Here is a list of most common breakdown repairs, and our suggestions on how to avoid them:
Fuel Pump Failure: Extend the life of your fuel pump by replacing the fuel filter every two years, or 25,000 miles, and avoid operating your car below 1/4 tank on a regular basis. The fuel pump is cooled by the gas in the tank, and when the fuel level drops, the pump runs hotter and can shorten its life. On non-returnless systems, the fuel filter has to work harder to push gas through a restricted filter and accelerates wear on the pump.
Cooling System Leaks: The corrosion inhibitors in antifreeze deteriorate over time, so it is important to change your coolant, and flush your cooling system every 2 years, or 50,000 miles. This can extend the service life of water pumps, heater cores and radiators. It can also help prevent gasket failures. We will be glad to do an electrolysis measurement of your coolant to see if your antifreeze is due to be changed.
Brake Pad Failure: Even if you don’t think you’re due to get your brakes checked, doing so can help you avoid a more expensive repair down the road. Getting new brake pads is just part of the equation. Caliper mounting hardware gets sticky and rusty with age, and cans cause pads to bind, or drag, creating uneven or excessive wear – sometimes even damaging the caliper mounts and spindle.
The condition of brake rotors is important – in fact, critical to breaking in new pads. A grooved rotor will shorten the life of new pads. There is also legal thickness minimums for rotors because of the critical function they perform.
The front brakes will tend to wear more quickly than your rear brakes because they handle more of the overall load. The self adjusters on the rear brakes often fail, causing premature pad wear.
The brake hoses should also be inspected for visible cracks and wear from excessive heat.
It’s best to have a trained professional do a thorough inspection of your entire brake system on a frequent basis, and we’d be glad to help.
Engine Performance Issues: Today’s vehicles have more computer capabilities than the rocket systems that took our astronauts to the moon. Despite all the technology, the latest diagnostic tools don’t always tell the full story. You still need an experienced mechanic that understands the inter-relationship between all the systems, and can perform a variety of test to eliminate possible causes, and isolate the precise origin of the problem.
Tune-ups have always been a maintenance service, not a repair. The purpose of the tune-up is to replace high wear parts before they fail and cause problems, while at the same time restoring the vehicle’s ability to operate at its most efficient manner. During a tune-up, we can frequently spot borderline components that normally aren’t replaced with a tune-up, but do affect the performance of the tune-up.
Transmission Failures: Be leery of transmission shops that take your transmission pans off and show you metal shavings in the bottom of it, and lead you to believe it is a pending sign of doom, requiring major repair. The fact is that new transmissions create some of these shavings during the break-in process, and it does not always mean a repair is required. Sometimes the fix is as simple as replacing a faulty sensor.
Harrisonville is a small town, and our reputation for honesty is critical to our referral based business. We’ll give you an honest assessment of your transmission’s condition, and lay out a variety of options for you to choose from.
Belt & Hose Failures: Today’s cars have upwards of 12 to 15 hoses, and the belts have more of a sophisticated multi-ribbed serpentine design. They are made of more advanced rubber, and it’s more difficult to see visible wear, and in some cases, it’s hard to even see the belt or hose to conduct a visual inspection. That’s why it’s a good idea to get on a regular maintenance routine where they are replaced at mileage intervals, instead of visual inspection. When a belt goes, you often lose everything from the alternator to the power steering and the water pump. Timely maintenance can save you lots of money and keep your car running reliable for years on end. Each car model has it’s own schedule for this type of maintenance, and once you’re in our system, we can help you keep track of your maintenance needs. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to change hoses every 50 to 75 thousand miles, or 5 to 6 years, and belts should be replaced every 4 years.
Brake Hydraulic and Antilock Brake Failures: Flushing old brake fluid, and replacing it with new is critical to maintaining your brake system because, over time, moisture from the air migrates into the brake fluid and can cause rust in the brake calipers and wheel cylinders. New brake fluid extends the life of these brake components and reduces the amount of repair during normal brake service. It also translates into more safe and reliable performance of your car’s brakes.