You had your oil changed and all your fluids checked. Your gas tank is full, and your wheels are aligned. You might think you can relax and forget about your car for a while. Unfortunately, that disintegrating hose under your hood might have other ideas. Automobiles are made up of a lot of working parts, and it's easy to forget that they all need maintenance eventually. Attending to seemingly small but critically important maintenance needs will increase your car's longevity, and keep you on the road instead of in the mechanic's shop. Here are three things you should check regularly.
Check Your Car's Important Belts
Your car's serpentine belt is a black belt with ridges running along its side. It powers a lot of important engine components including your compressor, cooling fan and steering pump. If the belt breaks, you won't be able to drive your car until it's replaced. To avoid the expense and inconvenience of having your serpentine belt break while you're on the road, check it for small cracks, and pay attention to squeaks and squeals that occur when you accelerate. Your timing belt is also critically important. When it fails, your engine goes dead. You should have it checked and possibly replaced around every 50,000 miles.
Keep an Eye on Essential Engine Hoses
Your car probably has several hoses, but you don't need to know what each one does to check them for damage. When your engine is cold, squeeze your hoses gently. They should feel firm but not hard. Visible cracks and squishy spots are warning signs that one or more hoses could soon fail and cause damage to your engine. Compared to repairing engine damage, replacing hoses is very affordable.
How's Your Gas Cap Doing?
Your gas cap might not seem like an important part of your car, but a faulty one causes increased emissions and decreased gas mileage. Your car has a pressurized fuel system, and if your gas cap is loose or poorly sealed, fuel vapors escape; this will make your check engine light come on and cost you time at a mechanic’s shop. When you fill your tank, be sure to replace your gas cap tightly. If you see cracks forming in the cap, or it becomes difficult to tighten or loosen, replace it immediately.
When It's Time for a Whole-Vehicle Change, Visit Fernelius Toyota
If your car needs more than an oil change or a new set of hoses, maybe calling a mechanic isn't the answer. Instead, visit your local Toyota dealership with the best new and used cars in Cheboygan, and with a better selection than in Petoskey, Alpena, Gaylord, Rogers City, or anywhere else in Northern Michigan. Our state-of-the-art dealership spans eight acres and offers a diverse array of new and used vehicles to meet every need and budget. We also have a large, modern service area, with a comfortable, friendly customer lounge, so you can keep your new car operating at maximum performance. Stop by our gorgeous showroom, or visit us online to learn more.