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Anyone that drives a car in Centralia knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your sedan cooling system in good condition.
A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the sedan’s engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn't Littlerock auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your sedan engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.
So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn't it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Washington weather. That would spell disaster for your sedan's engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!
Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your sedan. Tacoma drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your sedan’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service specialist for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among car makers.
Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it's hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.
Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the sedan cooling system functioning well and doesn't allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.
But don't just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner's manual or ask your LeDuc's Service Center service specialist if you don't know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your sedan cooling system.
You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It's easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your sedan engine by using the wrong antifreeze.
One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.
Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from LeDuc's Service Center to keep you on the road and help your life in Centralia run more pleasantly.
Posted in the Cooling System category
Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your sedan engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the interstate in Centralia waiting for your sedan engine to cool down.
When you service your cooling system at LeDuc's Service Center, your service advisor will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your sedan owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.
If your engine overheated, your professional, friendly & honest tech will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the sedan radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need an automotive analysis regularly. They can and do wear out.
The water pump is a critical component of your sedan cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your sedan cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.
There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your technician will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at LeDuc's Service Center is always a good source for auto advice. We've been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Centralia for 54 years.
Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Tacoma repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Washington.
At LeDuc's Service Center, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.
Posted in the Cooling System category
Okay. You went to your local Centralia car wash and while your sedan was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the sedan! You head for the nearest Centralia service station, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your sedan in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or that it’s just in your sedan as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary costly repairs. You’re glad you didn’t take your car to the Centralia repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.
Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your sedan was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the sedan engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.
You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The sedan doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your service specialist. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.
You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your sedan engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.
Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your sedan check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.
Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your sedan engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory that a tech can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.
The service specialist uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your sedan. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.
Your Centralia service specialist responds to a trouble code in your sedan’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.
Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you’re a trained mechanic.
There are cheap scanners available on the market and some Centralia auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your sedan engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer - specific codes. That’s why manager Randy LeDuc at LeDuc's Service Center spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.
It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?
Getting your codes read at your Tacoma auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Tacoma parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to the LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia and get things fixed right the first time.
Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?
Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s do it right the first time at LeDuc's Service Center. In the long run, it’s actually the less expensive choice.
Posted in the Diagnostics category
Car care is an important part of auto safety in Centralia. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Washington roads is to drive safely.
Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in Washington, no matter what anyone else is doing.
Centralia drivers can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Centralia road or interstate and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.
Never assume that other Centralia auto owners are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other Washington drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Centralia home as you would in unfamiliar territory around Washington.
Prepare your sedan so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your sedan so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your sedan dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.
Properly maintain your sedan. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at LeDuc's Service Center. Also, listen to your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service specialist when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your sedan. Knowing about the wear and tear on your sedan can help you avoid dangerous situations.
Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in Washington, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.
Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Centralia roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.
Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in Washington and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.
Other Littlerock motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your sedan turn signals, and stay out of other Washington drivers’ blind spots.
If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your sedan or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other drivers to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Winlock road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.
Never follow too closely on Tacoma roads or interstates. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.
If you are on one of the Washington interstates, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Tacoma weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.
Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.
If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.
If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Centralia, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the freeway. Notify the Centralia police as soon as you are safely stopped.
And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Centralia. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your sedan—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.
The professional automotive team at LeDuc's Service Center wants all Centralia auto owners to stay smart and stay safe.
Posted in the Safety category
Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Centralia, Washington these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.
Contact the automotive professionals at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia for questions about your power steering.
The pump generates power that assists car owners as they steer their sedan around Centralia, Washington. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to have your Centralia service advisor inspect them at every oil change.
A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at LeDuc's Service Center because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it's critical to use the correct type –just ask your technician at LeDuc's Service Center.
In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Centralia car owners need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.
Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many vehicle manufacturers outline power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Centralia auto owners who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb.
At LeDuc's Service Center, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.
Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign for Centralia auto owners is having to frequently top off the fluid.
Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center or LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia to keep you headed in the right direction.
LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531
Posted in the Steering category
Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Centralia drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Washington motorists ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.
Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Tacoma area are much better designed for the wide range of detrimental conditions that come with Washington winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Centralia temperatures below 45°F, which reduces their traction. That’s an important concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet Centralia conditions. But it also means that Centralia motorists are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it’s dry.
The tread design on winter tires has been improved to actually move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves actually throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can actually pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.
Many winter tires use a micro-pore compound that lets the tire bite into ice and snow. They have wider grooves around the tire that help expel snow. They have a rounder casing to better cut into the surface of snow. Modern winter tires available at Washington tire shops also have sipes, or thin slits cut into the tread. The edges of these sipes can grab ice and snow so that the tire retains traction on almost any surface. The sipes also help to expel water and slush from the tread. In short, a lot of time and engineering has gone into improving winter tires.
The all-season tire that is popular among Tacoma drivers is actually a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Centralia motorists in either season, but aren’t great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather, but lousy performance in winter. Centralia car owners need to put more thought into their tire choices these days, but that also means they get a lot better performance for their bucks.
If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed at your Centralia service center or LeDuc's Service Center. It’s best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Centralia drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.
Imagine this: You take a corner on an icy Tacoma road and your rear end starts to slide. What happened is that the front end slowed for the turn, but the rear end hasn’t figured that out yet. If you have high-traction tires on the front of your vehicle, that makes the problem worse. You’re slowing the front end faster and harder, which makes the back end fishtail even more.
Putting the higher traction tires on the rear will give Centralia motorists more control for turns, regardless of the type of vehicle driven. Of course, that makes putting high-traction tires on all of your wheels even smarter. Why not give all of your tires the best traction they can get? Some Centralia assume that four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles only need winter tires on two wheels. Why? Doesn’t it make sense to give all four wheels the same level of traction and control? Four-wheel or all-wheel drive cannot compensate for poor traction.
Another false assumption held by many Centralia motorists is that if you have traction control and anti-lock brakes, you won’t need winter tires. Traction is important for good acceleration, steering and stopping. And tires provide traction. Traction control and anti-lock brakes can only improve on that traction. The better the traction, the better the traction control and anti-lock brakes will work. In other words, the better the tires, the better those systems will work for Centralia auto owners.
A Canadian law requires all passenger vehicles, rental cars and taxis registered in Quebec to have winter tires on all four wheels from November 15th until April 1st.
If you’re shopping for winter tires and live where there is a lot of snow in Washington, look for a mountain with a snowflake in it molded into the tire’s sidewall. This symbol means the tire complies with severe snow standards. All-season tires have an M&S stamped on the sidewall. M&S stands for mud and snow.
For more critical auto advice about tires for any Washington season, meet with your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center tire professional. They can help you settle upon the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don’t forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for best durability, safety and performance, but don’t overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us Centralia drivers.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Here's a travel tip that'll I'll bet you didn't know, and, it might keep you safer...
The average American commuter in Washington spends two and a half hours daily in their car.
The government says a hundred thousand auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.)
So what does this have to do with how your car smells while you're driving around Washington?
Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?
- A. Strawberry
- B. New Car
- C. Pine
- D. Warm Vanilla Breeze
It's C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the car, according to AroMetrics.
And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents.
And you thought they just smelled nice.
LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531
Posted in the Automotive News category
Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in Centralia: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at LeDuc's Service CenterPosted May 5, 2015 3:52 PM
Taking care of our tires is a critical part of car care for Centralia drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some vital preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve gas mileage and extend the life of the tires, so it’s well worth the effort and expense for Centralia motorists to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.
The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle’s tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it’s a critical number for Centralia motorists to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to expensive tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction, handling and fuel efficiency on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.
Don’t be tempted to add a bit of extra air to your tires when you fill them. Overinflated tires will cause the center tread to wear unevenly because of improper contact with the road. It will also reduce the handling performance of your vehicle.
Rotating tires allows all four tires on a vehicle to wear evenly. Front tires get more wear than rear tires because they do most of the work on turns. Tire rotation allows all of the tires to spend time on the front of the car so they all experience the extra wear.
For most vehicles, tire rotation is simply a matter of moving the front tires to the rear and vice versa. Some vehicles, however, recommend a cross-rotational pattern. Other vehicles use asymmetrical tires, which means the right tires have to stay on the right side of the car and the left tires on the left. Some vehicles use differently sized wheels on the front and back of the car and should not have their tires rotated.
What kind of rotation do you need? Check your owner’s manual or talk to your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center tech. Your owner's manual will have information about how to rotate your vehicle’s tires as well as letting you know how often you should get it done. For most vehicles, that’s usually every 5,000 miles. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center tech can also offer auto advice about tire rotation. A quick tire inspection can also indicate whether or not your tires are due to be rotated.
When it comes to tire maintenance for Centralia motorists, wheel balancing is usually what we know least about. Balancing a wheel is necessary to keep it in constant contact with the road. If a tire is not balanced properly, it actually hops along the roadway. You can feel this hopping as a vibration in your steering wheel if the unbalanced tire is a front tire. You’ll feel the vibration through your seat if a rear tire is unbalance. Properly balancing your tires is important and will extend their life span, improve handling and improve the safety of your vehicle. When you replace your tires, the new tires need to be balanced.
Never use different sized tires on the same axle of a vehicle. In other words, your front tires need to be the same size and your rear tires need to be the same size. Mixing sizes can lead to some serious handling problems for Centralia drivers.
If you have an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle all four tires need to be the same size. If your tires are wearing out, you can sometimes make a new tire purchase fit within your budget by only buying two tires at a time. When you do this, the new tires should be installed on the rear of the vehicle. Rear tires are more in need of the traction than your front tires to avoid spinning out on slippery surfaces. If you drive a vehicle around Tacoma, you need tires, so Centralia auto owners need to know how to care for them. The safety of your sedan can depend on the condition of your tires.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Centralia car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and - well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Centralia, Washington folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.
Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Centralia car owners.
The old adage: 'a stitch in time saves nine' is really true for Centralia motorists when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.
Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Centralia drivers have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.
Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.
Don't let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at LeDuc's Service Center is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Centralia.
Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the expensive damage that can be caused by failure.
We know that this is a lot for busy Tacoma area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at LeDuc's Service Center keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your car maker recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.
Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent expensive repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call LeDuc's Service Center today for an appointment; you can reach us at 360-736-0123.
Let us take good care of your car at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia, and it’ll take good care of you.
LeDuc's Service Center
Give us a call today at 360-736-0123.
Or stop by at 1417 Kresky Ave, Centralia, Washington 98531
Posted in the Maintenance category
A generation ago, Centralia car owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your sedan in to your Centralia shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.
For example, almost everyone in Centralia used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the sedan was in for a tune-up at LeDuc's Service Center, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.
Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our sedans don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.
Modern Centralia auto owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Centralia service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and MPG. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”
Modern sedan engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of essential parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the sedan isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.
As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your sedan engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the sedan engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this pricey damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.
Timely oil changes are more critical for Centralia auto owners than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to vital engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.
One word of warning to anyone in Tacoma who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Centralia folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.
Centralia drivers can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better gas mileage, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.
Posted in the Maintenance category