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Avoid Expensive and Unexpected Auto Repairs with These Tips

Tune-ups for modern cars may not always be necessary, but regular service can help you avoid costly repairs. No one wants an expensive and unexpected auto repair bill. We’ve put together some tips to help you prevent them. 

Never Ignore Check Engine or Oil Dashboard Warning Lights

“Oh, that’s been on forever” is not a good response when someone asks about your check engine light. The check engine light comes on because your car’s computer system has detected something isn’t functioning properly. It could be something as simple as a gas cap not being tightened thoroughly. Or it could be something serious that could result in a costly repair if not addressed quickly.

If your check engine light comes on, take your car to a mechanic that can run a diagnostic test, like we do at Louie & John’s Complete Auto Repair in Ann Arbor. The auto diagnostics test will indicate whether there is a problem with your engine’s vacuum and back pressure, ignition, or emissions systems. A problem in any of these areas triggers the engine warning light.  A good mechanic will tell you what to fix immediately. 

A note about engine diagnostics. People come to us having checked their diagnostics with a $120 handheld device they got off Amazon, and then are quite surprised when our diagnostic reveals different issues, or additional ones. Our auto diagnostic machine costs more than most people’s HOUSES, so it gives specific and exact data about the state of your car. A professional diagnostic is well worth it – save your $120 for something more fun!

If your check oil light comes on, you should pull over and check the vehicle’s oil level. If the oil level is low, add some right away. You should check under your car to see if there is an oil leak. If so, address it right away with a visit to your mechanic. 

Vehicles can’t run without oil. Running out of it can damage your engine to the point that fixing it could cost more than the vehicle is worth. 

If the oil level is not low, there could be another problem like a bad oil pump. You should take the car to a mechanic as soon as possible. 

Follow Manufacturer’s Service Schedules For Oil Changes & Tune-Ups 

The recommended schedule is in the car’s owner’s manual. If you don’t have access to the owner’s manual, the schedule can be found online. Manufacturers design the service intervals to keep your vehicle performing at its best. Regular service can also prevent costly repairs. 

Oil changes remove dirt and sludge buildup in your engine. They also maintain proper lubrication levels for your engine. Having a clean and properly lubricated engine extends its life and can prevent expensive repairs. The bonus is improved gas mileage. 

What is considered a tune-up for modern cars varies as a matter of opinion. A tune-up for modern cars could start with running the auto diagnostics tests mentioned. These tests do a complete check of all vehicle systems and can reveal hidden problems. There could be an issue that doesn’t have an obvious effect but needs to be addressed before it leads to the vehicle needing a major repair. 

During a service tune-up for modern cars, the vehicle’s filters, belts, and hoses should be inspected and replaced if necessary. All fluids should be checked and topped off. If you have an older model vehicle, the spark plugs should be checked and replaced if needed. 

These services don’t have to be expensive. At Louie & John’s Complete Auto Service, we offer service and repair coupons online. If you aren’t in the Ann Arbor area, ask if your service center has a membership value program like ours. We include unlimited free oil changes, so there is no reason to skip that service. 

tune-ups for modern cars

Maintain Proper Fluid Levels & Tire Pressure

Checking your oil levels from time to time is a great way to prevent problems. Also, check your antifreeze/coolant levels before a season change. Fluids freezing in your engine can do serious damage. The same can be said if an engine overheats because there is not enough coolant. 

Inspect your tires weekly for wear issues or low pressure. Some modern vehicles automatically monitor tire pressure levels and send a warning if pressures are low. Low tire pressure can also cause a vehicle to pull to one side or the other. Noticing that you are constantly losing tire pressure can indicate a hole that needs to be plugged. Flat tires while driving can cause damage and costly repairs. Taking care of even a slow leak can prevent them. 

Vehicle Service Doesn’t Have to Be Inconvenient with Our Tune-Ups for Modern Cars

Sitting in a car service center’s waiting room is not a favorite pastime. When you use a service center like Louie & John’s Complete Auto Repair, you won’t have to wait. You can make an appointment for service, but it’s not required. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to maintain your vehicle with regular service. Contact us anytime, or drive on over if you are in Ann Arbor.