(360) 736-0123

Serving You with High Quality Auto Repair Since 1955! Shop Information

Why People In Centralia Hesitate to Get their Vehicle Serviced

Posted March 25, 2015 7:34 AM



A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our Centralia Washington roads have one or more service or repair that's needed, but hasn't been taken care of. Now that's a lot of undone service. That translates into something over 160 million vehicles in the U.S. alone. Some of the neglected items are minor. Others are serious safety concerns.

There are several reasons why we hesitate to take care of recommended services; especially services that our Centralia Washington automotive advisor recommends when we're in for something else, like an oil change.

The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don't always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your sedan, but if you don't have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you're not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance.

Perhaps your dad knew a lot about cars and always made sure they were taken care of. He was very comfortable dealing with his local Centralia Washington service advisor. People who don't know as much about cars hesitate to ask questions because they don't want to look ignorant.

It's human nature. But, there's so much to know in this world, we can't all be experts in everything. So we specialize. It's very important to ask questions of any specialist, whether it's your doctor, financial advisor or your automotive technician in Centralia, Washington.

Your auto technician at LeDuc's Service Center wants your questions. We want you to understand the recommendation and why it needs to be done.

That brings us to the next issue; people say that they don't always know if they really need the service or if they are just being sold something.

At the heart, it speaks to trust. Do you trust your Centralia service center and your service advisor? Trust has to be earned and that takes time and experience. But you can shortcut the process when you realize that most of the recommendations are based on manufacturer's maintenance schedules.

In other words, "you don't have to trust me, you can trust your owner's manual".

Your Centralia service center has computer databases that contain the manufacturer's recommendations for almost all vehicles, so they don't need to rummage through your glove box to look for your owner's manual to know what to do.

Basically, the engineers who designed the car say "here's when you need to have it serviced". That's who makes the recommendation, not the technician. He's just reminding you.

Now you do need to trust your Centralia technician's experience and judgment from time to time. When he inspects your vehicle, he may find problems or concerns. He will explain things so that you can prioritize the concern and make a good decision about whether or not to have something done.

That brings us to the third issue; money. Often the concern is about spending the money to take care of a recommended service. Our money has many places it needs to go. And we have another list of places we want it to go. Auto maintenance isn't usually on either of those lists.

Look, everyone who works at LeDuc's Service Center has a family budget, too. They can relate. Maybe a little look behind the scenes would be helpful.

Service centers like LeDuc's Service Center invest heavily in training, diagnostic equipment and tools so that they can make repairs and perform services as efficiently as possible. And like any other business, they have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, shop and office supplies, taxes and so on.

We work hard to make sure that we diagnose the problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That's the only way we can maintain our reputation and remain in business. If we're not satisfying our customers and providing a good value, you won't come back and the service center won't be around for long.

When there is a real budget concern, your Centralia service center can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done and come up with a plan for taking care of it that works within your budget.

Let's say you have a serious problem with your brakes. That's a safety concern so a technician can't ethically say, well, let's put that off for a couple of months. What they can do is take care of the brakes now and address the cabin air filter or transmission service next month.


Posted in the Inspection category

A Cold Day In Centralia

Posted March 18, 2015 2:50 PM

Most Centralia auto owners worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Washington freeway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Tacoma rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot sedan.

A lot of Centralia drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the sedan running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive in Centralia.

Winlock drivers should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing expensive repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your sedan air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more pricey repairs.

At LeDuc's Service Center, we advise our Centralia customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your sedan owner’s manual or with your Centralia service specialist for information about how often your sedan air conditioning system should be serviced.

Another piece of good auto advice: if your sedan air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a steep repair bill.

On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Centralia drivers in Washington. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your sedan.

Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!


Posted in the Air Conditioning category

What's Up With Diesels in Centralia?

Posted March 12, 2015 11:13 AM

Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most car makers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.

Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like Washington. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.

There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.

But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Centralia. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Centralia is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% more miles per gallon.

Centralia motorists may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth and quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Centralia roads.

Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.

Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Centralia restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in Washington. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. They will soon be available for
Centralia motorists.

Centralia motorists who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle, should know that important preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.

When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of car care. But you won’t be alone. Most
Centralia service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At LeDuc's Service Center, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel powered vehicles.


Posted in the Diesel Maintenance category

The LeDuc's Service Center Guide To Custom Wheels

Posted March 3, 2015 5:38 PM

If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your sedan, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Centralia motorists have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the sedan when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your LeDuc's Service Center tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your sedan. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Tacoma professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Centralia custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your sedan are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason auto owners should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Centralia. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your sedan, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in pricey damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at LeDuc's Service Center to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.


Posted in the Tires and Wheels category

Shake It Up in Centralia!: Why Wheel Balancing

Posted February 26, 2015 8:38 AM

Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Centralia auto owners generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Centralia motorists want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service specialist spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Centralia car owners are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Centralia car owners can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your sedan — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the freeway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the harmful vibration. When Centralia motorists' tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and vital suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia can prevent pricey repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your sedan as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your fuel economy. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at LeDuc's Service Center, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Centralia vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your sedan. Balancing your tires is part of important preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some expensive ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from LeDuc's Service Center. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Centralia car owners' nerves.


Posted in the Tires and Wheels category

Transmission Care In Centralia Washington

Posted February 18, 2015 3:20 PM



Call LeDuc's Service Center to make an appointment to check your transmission in Centralia.
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531
360-736-0123

Do you have any plans around Centralia Washington for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends and are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you'll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.

You got the boat all ready. It's all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler's stocked – ready to go.

How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you've even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?

Stop and think. You'll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it may be hot weather. And all the time you're going to be towing around several thousand extra pounds.

That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What's a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It's important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you're running low, the transmission will run to hot and won't have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.

And if it's time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at LeDuc's Service Center before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.

Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. Believe us – you don't want to pay for a major transmission repair.

You know, most of us in Centralia Washington do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Centralia, and basically any driving that's not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.

So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you're at it. Your Centralia Washington service technician at LeDuc's Service Center can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Don't forget the sunscreen. And to thank your Centralia service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?


Posted in the Transmission category

Road Trip: Be Ready for Anything With a Trip Inspection at LeDuc's Service Center

Posted February 10, 2015 5:21 PM

Road trip, anyone? Nothing spoils a great vacation for us Centralia drivers then ending up stranded on the side of the road or spending a week in a rundown motel while our vehicle sits in the shop. Long days on the road can bring out the worst in your vehicle, so before you leave, prepare it for the journey by getting a diagnostic examination at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia. After all, you wouldn’t travel without clean socks, why ask your vehicle to travel with a load of detrimental dirty oil?

The first step in a trip inspection at LeDuc's Service Center is to look at your travel plans. What kinds of roads will you be driving on? Will you be in the Washington backcountry or on the freeway? Will you be crossing mountains? Off-roading? What will the weather be like? How many miles away from Centralia will you be traveling? How much are you hauling? Will you be towing a trailer or lugging a rooftop carrier? Will you encounter dust, mud, snow or sea salt? All of these questions can help Centralia auto owners determine which LeDuc's Service Center services are the most needed. And don’t hesitate to communicate with your LeDuc's Service Center service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on what trip conditions are hardest on what systems of your car and what kinds of services your vehicle realistically needs. Start with the tires and check them for tread wear and proper inflation. Replace or rotate them as needed. If you need to change them out for winter tires, then do so.

Then check your shocks or struts for wear. Replace them if needed. You’ll want that extra comfort on your trip. Be sure to survey your alignment. Steering a vehicle that is out of alignment is tiring, and dangerous. Don’t overlook your brakes. With extra passengers and baggage, your brakes are going to get a workout. You want them in top condition.

In addition, review belts and hoses. If any of them are close to wearing out, have them replaced before your long trip does them in.

Change your engine air filter if it needs it or if it’s close to needing it. For every gallon of gas you burn, your air filter processes 12,000 gallons of air. A clean air filter will protect essential electronic sensors that effect how your engine runs.

Get an oil change at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia if it’s coming due. Make it a full-service oil change while you’re at it. That way, all of your fluids will get checked and topped off. Change any dirty or old fluids. Centralia drivers don’t want to overstress their cooling systems or transmissions with dangerous dirty fluid during a long trip.

Does your vehicle smell? Check the cabin air filter. The bad smell could also indicate an exhaust leak, which can be fatal on a long trip. So don’t ignore bad odors; check them out.

If your air conditioning hasn’t been up to snuff, then give it an overhaul. You want your vacation to be relaxed and pleasant, and that means keeping the passenger compartment comfortable.

And be sure to review your wiper blades and your headlamps. You may find yourself driving in unfamiliar territory at night after a long day. You’ll want to be able to see as much as possible.

Of course, almost everything listed here is just part of important preventive maintenance for smart Centralia auto owners. If you keep up with your car care on a regular basis, a trip inspection will be a breeze at LeDuc's Service Center.

Taking care of your vehicle before you leave for a road trip will pay you back in safety, peace of mind, improved comfort and better gas mileage. It will also help your vacation go as planned by keeping you on the road and headed for that next great adventure. Just don’t forget to pack your socks.


Posted in the Inspection category

The LeDuc's Service Center Guide to Saving Fuel: Car Weight

Posted February 3, 2015 3:06 PM

The team at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia and Washington car owners are all talking gas mileage right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Centralia auto owners want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.

And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize gas mileage. But is there something more Centralia motorists can do? After all, some of us Centralia folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Centralia to Chehalis. And that means buying more gas in Centralia and producing more emissions.

Of course, your sedan’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your sedan. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around Washington? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Centralia home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.

Clean out your Centralia. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around Centralia in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your Centralia when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money in Centralia
.


Posted in the Fuel System category

Blind Spot Safety For Centralia Driving

Posted January 27, 2015 7:14 AM

Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Centralia, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Tacoma motorists' blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the sedan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the sedan for a few minutes before backing up, it is essential to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Centralia. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Centralia auto owners have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Winlock roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in Washington, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Centralia auto owners learned to properly share Washington roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is vital to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane Washington highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is essential to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your sedan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Centralia body shops because the drivers thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Tacoma area roads and highways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Centralia car care. Keeping your sedan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!


Posted in the Safety category

The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle

Posted January 21, 2015 11:14 AM

Centralia motorists' current vehicles have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.

It’s critical for Centralia car owners to always use the right type of fluid for their sedan. Your service advisor and your owner’s manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.

Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it’s vital to know exactly which one your sedan needs.

Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among car makers, they require different additives, which means there are now a number of coolants on the market. The type of coolant your sedan needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.

Most vehicles used to require Dot 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need Dot 4 or Dot 5. Some Centralia car owners mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that Dot 4 is somehow better than Dot 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently, and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your sedan is designed for just one of them.

Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, Centralia drivers still need them to be highly durable.

That’s the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original, important function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.

Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your sedan has 75,000 miles or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines and important additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and Centralia car owners should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.

Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. Washington vehicle owners should take care to learn their sedan’s fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for Centralia auto owners is making sure your vehicle’s fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our sedans become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.

Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia.


Posted in the Fluids category

Older Posts