Auto Maintenance

The days are getting longer and warmer, so you are probably spending way more time in your car. However, before you plan that big camping adventure or epic road trip, you may want to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Now is the perfect time to service the cooling system in your car or truck. A vehicle that is overheating, leaking coolant/antifreeze, or has a dirty radiator, should get checked out right away. Nothing ruins a road trip faster, than being stranded on the highway with your hood up. Maintaining a well running cooling system is really important to prolonging the life of the internal components of your engine.  What Does My Cooling System Do? As you probably know, the cooling system in your vehicle provides a very important function. Combustion engines generate a lot of heat, and that heat builds up in your engine compartment. The cooling system uses coolant/antifreeze and distilled water to...

The brakes in your vehicle are one of the most important systems to keep in good condition. Sometimes your ABS brakes require repair, replacement, or you may need to resurface rotors to get you back on the road driving safely. Learn more about ABS brakes, including the signs that you require a brake inspection below.  What Are ABS Brakes? ABS brakes refer to an anti-lock braking system, which is the mechanism in your car that engages in emergency situations, allowing you to sustain command of your car. When you’re navigating the road during adverse weather, anti-lock brakes can save your life and the life of your passengers. Instead of having your front or rear brakes lock up when you abruptly slam on your brakes, ABS brakes work to brake and release within seconds, which keeps your vehicle from veering out of control.  This process can be imitated manually, by pumping your brakes when you notice your vehicle is...

The COVID pandemic has turned many of us into homebodies. Not so long ago we were driving one hundred miles or more per week, but in the wake of COVID, many of us are now working from home while our vehicles sit idle in our driveways. We make a quick trip to the grocery store occasionally, but rarely take her out for a nice long drive.    Unfortunately, the money gained in gas savings could be shortening your car battery’s life.    Using your car mainly for short trips will shorten the lifespan of your battery because your alternator will never have a chance to fully charge the battery.    What’s more, if you have a car that you’re not driving very often, starting it periodically and warming it up for 15 minutes in your driveway could actually be causing more harm than good to your battery, again by not allowing it to fully charge.    Yes, idling will charge the battery, but...

Looking to get your brakes checked before heading into the winter months? Has it been a long time since your brakes were checked? Why not help a great cause while you’re at it. Z’s Car Care is supporting Brakes for Breasts, who is celebrating 10 years of putting the brakes on breast cancer. We believe that prevention is the cure, and we’ve raised over $940,000 over the last decade to prove it. Brakes for Breasts unites the hands of Independent Auto Repair shops to provide their customers with free brake pads or shoes—the customers simply pay for the labor and any other parts that may be needed. We will then donate 10% of that total throughout the month of October to the Breast Cancer Vaccine Fund—a team led by Dr. Tuohy at the Cleveland Clinic. We’re proud to be an industry that stands united to put the Brakes on Breast Cancer! Do I need new brakes? Are you wondering if you...

It’s 2020! The New Year is in motion and it’s time for your factory scheduled maintenance! Time goes by so quickly. I got to thinking, there are so many things being scheduled in the New Year. You know – planned ahead. We would never consider missing the big game, that great annual camping trip, those special birthdays, anniversaries and graduations, those precious ball games our kids are in. We go to work every day like clockwork, pick up the kids, take them here, take them there. All on a planned schedule. A time carved out solely for that activity. What about your vehicle? Whether it be your Toyota Camry sedan or your Ford truck that hauls you around with your most precious loved ones, what makes all of your other daily activities possible is that precious vehicle. So has a factory scheduled maintenance made it onto your 2020 schedule? Your vehicles absolutely need to be scheduled in for...

We know we need to take care of our cars, but it just seems hard to remember to do it.  We generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to our vehicles. For example, we water and mow the lawn every week.  And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves.   We go to the dentist twice a year, take our clothes to the dry cleaner.  Flu shots.  Taking the kids for a checkup before school starts. So, people really are maintenance minded.  They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars.  I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity.  Once the damage is done, we learn our lesson and start to take better care of things. Unfortunately, people too often learn the hard automotive lesson when they have...

You wouldn't walk into a different dentist's office every time you needed a tooth looked at.  You wouldn't pick out someone at random every time you needed your hair cut.  And on Tax Day?  You probably wouldn't trust your taxes to a stranger. There are some professionals for whom you feel your relationship is more than just client and customer.  They're almost like friends, and since you know them well after years of going to them, you know the quality of their work and that they have a track record of doing their best for you. You may not realize it, but the relationship with your automotive service professional should have that personal connection, too.  It may take some time to find the one place where the rapport just feels right.  But when you do, you know when you walk in the door, and your service advisor greets you with a smile, things are going to be...

An oil change:  Sounds simple, but there’s some important things to know about preventing oil sludge. Oil eventually starts to turn into jelly.  Literally – petroleum jelly.  Sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely.  And that means expensive engine repairs. That’s why you need to change the oil and oil filter on schedule – to get the old oil out before it turns to sludge.  Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for how many miles you can go between oil changes.  They also usually have several months between recommended oil changes.  That’s because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down over time. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for time and mileage, but you need to remember that it’s based on using the recommended weight of oil.  And if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the...