According to the Car Care Council’s national consumer media campaign, April is National Car Care Month. What does this mean for you?
Why Take Part?
The real reward, is discovering that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy, or — more importantly — if it is not. If your brakes, or the belt which powers your steering, or a tire is about to fail, it is extremely important to deal with the event before it occurs, rather than after.
There’s another extremely pertinent reason to take advantage of these incentives. Always remember that preventative maintenance is much cheaper than repairing a neglected machine, and far less inconvenient: using a loaner vehicle for a couple of hours or reading a magazine in an air-conditioned waiting room while sipping a complementary coffee beats hanging around on the side of an Interstate in the rain, waiting for an overworked tow truck driver to reach you.
The Results Are In
The dealership’s findings should be given to you in the form of a printed document listing the inspections carried out. Typically, that form will have a small colored panel beside each item on the inspection list, green meaning great, no work; yellow meaning be aware, this component is wearing out or in need of replenishment; red meaning warning, this item needs immediate attention.
This document is effectively a prescription for your car and should be kept as a record and a cheat-sheet. If no urgent work is recommended, you can drive away with the inspection list, then use it to schedule your next maintenance visit or to prioritize your DIY work.
The Full Monte
All dealerships are different, but a good multi-point inspection done in a vehicle service center should cover most of the following:
- Diagnostic Tests. ABS system codes; battery test; engine management codes; transmission management codes.
- Interior and Under the Hood. Air filter; battery terminals and cables; brake fluid level and condition; brake pedal operation; cabin air filter(s); clutch (if present) operation; door latches and power-door lock operation; drive belts; emergency flashers; engine oil level and condition; fuel cap seal; glass condition and power window operation; horn; HVAC operation and hose condition; instruments and gauges; lights; master cylinder condition, and fluid level; mirror operation (including auto-dimming); oil levels and condition in the differential and gearbox; parking brake operation; power steering fluid level and condition; radiator condition and coolant level; seat belt operation and condition; spark plug condition; steering (operation, pump, hoses); turn signals; washers; wiper operation and blade condition.
- Under the Car. Axle dust boots; brake pad and disc condition; engine mounts; exhaust system pipes and mufflers; fluid leaks (engine, transmission, front and rear differentials); front and rear suspension and struts; oil filter; steering system linkage and mounts; tire pressures; tire tread wear and depths; transmission shift linkages.
Scheduling Your Appointment
Hairdressers are famous for signs that read “Walk-Ins Welcome;” doctors, dentists and other professionals, less so. An expert automotive technician is such a professional, thus it’s strongly recommended that you make an appointment for your inspection. The entire process shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, just as long as you’re expected.
Drivers of all automotive brands can contact Burlington Kia, whose location is convenient for west central New Jersey and the eastern parts of Philadelphia. You can even book your appointment online! Simply click here and fill in your details.