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River Crest Tire and Auto FAQ’s

General Maintenance

Why is car maintenance important?

The simple answer: to help keep your car running newer, longer. By letting us perform routine maintenance, you’ll help spare bigger car trouble. Lapsing maintenance on your car’s vital fluid exchanges, dirty filters, fussy belts and old spark plugs can lead to bigger problems like busted-up radiators, slipping gear shifts and engine failure.

That’s why routine maintenance is key to vehicle longevity. Maintenance you think you can “let go” in the short term can often be an “oh, no!” down the road. Your manufacturer has designed a maintenance schedule (found in your owner’s manual) around the specific makeup of your particular vehicle.

Follow this schedule and chances are your vehicle will deliver optimal performance as you rack up the miles, help your parts last longer and save you some dough on more expensive replacement parts.

How often should I have routine maintenance performed?

Each car, SUV, truck or van manufacturer lists time and mileage intervals for routine maintenance, inspections and part replacement. Some service intervals are shorter, requiring more frequent maintenance, while other maintenance intervals are longer, occurring once or twice over the life of your vehicle.

Some vehicles have internal clocks that alert you to when you need maintenance as well. Heed those indicator lights.Of course, if you need work sooner, we’re here to help between recommended intervals.

What are the most common maintenance items recommended by manufacturers?

They vary, but here’s a good place to start:

  • Routine parts and fluid inspections
  • Coolant fluid exchange
  • Filter (air, cabin air, fuel) replacement
  • Timing belt replacement
  • Transmission fluid exchange
  • Spark plug replacement
  • Axle fluid exchange
  • Tire rotations
    All inspections and recommended maintenance services will vary by your vehicle make and model. Check your owner’s manual for the specific needs of your vehicle.

Oil Change

Why is an oil change important?

Why is regular bathing important? It keeps you clean. Same goes for motor oil: it gets “worn” during its lifecycle. Regularly scheduled oil changes will help keep your engine clean and avoid the potentially engine-damaging effects contaminated oil can inflict. If you want to maximize engine performance, and most importantly, engine life, don’t skimp on your engine’s most vital lubricant.

What happens if I don’t get an oil change?

Don’t play with fire, because that’s exactly what you’re doing with the life of your car if you wait too long to change your oil. Skipping oil changes, exceeding mileage or going long periods of time before your next oil change can accelerate the wear on the vital parts that keep your car running smoothly, eventually leading to premature engine breakdown. Repairing engine damage can be a big hit to your wallet, so don’t wait to get an oil change. You might regret it.

What is the best type of oil for my car?

The best type of oil is usually the one listed in your vehicle owner’s manual. However, if you have a high performance vehicle, do a lot of towing or live in extremely hot or cold climates, your car can benefit greatly from a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil. Quick Tip: Factor in the age of your vehicle when selecting your motor oil.

When your car hits 75,000 miles, your engine may require a high mileage oil designed to maintain and preserve your engine for the long haul. All in the name of keeping your baby purring to its fullest potential.

Transmission

Why should I spend money on transmission maintenance?

Repairing or replacing your transmission can be one of the most expensive repairs you may have to make on your vehicle. Maintaining your transmission according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, not only prolongs its life but it can prevent a costly repair or breakdown in the future.

To help maintain a safe and constant operating temperature, your vehicle uses transmission fluid to cool and lubricate the moving parts. The fluid reduces the amount of potentially damaging heat inside the transmission and helps increase the life of this important system. Because some of the ingredients in the transmission fluid break down over time due to this heat, many vehicle manufacturers recommend the fluid be replaced at specified maintenance intervals.

At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service interval to perform a Complete Transmission Fluid Exchange for smooth and efficient operation:

  • Full removal of all old fluid
  • Install new quality grade transmission fluid

Ask an auto care advisor when your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends this maintenance.

Air Conditioning

How does the A/C system work?

We all want the ultimate chill blasting out of our vents; especially when it comes to surviving the hot concrete jungle. When the A/C system kicks in on those hot, sweaty days, that’s something we all relish. But, believe it or not, there’s no ice machine inside (but at one time ice was used to cool people’s rides down). In fact, the cold air generated by your A/C system is actually hot air with hot gases removed during a multi-step process. It really is thermodynamics but we’re not gonna go there.

The Cliff’s note version is simply about changes in pressure causing changes in temperature. Turn the A/C on and the compressor compresses the system’s refrigerant (Freon) raising its temperature. It loses heat as it flows through the condenser (that second radiator looking thing in front of the radiator). It passes through the receiver/dryer where contaminants and moisture are removed, and then on to the expansion valve/accumulator where the refrigerant is slowed down further, causing it to lose pressure and temperature before it gets to the evaporator.

The evaporator is like a mini radiator (not to be confused with the heater core — they are two separate things) inside the dash of your ride that gets cold as it further lowers the refrigerants temperature and, additionally, removes moisture from the air. The ventilation system’s blower motor blows air over the cold evaporator and pushes cool air into the passenger compartment. Complicated, but aaaaaaaaah is it refreshing!

How often should my A/C be inspected?

You tell us. How’s the air feeling in your ride? Are you refreshed and cooled with full air flow when your A/C is pumping? Well, if you answered “Yes, I am as cool as a cucumber,” you can cross A/C inspection off your list.

For all the “No” respondents:  do you fall into the “my A/C is not cold enough” or the “it’s taking way too long to cool down,” side of the spectrum? Don’t sweat, stop in for an A/C Performance Check and we’ll have you back rolling down those hot summer streets cooler than ever. So chill, your A/C is only an inspection away from cooler days.

How often do I need my A/C system “recharged”?

Only when the cool breeze no longer feels as chilly as you remember. Simple enough. Now, it is true that a well maintained A/C system can go its entire life without needing a recharge. But, that’s if you’re extremely lucky. If you start noticing your A/C isn’t reaching those refreshingly cool temperatures, have your system inspected.

In this situation, most cars will be low on Freon. And since the A/C is a sealed system, low Freon is a big sign that something is not right. It could be a small leak that needs attention or possibly part of the A/C is failing – bring it in and we’ll perform an A/C Performance Check and get to the root of the problem.

We’ll get you back out there cruising with a nice, cool breeze again.

Radiators

Why do I need to maintain my Radiator?

Your vehicle’s engine consists of many moving parts, as they move they create friction, which creates heat. It’s the radiators job to cool down the engine. Your vehicle’s radiator keeps everything cool under the hood to help prevent overheating and other serious problems.

To keep your engine cool and running properly the radiator pumps a mix of water and antifreeze through the chambers in your engine to absorb the excess heat. Keeping your vehicle cool under the hood may only mean a quick part replacement, or it could involve more complex repairs. Our technicians can perform a detailed inspection of your vehicle’s cooling systems to determine what work is needed.

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacement of the anti-freeze at scheduled intervals. Unlike many service shops that just perform a “drain-and-fill”,  Rivercrest Tire and Auto provides a complete radiator fluid exchange service.

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880 Main St.

Mukwonago, WI 53149

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