How Often Should You See Me?

2 02 2012

Dale BertramSome of you are too young to remember “back in the day” when you went to the gas station to fill up.  A nice attendant would come running out, pump the gas for you, lift the hood, take a look around and check your oil.  If you were a little low on oil he would fill it up.  If you needed something else done he would inform you and most likely, if he and you weren’t too busy would take care of it then and there.  If you were busy, you’d be back for another fill up soon and he would take care of it then.

Your owner’s manual even states that every time you stop for fuel you need to:

  • Check engine oil level and add as required.
  • Check windshield washer solvent and add if required.

Once a month you are supposed to:

  • Check tire pressure and look for unusual wear or damage
  • Inspect battery and clean and tighten terminals as required.
  • Check fluid levels of coolant reservoir, power steering, brake master cylinder, and transmission and add as needed
  • Check all lights and all other electrical items for correct operation

At every oil change you are supposed to:

  • Inspect exhaust system
  • Inspect brake hoses
  • Rotate tires at each oil change interval shown on schedule “A” (Highway miles) or every other interval as shown on schedule “B” (Stop and go miles).
  • Check coolant level, hoses, and clamps.
  • After completion of off-road operation, the underside of the vehicle should be thoroughly inspected.
  • Examine threaded fasteners for looseness

That is what the kindly, full-service gas station attendant used to do for us.  Now that everything is self serve, we tend to drive up, fill up and drive off. Think about it. Do you check your engine oil level or your washer solvent at each fuel stop?  Do you monthly check your tire pressure, inspect your battery, and check fluid levels, lights and other electrical items?  The majority of consumers never lifts the hood of their car or even looks at their tires, must less check the pressure.  Some, when it is time for an oil change are adamant that we just change their oil as they are in a hurry and everything else seems fine.

It is true that our cars are increasingly sophisticated pieces of machinery and that our oil is better able to withstand a couple of extra thousand miles between changes but how about all those other services that the gas station attendant used to take care of for us?  Sadly the answer for the most part is no one!  If you only see me twice a year or less think about what can go wrong between visits without someone lifting the hood and someone checking your tire pressure and fluid levels.  That is why those of us who service and repair cars tell you to see us at least once a quarter.

Remember, those of us in the industry do so because we love cars, trucks and SUV’s!  We want them to run at peak efficiency so that they are safe and reliable for you!  Don’t be a stranger.  Stop on by and let your car care provider lift the hood for you!

Happy Motoring,






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