Home > Ask Gary > What are the most important elements of scheduled vehicle check-ups? My challenge is evaluating preventive maintenance recommendations while not wanting to pay for work that could be deferred.

What are the most important elements of scheduled vehicle check-ups? My challenge is evaluating preventive maintenance recommendations while not wanting to pay for work that could be deferred.

toyota-oil-changeThat is a common challenge and we are committed to helping you make an informed decision. Just like managing our own health, there are important elements of a vehicle that you want to maintain regularly to protect your safety and your pocketbook. Preventive maintenance will save you money and the hassle of being stranded or at a minimum inconvenienced by having to ‘force’ repairs to be made to be back on the road. Following the recommended maintenance schedule will also keep your warranty protection intact.

Below are the 6 Items to Maintain and to Not Defer Taking Action If Identified to be an Issue:

1. Oil changes and fluids need to be checked every 5-10,000 miles, depending on the type of oil and manufacturer’s recommendation. Most newer models use synthetic oil and only require an oil change every 10,000 miles. Though synthetic oil costs more, it needs changing less often and it lubricates better, creates less sludge, performs better in extreme temperatures and is better for your engine, according to AAA experts. The engine is the heart of the vehicle. It needs to be taken care of.

2. Brakes: Replace brake pads early. By replacing brake pads early for less than a hundred dollars, you can help prevent expensive damage to the rotors.

3. Tires: Check your tires and keep them properly inflated. Not only do worn or improperly inflated tires result in lower gas mileage, they are dangerous, especially in poor driving conditions. Your brakes and tires are among the most important safety mechanisms for your vehicle.

4. Be certain that all of your lights are properly working, including brake lights, turn signals, tail lights and headlamps. If they are not, there is a good chance you’ll be stopped by the police which may cost you in terms of a citation. Don’t wait for your yearly inspection to check them. Keep the lens on your headlights clean by using a polishing compound or glass cleaner. Headlight lenses start deteriorating in about five years, according to a recent AAA study, making it harder to see at night and causing glare for oncoming drivers.

5. Replace a dirty cabin air or engine filter at least yearly or about every 12,000 miles. It’s a low-cost item and keeps the air in your vehicle clean. For those who suffer from allergies, it is even more important to change it yearly as it collect allergens along with dirt. replace-volvo-filter

6. Keep the body clean to prevent rust. This is something you can do yourself, at the local carwash or for convenience, bring it to the Jaffarian Auto Spa. We offer a full menu of services including protecting the exterior and undercarriage.

So how do you know if you really need work done? Most of our customers are not mechanics or car people like we are. We understand that and are committed to investing in certified technicians, technology and processes that will help our customers have peace of mind that what is being recommended is needed. Below are two ways we SHOW you why the work is recommended:

1. Video – a certified technician at Jaffarian completes a review of your vehicle and records a brief video for you. This video is sent to you via text confirming the work you asked to be done (let’s say your vehicle is in for an oil change) and then will share with you an assessment of your tires, brakes, and overall vehicle condition. If any items are discovered in this initial diagnostic, the technician will identify them and briefly explain the recommendation. Your video will conclude with affirmation of the work to be done or request you contact the dealership to discuss additional recommendations. This provides you with visual confirmation and verbal confirmation of what the technical is seeing and enables you to speak in more detail with an advisor and the technician to better understand, evaluate your options and make an informed decision.

2. Diagnostic reports – in addition to the video, upon picking up your vehicle, your service advisor will review with you written diagnostic reports completed on your vehicle. These highly visual, easy to understand reports are another source of information about your vehicle’s overall health. Jaffarian has invested in state-of-the-art technology for alignment checks. Many people only think they need an alignment if their steering wheel is noticeably ‘crooked’ when driving. While that is an indicator, front and back alignment issues can present themselves without detection. Poor alignment can be minor, but it may also cause serious issues such as uneven tire wear.volvo-brakepads

During your service or as you check out, you will be informed and advised of what services can wait and what needs attention for your safety and for proper operation of your vehicle. At the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Departments, we are proud of our Service Advisors and our certified technicians and it is our commitment to share with you all the available information to help you make an informed decision. AAA has declared October Car Care Month, with it being a great time to have your vehicle serviced before winter. Jaffarian Service Departments are open six full days a week for your convenience and we have an on-line scheduler as well. Check out our service specials online to protect your wallet and . Like Jaffarian, AAA experts are believers in the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

In addition to recommending regular preventative maintenance, I also recommend you carefully choose where you service your vehicle. Are certified technicians working on your vehicle? Are genuine parts being used to keep your “Toyota a Toyota” and your “Volvo a Volvo”? Do business with people you like and trust so you feel good about the advice they are sharing and the supporting detail they are providing to put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to properly maintaining your vehicle.

Enjoy this crisp autumn weather!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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