to be very dependable and 100% maintenance free.
Caution: remove all metal objects like wrist watches and rings before working around a battery-a spark or fire can occur (I have the scars to prove it.)

Battery Load - Battery "load" is how much load or drain can be placed on the electrical system before the battery begins to discharge itself. Think of it as how much electricity the battery can store before having to be recharged. It is not uncommon for batteries to go completely "flat" or discharged without ever giving a warning signal to the operator.

Have the mechanic check the battery condition and load levels at every oil change interval if the battery is over 2 years old to ensure the battery will not leave you unexpectedly stranded. A weak battery that is not storing enough power will cause the alternator to work harder and possibly cause premature alternator failure. Dirty or corroded battery terminals can severely reduce the lifespan of the battery and alternator. A quick and inexpensive battery check and cable inspection can be done at each oil change.

The replacement battery should be the same size, have the same battery cable connections, and should be the same electrical capacity as the original battery.

Belts Check for worn or loose belts. Belts should be replaced if they are worn on the edges, frayed, or cracked. Do not spray silicone or WD40-type chemicals on a noisy belt-it will usually just make the noise worse. Check the tension on each belt, and see if anything is rubbing or coming in contact with it. I have used Gates belts, radiator and heater hoses and timing belts for years and highly recommend them for aftermarket replacement rubber components.

 

 

 

 

Brakes
Inspect: Check the brake fluid level. The fluid level should only need to be slightly topped off occasionally. If more than 2 oz. of fluid is needed, the brake system should be inspected for leaks and component wear. Add only the recommended type of brake fluid as listed in the owner's manual. Do not add any other fluid to the brake fluid reservoir, and keep all foreign objects like fingers out of the fluid. The fluid in the reservoir should be clear in appearance and free of dirt and debris.

Replace: Brake fluid retains moisture and should be flushed and re-bled (remove the air from the system) to keep brakes working effectively. Check brake pad and shoe wear. Don't wait until you hear grinding noises to have the brakes inspected. Have brakes checked periodically for wear. Some warning signs of brake problems are: noises when brakes are applied, the steering wheel shakes when brakes are applied, needing to add more than 2 oz of brake fluid to the brake fluid reservoir, a soft or squishy brake pedal, or the brake pedal goes to the floor slowly while brakes are applied.

 

 

 

Differential Fluid - (A rear differential is only found on rear wheel drive cars and trucks.)
Inspect: The rear differential (commonly referred to as the rear end) fluid or grease should be checked during each routine oil change and topped off as needed with the fluid prescribed in the owner's manual.
Replace: Drain and flush the rear end fluid periodically to remove any metal filings that have normally accumulated in the differential housing. Replace the differential cover gasket and add any recommended supplemental additive prescribed in the owner's manual. I have been using Wynn's differential fluid additives for years and strongly believe in their line of fluid additives.

Radiator and Heater Hoses

Inspect: To check for leaks or bulges with the engine cold, squeeze the radiator hoses with one hand at all points along the hose. If soft spots, bulges, or a "cracking feeling" is identified, replace ALL water hoses at the same time.
Replace: Replace all water hoses including heater, bypass, and radiator hoses at the same time. The antifreeze/coolant, hose clamps and radiator cap should also be replaced at this time. If the car overheated or has been running hotter than normal, replacing the thermostat during this time might also be a good idea.

Engine Oil
Inspect: Check oil level when engine is cold and with vehicle on level ground.
Replace: Change oil and filter. Check all fluids, tires and air pressure, air filter, belts and hoses and spare tire condition when changing the engine oil. This is also a great time to clean the corrosion from the battery cables. I have been using Amalie motor oil for many years at my shop. it is a great product at a great price.

Want to learn more about motor oils? Exposing the Myth of the 3,000 Mile Oil Change

Power Steering Fluid
Inspect: Check level. Power steering fluid can either be pink or clear in color, usually only a very small amount is needed to top off fluid level. If more than 2 oz. is needed, have the system checked for leaks or wear.
Replace: Power steering fluid just like any other fluid becomes dirty and contaminated and should be replaced with clean fluid periodically. Dirty power steering fluid can cause the power steering pump or the power steering gear assemblies to fail and can cause premature wear to occur.

Transmission Fluid
Inspect: Usually the transmission fluid level is checked with the engine hot and in park, and with engine running. Check your owner's manual for proper fluid type and proper fluid level inspection procedures. Automatic transmission fluid is usually pink in color. Most standard shift transmissions will have a drain plug to service the fluid. Some stick shift transmissions use engine oil as a lubricant; consult your owner's manual when servicing. It could also be a good idea to have the replacement fluid type information available for the repair shop.

Replace: Consult vehicle owner manual for proper fluid type and service interval. If applicable, replace the internal automatic transmission filter or clean the re-usable screen when changing the transmission fluid. A transmission pan gasket will also be required during a filter change. Some newer model vehicles require special additives and detergents---consult owner's manual for fluid specifications.

Windshield Wiper Blades
Inspect: Check wiper blades for wear and washer fluid level during a regular oil and filter change. Don't make the mistake of never thinking about replacing or inspecting the wiper blades until you really need them.
Replace: Some wiper blades are different lengths for driver and passenger side. Measure old blades before replacing with new ones. Manufactures like Anco, offer many different premium replacement wiper blade types (i.e. for snow and ice, off road, and severe duty).

Windshield Washer Fluid Check level. Anti-freezing and water repelling additives can also be added to the washer fluid reservoir. Not only will washer fluid aid in removing dirt from the windshield, but also it will act as a lubricant to prolong the life of the wiper blade. Adding rubbing alcohol to the washer fluid can be harmful to the rubber on the wiper blades.

Shock Absorbers and Struts
Inspect: Check for fluid leaks around the shock. Some shocks are filled with oil and a visible fluid leak can be detected. Excessive bumpy ride, leaning, or swaying in one direction more than normal on brake application or around turns can also indicate worn or damaged shocks. I have been using Monroe gas filled shocks and struts for many years with great success.
Replace: Replace all four shocks/struts at the same time to get maximum benefit and drivability. In some cases a wheel alignment should be performed after new struts are installed.

 

 

Battery I
Differential I
Fuel Filter R
Engine Oil and Filter R
Power Steering Fluid I
Tires * I
Transmission Fluid R
Wiper Blades I
Washer Fluid I
Exterior Car I
Distributor cap/Ignition Rotor I

A tune-up (also known as a major service) is regular maintenance performed on an automobile, or more generally, any internal combustion engine. Most automobile manufacturers recommend a tune-up be performed at an interval of 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or two years, whichever comes first.

As with all preventive maintenance performed on an automobile, tune-ups can prevent myriad problems from occurring on a vehicle. The filters replaced can clog with use and prevent flow, starving the engine of fuel or air. Spark plugs have a recommended service lifetime of either 30,000 miles or, in the case of platinum or iridium plugs, 60,000 to 100,000 miles (96,000 to 160,000 km), and old spark plugs may cause engine misfire.

  • Air Conditioning Repair Services
  • Alternators
  • Brakes/Brake Repair
  • Computer Testing and Programming
  • Coolant/Cooling System and Radiator Services
  • Custom Exhaust & Repair
  • CV Axles
  • Electrical Repair
  • Electronic Control Diagnostics
  • Emergency Repairs
  • Engine Repair for Foreign and Domestic Cars
  • Exhaust Repair Work
  • Foreign & Domestic Car Tune Up Services
  • Front and Rear Suspension
  • Fuel Injection Service
  • Head Gasket Repair
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Lube Filter and Oil
  • Mileage Services (30K,60K,75K, 100K.)
  • Muffler Repair
  • Power Window Service
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Scheduled Maintenance
  • Smog Checks and Smog Repair
  • Starting & Charging
  • Steering/Suspension Drivetrain
  • Struts and Suspension Repair
  • Timing Belts
  • Towing Services
  • Transmission Repair and Clutches
  • Tune-ups
  • Water Pumps