Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?

YES: Timing belts helps your engine propel your vehicle down the road by determine when the valves will open as pistons move. It is part of the internal combustion engine. If you have an interference style engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves will hit the pistons and you will hear loud noise and the engine will cease to operate. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.

What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?

There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle's engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems. A flashing light indicates more immediate attention is required.

What should I do if my car starts to overheat?

This is a very serious problem - if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can cause severe burns. The best thing to do is have your car towed to the nearest, trusted auto repair facility.

When should I get my oil changed?

You should get your oil changed every 5,000 kilometers or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual. You can never have your engine oil changed too often; your trusted service provider can help tailor your oil change needs based on your driving habits.

What is Dexos, and what do the numbers 0W20 represent?

The dexos® specification is uniquely designed to complement the exacting requirements of GM's advanced engine technology. The specification has gone through an extensive developmental and testing process.  It requires a number of proprietary tests that are not included in current industry standards and sets performance criteria at a level that exceeds many current standards.  The result is a high performance fluid providing significant wear protection, improved piston cleanliness, a reduction in volatility and oil consumption, enhanced aeration control for improved fuel efficiency and better oxidation properties. 0W20 represents the standard of measure SAE; measurement of oil viscosity. Viscosity is a measurement of the oil’s resistance to flow. The more resistant the oil is to flow, the higher its viscosity. An optimal viscosity for oil is based on engine load and speed conditions. Ideally, the goal is to balance low-viscosity oil that provides little resistance to motion — saving fuel and efficiently transferring power — with high-viscosity oil that protects the contact area between metal surfaces.

Should I consider using synthetic motor oil in my vehicle?

Using synthetic oil, intervals are usually between 6000 - 8000 kilometers or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual. Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Or for vehicles that are used for towing, and vehicles that operate in extremely cold or hot climates. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes, allowing customized service intervals.

How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?

Temperature change and hot summers are hard on batteries and when the temperature rises or drops it can cause a weak battery to fail. Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection. Have your battery checked in the fall because it usually is in the winter when it will let you down.  Cold weather can severely affect the cranking power of a battery.Your technician can test the battery’s strength and recommend a replacement if it’s too weak. Along with the battery, the cables, wires and terminals around the battery should be inspected for corrosion, fraying and cracks.

What’s that screeching sound?

You know the scenario: You start the engine and it immediately makes a screeching sound that sends the neighborhood dogs running for the hills. It’s annoying and embarrassing, especially if the screeching continues as you drive. So, what’s the deal with that horrible sound? It’s probably related to the serpentine belt that drives a number of accessories on the engine. The belt itself could be worn, or there could be a problem with the component tasked with keeping it at the proper tension. There could be another reason for the screeching sound, but regardless, it’s best to have it inspected right away—even if the problem seems to come and go.

How do I increase my fuel efficiency?

Driving green can be as simple as keeping an even pressure on the gas and brake pedal. Reducing the weight that you carry in or on your car such as car top carrier can also affect fuel efficiency. Replace your engine air filter and check your tire pressure monthly. These simple steps can save you up to 10% in fuel consumption.

When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?

To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car's fuel filter approximately every 50,000 kilometers or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual. Fuel filter – Maintains a consistent fuel flow by helping prevent contaminants—including dirt, scale and rust—from flowing into it. Fuel filters are used on all types of vehicles, including modern fuel Injected models and those with older, carbureted engines.

What do we mean by “vehicle maintenance”?

Vehicle maintenance means keeping all the systems and features functioning as closely as possible to the manufacturer’s original design intentions. Routine maintenance should be an ongoing process that begins when the vehicle is new, because any machine that receives use will also accumulate wear. Proactively tending to your vehicle’s maintenance needs is likely to help your vehicle start, run, and stop as the manufacturer intended, so you get the maximum amount of performance, reliability, and service life. Periodic inspections of the vehicle’s systems are the easiest way to monitor its health.