Anchorage Auto Maintenance Services

Did you know that your vehicle needs more maintenance than just an oil change and a “tune-up” every now and then? Your manufacturer gives you maintenance recommendations based on time/mileage. Even though the factory “recommends” the maintenance, they don’t tell you what will happen if you don’t do it. Lack of maintenance will destroy the life of your vehicle and also result in costly repairs. Something that would have cost $200 can easily turn into $1,000+ in order to fix damages if the maintenance was not performed in a timely manner.

So what maintenance does your vehicle need? Check out the list below to see our recommended services.

Average Maintenance Intervals – Varies depending on your year, make, and model

Oil Change/Oil Filter – 3 months/3,000 miles

Animation & Info One of the most important items on this list is not skipping your oil change. When you skip your oil changes the parts in your engine will become too hot. This can cause the engine to run less efficiently, and as time goes on, it can cause the engine components to warp and wear out. Eventually, if the oil is not changed, the entire engine will shut down and have to be replaced.

Rotate Tires – 6,000 miles

Animation & Info Not rotating your tires will cause uneven wear on the tires causing them to wear out faster. The front tires will wear terribly due to the fact that most of the braking occurs in the front, plus they are the steer tires and the drive tires.

NOTE: If you change to winter tires and back to summer tires every spring and fall your tires are already being rotated.

Cabin Air Filter – 15,000 miles

Animation & Info If you don't change your cabin air filter, the filter will become more clogged with dirt and debris and the efficiency of the filter and your car's HVAC system will be compromised. The air volume into your passenger compartment will be continually reduced which will lead to the issue of foul odors inside your car.

Fuel Filter – 24 months/24,000 miles

Animation & Info A clogged fuel filter can’t let enough fuel through. You may notice your vehicle struggles getting on the freeway and is sluggish on acceleration. Not having enough fuel can result in lower combustion, which basically means your vehicle will start misfiring. If it gets bad enough it can make your whole engine shut down which can be expensive but also dangerous.

Brake Fluid Flush – 24 months

Animation & Info Not flushing your brake fluid can be dangerous and result in brake failure. Older brake fluid heats up faster and can cause brake lines to leak leaving you with no fluid and mushy brakes.

Coolant Flush – 36 months/36,000 miles

Animation & Info If you don’t flush your coolant there is a wide range of things that can happen, anything from needing to replace the radiator cap, or overheating your engine. Your coolant slowly looses it’s “chemical balance” which can result in overheating from the engine, or abrupt leaks. Waiting too long to flush your coolant can cause the coolant to gunk up in your radiator and other parts of the cooling system. This can result in coolant leakage and potential overheating once you do finally get a coolant flush, because all the gunk blocking the leak has been flushed out.

Spark Plugs – 90,000 miles

Animation & Info Spark plugs will deteriorate over time, so if they are not replaced, various engine issues will arise. When the spark plugs do not spark adequately, the combustion of the air/fuel mixture becomes incomplete leading to loss of engine power, and in the worst case scenario the engine will not run.

Fuel Injection Cleaning – 50,000 miles

If you don't use fuel injector cleaner with your car's fuel system, you will eventually notice it in the way that the car drives. The engine won't idle well (you'll likely hear irregular noises when idling, as the engine speeds up and slows down), and in more severe cases, the car may simply stall. It’s uncommon for this maintenance to be listed by your manufacturer, however, it’s something that most mechanics would argue deserves to be on that list with how much it can help the life of your vehicle.

Shocks/Struts – 50,000 miles

Animation & Info Your shocks aren’t just what makes your ride comfortable, it keeps your tires on the road and if not replaced can cause faster brake wear from longer stops, tire wear, and cause you to lose control on the road. The average life of your shocks is about 50,000 miles, however, they are a wear item and depending on how you drive the vehicle, they can wear faster or slower, so it’s important to at least get them inspected as time goes on.

Timing Belt – 60,000 miles

Animation & Info Your timing belt choreographs the timing of your vehicles combustion process. If the timing belt snaps it will cause pistons and valves inside of your engine to collide with each other resulting in THOUSANDS of dollars in repairs, or even having to purchase a new engine. The timing belt usually goes unnoticed therefore it has become a more common repair among neglected maintenance.

Note: If you have a timing chain, these are typically more expensive to replace, however, timing chains are not supposed to break the way belts do, and are therefore not a part of your vehicle maintenance. This does not mean they cannot break eventually, resulting in the same type of damage as a timing belt.

Transmission Flush– 60 months/60,000 miles

Animation & Info Your transmission fluid is usually one of the longest lasting items on your maintenance list, however, it does not mean this fluid will not become dirty. Similar to coolant, when transmission fluid gets old and burnt it can start to cause major problems, specifically transmission slippage. At the point when your transmission starts to slip, it can be too late to perform your fluid flush. By flushing out the old dirty fluid, you end up flushing away everything that was holding the linkage inside of your transmission together, which can result in transmission failure. Most professional shops will not change your transmission fluid if your transmission is slipping.

Front & Rear Differential Fluid – 60 months/60,000 miles

Animation & Info Your front and rear differentials are meant to last a very long time, however, when they are not properly lubricated your differential bearings can overheat leading to failure, or cause axle seal leaks which compromises the differential. Your differential controls the speed at which your tires move/turn because the outer part of your tires must turn faster than the inner part of your tires in order to complete turns. Bearing failure can make it difficult and or impossible to turn the vehicle leading to a hefty amount in repairs.

Note: If you have front wheel drive it would be known as trans-axle fluid

Transfer Case Flush – 60 months/60,000 miles

Animation & Info If you have 4-Wheel Drive then you have something called a transfer case. The transfer case gives power to both your front and rear axles in 4WD. Eventually your transfer case will wear out, but changing the fluid and keeping it properly lubricated will keep that far in the future. There is no filter in a transfer case, so any fluid that gets contaminated by metal flakes from the parts it comes into contact with will accelerate the wear faster, eventually resulting in your 4WD needing to be serviced or repaired.

Power Steering Flush – 60 months/60,000 miles

Animation & Info Point blank, not getting your power steering fluid flush will result in your power steering becoming inoperative while starting leaks in various places along the way. Your power steering hoses deteriorate slowly and can contaminate your power steering fluid, which is why it needs to be changed. Your power steering affects your ability to turn the steering wheel easily, as well as controlling your vehicle in a moment where you may need fast reaction time.

Check Alignment/Suspension – 24 months

Animation & Info You don’t always need to get an alignment but it is important to check if you do every so often. Your suspension system, tires, and driving habits can all contribute to mis-alignment of the vehicle. They all affect each other, so if your alignment is off it will wear down your tires fast, or cause a drift when driving. These types of problems can wear down your front end parts, which eventually just stacks on expenses for items to repair on your vehicle. Checking your vehicle alignment is usually inexpensive and easy for a repair shop to do.

Check Brakes – 12 months

Brakes may not need to be changed for a couple years, however, depending on your braking habits as well as the quality of the parts it could be a lot sooner than you think. Brake squeaking, tends to be natural after a certain amount of brake wear and can be annoying. Brake grinding typically means the brakes are in need of a repair. There are many variables to a brake change which is why most shops offer some type of inspection incentive so that your repair estimate can be exact to what you need. Brakes becoming worn or loose can result in brake failure, resulting in very dangerous driving conditions and should always be checked at least once a year during one of your oil changes.

Call us or fill out our online form to request your very own maintenance schedule today! (Please include current vehicle mileage in your message to us regarding maintenance estimates)