How often should I change my engine oil?

Just a short time ago it was widely considered 3000 miles or every 6 months to be the norm when it came to routine oil change.  Today the manufacturers are stating 10,000 miles to be acceptable.  While modern engines have improved significantly, our experience has shown us that a 5000 mile interval or every 6 months to be more beneficial if you plan to keep your vehicle past 100,000 miles.  We recommend using the BG additives as well to prevent oxidation and sludging which is the main problem we see these days.  Why the mileage or every six months?  If your mileage is relatively low each year, every 6 months may be more suitable.  One of the main problems we see is moisture entering the crankcase and mixing with the engine oil forming sludge.  How does it get there?  Moisture in the air or humidity.  We recommend changing in the late spring and late fall after the weather changes to consistently warm and consistently cold. 

How often should I rotate my tires?

Tire manufacturers recommend every 6000 miles in general if the road conditions are normal.  Here in the Ozarks we have lots of hills and curves.  If you are following a 5000 mile recommended oil service, then it is best to rotate every time you have an oil service.  This also gives the technician the opportunity to keep a close eye on your brake lining wear.  

How often should I service my automatic transmission fluid?

Transmission fluid is affected by heat and therefore the frequency of service depends on the type of driving being performed.  If your pulling a trailer or boat often, then the frequency may be sooner than other vehicles.  If your driving is mostly on the highway, then you may be able to go longer than some.  In general it is recommended to perform a complete BG transmission fluid service every 30,000 miles.  Manual transmission fluid should also be serviced at the same intervals to protect the internal gears and synchronizers

Should I service my automatic transmission fluid if I have over 100,000 miles and it’s never been done?

Often people think it will damage the transmission if the fluid has never been serviced and there is high mileage.  Where this thought comes from is when we used to service the transmission by dropping the pan and replacing the particulate screen.  When this type of service is performed, only approximately half of the fluid contained in the transmission is removed leaving a significant amount of old dirty fluid in the unit as well as a buildup of harmful varnish on the inside of the transmission.  When the new fluid is added to the old, the new fluid goes to work on cleaning up the transmission and can sometimes cause the varnish to flake off inside causing the valves in the valve body to not operate smoothly.  This can cause the transmission to slip excessively resulting in transmission damage or failure.  The system we use at Any BODY’S Garage is the BG system.  The difference is we start with a cleaner which is very important.  The cleaner dissolves the varnish in the system and suspends the dirt in the fluid.  Then we run approximately 16 quarts of fluid through the system until it comes out completely clean.  Then we add a conditioner to the fluid to help with friction modifiers and additives to maintain the pliability of the internal seals and gaskets.  Now we have a clean transmission and clean fluid.  It has been our experience that this service performed on a transmission without any shifting problems will not cause any problems at all regardless of the amount of miles on the vehicle.

Why should my coolant be serviced and how often?

One of the biggest problems we see with engine coolant these days is the PH turning acidic.  With multiple metals in our cooling systems, and a coolant that becomes acidic, we develop a process called electrolysis.  This process causes the system to develop pits in the metal on the inside and can lead to premature bearing failures in the water pumps, leaking radiators and heater cores and premature hose failure.  All of this can be very expensive to repair.  Engine coolant should be serviced every 30,000 miles, making sure the system is back flushed to get all the sediment out from the deteriorating coolant.    The BG system is one of the best at protecting your vehicle’s cooling system from premature failure.

Why should my brake fluid be serviced and how often?

Brake fluid is hydroscopic which means it attracts moisture.  That is actually one of its jobs.  The only problem is when the moisture content becomes too high, several things can occur.  One is the fluid can now boil if it gets too hot causing steam or air in the hydraulic system and can actually cause the brakes to fail.  The other is the system will begin to corrode and the rubber seals and hoses will deteriorate leading to very expensive and potentially dangerous brake repairs.  It is commonly recommended by the manufacturers to change the brake fluid every other year.  Possibly more often in higher humid environment s and less frequent in dryer climates.

Why should my power steering fluid be serviced and how often?

Power steering fluid has the exact same characteristics as automatic transmission fluid.  Heat affects the longevity of the fluid.  If more in town driving is taking place than highway, then the fluid may need to be serviced sooner than standard.  When power steering fluid breaks down, it attacks the rubber seals and hoses ultimately resulting in leaks and very expensive repairs.  Power steering fluid is recommended to be serviced every 30,000 miles.

What is your warranty on repairs?

Our warranty is 3 years or 36,000 miles nationwide on both parts and labor.  This warranty is backed by the Certified Auto Repair program.  In addition when a vehicle is serviced at our facility, we offer you 12 months or 12,000 miles free roadside assistance up to $75 (Reimbursement program through Certified Auto Repair)  Some of our repairs have shorter warranties but will be explained at the time of purchase and some have longer warranties.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

How many miles should I expect to get out of my vehicle?

It is not uncommon for a well maintained vehicle to achieve 300,000 miles or more with relatively low repair and maintenance costs.  Most of the time, it is less expensive to repair and maintain your vehicle than it is to replace it.  Sometimes it does not make sense.  Our team of professionals is here to help you with that decision.  Either way we want to do what is best for you.

How often should I change my timing belt and what could happen if I don’t?

Some vehicles have timing belts and some have timing chains.  These components keep the camshaft in time with the crankshaft allowing the valves to all open and close at the correct time.  Timing chains typically do not need to be serviced as long as the engine oil is serviced properly and regularly.  Timing belts on the other hand have a service interval ranging from 60,000 miles to 120,000 miles.  Check your owner’s manual for the severe service schedule or call and we will be happy to look it up for you.  If a timing belt were to fail from belt deterioration, failed tension adjuster, water pump or pulley bearings, significant engine damage can occur.  Valves can be bent by the pistons striking the valves during engine rotation.   When this occurs the cylinder heads need to be removed and rebuilt.  Repairs can be very expensive.  If you’re not sure if your vehicle has a timing belt or chain, please contact our team and we will look it up for you.

Why can’t I get a price over the phone?

Even though vehicles are generally the same, there are so many factors when determining an estimate.  There are many parts that are considered wear items and maintenance items.  Typically when a repair is being made, the failed component occurred due to a deteriorated maintenance item.  Some vehicles may have already had the maintenance performed while others still need the service performed at the time of repair.  It is our goal to give you an exact estimate at the beginning with no surprises.  We only want to replace and repair what is needed and no more.  Sometimes we cannot see internally into a component and additional costs may be required however with a complete inspection prior to giving an estimate, we can typically be very accurate.

Why do you charge to diagnose my vehicle?

In order to be accurate and only repair what is actually needed on a vehicle, tests need to be performed.  Many times to be accurate takes more time testing than it does to perform the repair.  These tests often require the use of very expensive tools, equipment and information resources.  In addition we have highly skilled well trained technicians on staff to perform these tests.  Often times when a shop says they are diagnosing for free, they resort to guessing or replacing multiple components which cost the consumer a small fortune.  Problem is most consumers do not know parts are being replaced unnecessarily.  It is almost always better to spend a little up front to save you much more in the end.

Do I really need to worry about that check engine light?

All warning indicator lights are important and indicate a system failure.  Some of the failures may not be noticeable while driving however it could be something very important and needed during an emergency situation.  Many people ignore check engine lights because it does not seem to affect the way the engine or transmission operates.  The problem with this thinking is that there is only one light and many things that can turn the light on.  If the light is on all the time, then how will you know if there is a real problem?  Warning lights are typically early warning systems and if diagnosed and repaired early usually are less expensive than if the repair is delayed.  If you have any warning lights on, please call for an appointment to have us scan the computer for the code.  We can do this for free and let you know the procedure for diagnosing the problem.  It may be simple and inexpensive now.

How often should I service my vehicle’s A/C system?

Vehicle A/C systems inherently leak a little each year.  Consequently they require service periodically.  It is a good idea to perform a system service every year or every other year at a minimum.  When Freon levels get low, the oil in the system will not transfer through the system properly causing premature compressor failure.  This is a very expensive repair sometimes exceeding $2000.  A simple A/C service could potentially save you thousands.

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