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Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at LeDuc's Service Center

Posted April 15, 2015 9:15 AM

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing Washington residents to review their finances. More and more Centralia car owners are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Centralia men and women haven’t dealt with in the past.

Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones
. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for Centralia car owners because many owner’s manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles. Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their sedans on the road. First of all, any service in your owner’s manual that comes with a recommended mileage interval should be continued at that interval.

For example, if it is recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 miles, you should continue to change your oil every 5,000 miles. The owner of an older vehicle has to recognize that his engine is operating under higher stress than a new one. It’s just starting to show its age. So many experts suggest that the “severe service schedule” should be followed once a vehicle has racked up some serious miles. On this schedule, the mileage interval for many services is shortened or should be performed more often. Check with your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center tech.

Centralia drivers who own older vehicles should also be careful not to neglect or postpone oil changes. A full-service oil change is more critical for an older sedan than for a new one. Older engines have had a lot of time to build up sludge in their oil compartment, so changing the oil at regular intervals is a must. Skipping an oil change compounds the sludge problem. With a full-service oil change, the vehicle’s fluids are also checked and topped off. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service advisor will also let you know if these fluids need to be replaced. Older sedans have older seals and gaskets, which often develop tiny leaks. Regularly checking fluids will compensate for these leaks and offer a heads-up about any serious ones. So, again, it is important to stay on schedule and not skip or procrastinate a fluid check.

Older seals and gaskets begin to dry out and show their age by becoming brittle. High-mileage formulation oils and fluids can help extend the lives of these gaskets and seals. These products contain additives that recondition seals and gaskets and keep them from leaking. High-mileage formulas cost more than standard products, but in the long run they can pay for themselves by preventing more costly repair bills.

If a vehicle is getting on in years or mileage, its parts are as well. High-mileage car maintenance requires necessary repairs and replacements. Timing belts, radiator hoses, parts of the suspension system, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries will not last forever and will wear out in higher-mileage vehicles. They need to be inspected regularly by your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service specialist and replaced as necessary.

But don’t go running for the new car lot just yet. These repairs may sound like a lot, but in total, they’re still cheaper for Centralia car owners than new car payments. And if you stay on top of them and budget for them, they aren’t as burdensome as it may appear.

If you plan on driving your vehicle into its high-mileage years, there are two relationships you need to develop. The first is with your Centralia service center. Your LeDuc's Service Center service specialist can offer you invaluable auto advice and help you develop a service plan that is right for you and your vehicle. Second, you need to develop a relationship with your sedan itself. You don’t need to name it, but you should become familiar with its noises and idiosyncrasies. Pay attention to changes in its habits such as new or unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Taking note of such things and sharing them with your service advisor can help stave off a lot of big-ticket repair issues.

As we get older, keeping up with a diet and exercise plan becomes more and more critical to maintaining good health. It’s the same with our vehicles. A preventive maintenance plan and smart car care will keep them on the road and keep them safe for a good many years to come.


Posted in the Keys to a long lasting vehicle category

Technician Training at LeDuc's Service Center

Posted April 8, 2015 8:49 AM



Your car is important to you and keeping it running properly is critical to your Centralia lifestyle. That's why you're smart to have it serviced regularly at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

It's also very important to your Centralia service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Centralia auto service center spends annually to make sure our professional, friendly & honest techs are properly trained.

  LeDuc's Service Center offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our Centralia centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. LeDuc's Service Center technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services at LeDuc's Service Center require the use of specialized equipment. LeDuc's Service Center technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It's not only important that professional, friendly & honest service professionals be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious (and costly).

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to motorists. For example, it's one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

Washington folks may be interested to know that service technicians (including those at LeDuc's Service Center) are trained in compliance with federal and local Centralia laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It's the goal of LeDuc's Service Center to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your professional, friendly & honesttech or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

At LeDuc's Service Center, well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best auto service in Centralia.


Posted in the Maintenance category

Problems with Suspension Solved at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia

Posted March 31, 2015 5:43 PM

A vehicle’s suspension system is tough. It can last for years and tens of thousands of miles for Centralia auto owners. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Centralia auto owners to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an inspection. An ineffective suspension system will impair the driver’s control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous and costly accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks impair the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your sedan might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately an essential safety feature of your vehicle, it’s always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of essential attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other critical signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it’s time for new shocks. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center technician will check your shocks visually. If they’re leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any of these symptoms warrants an automotive analysis of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Centralia motorists should never put off suspension repairs. If you actually experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to or better than the original shocks on the sedan. The original equipment was developed for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Centralia motorists should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Centralia car owners. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your sedan’s handling performance, then you should reflect on upgrading to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Centralia or tow a trailer, then you should definitely think about getting heavy-duty shocks.

Most Centralia car owners are not likely to show off their suspension system to anyone admiring their sedan, but it’s vital just the same. In the end, it’s something all of us Centralia drivers can be dedicated to.


Posted in the Suspension category

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

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