Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well today and further down the road is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday automotive basics.

A recent survey found:

 38 % of cars had low or dirty engine oil.

 54 % had low tyre pressures.

 28 % had inadequate cooling protection.

 19 % needed new engine belts.

 16 % had dirty air filters.

 10 % had low or contaminated brake fluid.

Why Perform Maintenance?
Oil change: This is the best form of minor maintenance to allow your vehicles engine to live its longest.  Oil is circulated throughout the engine under pressure, providing a cushion of oil for critical engine rotating parts.  The oil slowly gets contaminated with fuel vapors, condensation and dirty under normal conditions, and requires frequent replacement to avoid excessive engine wear.

Coolant flush: This keeps corrosion from forming in vital engine cooling components such as water pump, radiator, and heater core.  Extends the life of all components, increasing cooling capacity for hot summer months and keeps your engine safe in very cold temperatures.  Over time, coolant loses these properties and becomes acidic, causing potential damage to the components unless it is replaced regularly.

Transmission fluid replacement: Transmission fluid keeps all internal transmission parts such as planetary gears and clutches safe from abnormal wear.  Over time the transmission fluid breaks down due to friction and heat and needs to be changed to allow maximum transmission life and best function.  If the fluid is dirty or low, the effect on the transmission can be a very costly repair, and could leave your vehicle in an immobile state.

Brake fluid replacement: The friction of braking creates heat, which the brake fluid must be able to withstand without the risk of boiling.  The boiling point of uncontaminated brake fluid is aprox 205°C.  Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs water over time, which reduces its boiling point drastically.  Brake fluid that is contaminated with just 3% water has a boiling point of aprox 140°C, potentially causing poor and unsafe braking for your vehicle.  Water contamination also allows corrosion throughout the braking system that can lead to expensive repairs.

Tune-up: Keeping your engine running at its best will not only allow for best fuel economy and performance, but will extend engine life as well.  Most tune-ups require the spark plugs and/or leads to be replaced, as well as fuel and air filter replacement.

Timing belt replacement: Potentially the most critical engine maintenance item on most modern vehicles, this toothed belt keeps the valve train in sequence with the pistons and crankshaft of your engine.  If this part fails, it could mean major damage to your engine including valve and piston replacement which can be very costly.  To avoid damage to your engine, follow manufacturer guidelines for replacement intervals.  Typically, this is between every 80,000 to 100,000 Km.    Failure to replace the vital components at the specified intervals can spell catastrophe for your vehicles engine.

Tyre  pressure & rotation: Rotating tyres allows them to wear evenly, saving you time and money by avoiding unnecessary tyre replacement.  During a tyre rotation procedure, the air pressures are adjusted as well, allowing the best possible wear and performance. This also saves you on fuel.