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10 Maintenance Services Car Dealerships May Recommend: When They Are Necessary and What's Involved

I am a fully licensed automotive technician who has worked on all makes.

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1. Changing the Engine Oil and Oil Filter

When Should This Service Be Done?

Oil must be changed at least as often as the manufacturer recommends.

Procedure:

  1. For best results, the engine should be operated for five to ten minutes before the oil change, to allow deposits in the oil to float and the oil to thin out.
  2. The old engine oil is completely drained and replaced, along with the oil filter.

Benefits:

The bare minimum of maintaining a vehicle is making sure the heart of the vehicle is maintained healthy by changing the oil. Stop-and-go and high-temperature driving is harmful and can cause deposits to form.

2. Hot Oil Engine Flush Service

When Should This Service Be Done?

This service is not necessary if the engine oil is always changed on time. A flush service will be recommended, however, when the car is overdue for servicing, or when oil seems to be dirty, burnt, or contaminated due to severe driving conditions.

Features:

  1. A cleaning compound is added into the engine to suspend sludge and varnish in the used oil.
  2. The old oil is drained out, along with the sludge and varnish, and a new filter and oil are installed.
  3. A high-grade fortifier or conditioner is added to the new oil.

Benefits:

  1. Eliminates harmful deposits on lifter, rings and other engine components.
  2. Lowers engine temperature, helping to prevent premature engine wear.
  3. Antioxidants prevent the oil from thickening and reduce sludge formation.
  4. Prolongs engine life.

3. Automatic Transmission Service

When Should This Service Be Done?

Follow the manufacturer's recommendation for service interval. There are many different types of transmission fluid. Transmission fluid protects transmission components such as the valve body, torque converter, pan, lines, and clutch packs.

Features:

  1. A cleaner can be used to dissolve and suspend gum and varnish in the transmission valve body, torque converter, pan, filter, and lines.
  2. The old filter is replaced (if necessary).
  3. The old fluid and suspended debris are then flushed out of the transmission and torque converters.
  4. A transmission conditioner, with special antioxidants, is installed with the new ATF to help prevent future gum and varnish deposits from forming.

Benefits:

  1. Eliminates hard shifting, chattering and slipping.
  2. Provides cooler operation.
  3. Reconditions seals, preventing possible leaks.
  4. Helps extend transmission life.
Draining brake fluid

Draining brake fluid

4. Brake Fluid Flush

When Should This Service Be Done?

Brake fluid flush is recommended every 32,000 km to 48,000 km, or every two to three years. Brake fluid should also be replaced if it looks contaminated (dark, dirty, or burnt; it should be a clear yellow fluid), or if the brakes feel softer than normal (which can mean air or moisture is in the brake system)

Procedure:

  1. The entire brake system is inspected for leaks, corrosion in the master cylinder, broken or rusted bleeder valves, worn pads or rotors and air in the brake lines.
  2. Old, worn out, oxidized, and contaminated fluid is flushed from the brake lines, brake calipers, wheel cylinders, and master cylinder.
  3. Old fluid is replaced with new brake fluid; the new fluid is free of moisture that can cause corrosion.
  4. A road test is then performed to ensure there is no air in the system.

Benefits:

  1. Brake fluid service keeps the brake system moisture-free, preventing rust and corrosion.
  2. The new brake fluid restores high-temperature performance as well as low-temperature mobility. It prevents varnish and sludge buildup.
  3. Brakes can feel more responsive.

5. Cooling System Flush

When Should This Service Be Done?

Over time, the coolant, which cools the engine and components and provides heat to the cabin, can become acidic. Acidic coolant can cause hidden harm to components such as the water pump, seals, gaskets, hoses, and thermostat. There are a variety of types of coolant and each one will have different intervals for replacement. Follow the manufacturer's recommended interval.

Process:

  1. Old coolant is either flushed or drained and replaced with new fluid.
  2. Sometimes a cleaner can be used to remove rust, scale and sludge.

Benefits:

  1. This service extends the life of the water pump, hoses, heater core, thermostat and radiator.
  2. It reduces the operating temperature of the cooling system and automatic transmission.
  3. It improves the efficiency and cooling ability of the air conditioning system.
Why clean your injectors?

Why clean your injectors?

6. Major Fuel Injection System Service

When Should This Service Be Done?

Major emission fuel injection system service is normally recommended every 64,000 km to 100,000 km, depending on the type of daily driving.

Procedure:

  1. A specialty tool is installed inline with the vehicle's fuel line, while having the fuel pump disconnected or fuel recirculating back to the fuel tank.
  2. Using a cleaning chemical, the tool removes gum and varnish from the upper fuel rail and flushes injectors clean.
  3. Carbon deposits are safely broken down and removed from the intake valves, combustion chambers, and piston crowns.
  4. The service eliminates condensation and water in the gas tank.

Benefits:

  1. Helps to eliminate rough idle, surging, hesitation, hard starting, and pinging.
  2. Restores the vehicle's lost power and performance.
  3. Improves fuel economy.
  4. Reduces harmful emissions.

7. Power Steering Fluid Flush

When Should This Service Be Done?

Power steering fluid flush is normally recommended about every 64,000 km or every 4-6 years. However, this service is not as critical as other services.

Procedure:

  1. A cleaner can be used to suspend varnish and gum in the power steering unit.
  2. Old, oxidized fluid and contaminants are then flushed out and replaced with new, fortified power steering fluid.

Benefits:

  1. Helps to alleviate power steering pump squeal.
  2. Prevents fluid leaks by conditioning seals.
  3. May prevent or eliminate stiff steering response when the system is cold.

8. Air Conditioning Mini-Service

When Should This Service Be Done?

An air conditioning mini-service is usually recommended every 32,000 km to 64,000 km or every few years to help maintain optimal coolness and an odor-free A/C system. Note: if the system is not blowing cold at all, a diagnostic must be completed. This service will not solve the problem.

Features:

  1. Oils and debris that accumulate in the air conditioner evaporator core are cleaned and flushed away.
  2. A mini-recharge of refrigerant is performed.
  3. Compressor oil is then added.

Benefits:

  1. This service removes moisture, mould, fungi, and dirt which can cause health problems such as allergic reactions, dizziness, headaches, burning eyes or laboured breathing.
  2. The addition of high-tech oil improves cooling system performance and helps to extend the life of the A/C compressor.

9. Brake Service

When Should This Service Be Done?

Four-wheel brake servicing is normally recommended every 32,000 km to 48,000 km or every two to three years. It is considered an extra preventative maintenance service to ensure the brakes are fully operational and even. This service is also recommended if the vehicle has been parked in storage for two or three years.

Features:

  1. Brake dust is cleaned off the brake calipers and drum brake components.
  2. All moving brake components including caliper sliders, calipers, wheel cylinders, and backing plate are lubricated.
  3. Brake pads and brake shoes are cleaned and chamfered.
  4. Brake rotors and drums are cleaned and sanded down.
  5. Brakes are adjusted to specs, to ensure even braking and wear.
  6. A road test is done to make sure all brakes are properly operational.

Benefits:

  1. Ensures proper operation of the brake system.
  2. Prevents squealing and noise when braking.
  3. Prevents uneven wear of brake pad and shoes.
car-maintenance-and-service-flushes

10. Battery Service

When Should This Service Be Done?

Battery service should be done when you notice corrosion on the battery terminals and posts. But be sure to check and load-test the battery to find out its condition.

Features:

  1. A battery cleaner is applied to the battery terminals.
  2. The battery, terminals, and cables are then inspected for leaks and corrosion.
  3. An anti-corrosion battery terminal protector is installed and battery posts, terminals, and case are then sealed.

Benefits:

  1. This service is effective in removing harmful, power-sapping corrosives.
  2. The chemical formula used to clean the battery and terminals is safe for the battery, paint, and other parts.
  3. The cleaner also contains a unique acid-detecting ingredient that turns red in the presence of acid to warn of the need for additional cleaning.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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