Auto Service FAQs
Do I have to take my new car to the dealer for service?
Absolutely not! There are many laws specifically prohibiting automobile dealers from suggesting or implying that you must return to them for service in order keep your manufacturer warranty. Any qualified independent repair facility can maintain your new vehicle, and your warranty will remain valid. If you’ve been a long-time customer of a particular shop, and if you’re happy and comfortable with the service they provide, then keep going to them. If they spot any problems that should be covered under manufacturer warranty, they will let you know so you can return to your dealer for warranty repairs.
How do I know if I need a wheel alignment?
You should have the alignment checked if you are experiencing any of the following:
Excessive or uneven tire wear (provided the tires have been inflated at the proper air pressure)
Steering wheel pulls to the left or right (again, first check air pressure in each tire)
Steering feels loose or the car wanders on the road
If the steering wheel is not centered
If you feel any shaking, vibration, or shimmy when driving
What maintenance guidelines should I follow to avoid costly repairs?
Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual for your type of driving.
What are the consequences of postponing maintenance?
Most parts on your vehicle are interrelated. Ignoring or neglecting even simple routine maintenance, such as changing the oil or checking the coolant, can lead to poor fuel economy, unreliability, or costly breakdowns. It also may invalidate your warranty.
What is the difference between diagnostics and inspections?
A diagnostic service requires the use of various expensive, sophisticated testing equipment. An inspection is a physical/visual check that does not require the use of sophisticated testing equipment.
What does the ‘Check Engine’ light mean?
The check engine light or MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) means that the vehicle computer detects a system not functioning within it’s pre-programmed parameters. Many things can trigger the check engine light: A loose fuel cap (computer sees a pressure loss in the fuel system), a vacuum leak, a bad fuel pump, a bad spark plug, a plugged fuel filter, a broken, pinched or disconnected wire, a lazy oxygen sensor, or a malfunctioning coolant temperature sensor.