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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs, today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels.

As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions.

If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go. As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting engine, mechanical powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel ignition, and emissions.

To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.



Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

Mechanical failure - an inconvenience anytime it occurs - can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. A well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.

Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters - air, fuel, etc.

Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.

Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent - you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.

Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.

Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.

Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Carry emergency gear - gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.



Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too! Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.

Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended - more often in dusty conditions. Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Emergencies - Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.



Keeping your vehicle in tune with the environment is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last longer - up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians.

The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%.
  • Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
  • Check your tires for proper inflation. Underinflation wastes fuel - your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle.
  • Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 60 mph.
  • Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.
  • Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm-ups on cold winter mornings.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage.
  • Store luggage/cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
  • Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions.
  • Join a car pool.

Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.

ASSOCIATIONS

  • AutoValue Certified Service Center
  • ACDelco Professional Service Center
  • Federated CarCare
  • AAA Approved Auto Repair
  • ASE - Automotive Service Excellence
  • BG Products
  • Jasper Engines & Transmissions
  • Identifix
  • Mitchell 1
  • Troy Chamber of Commerce
  • Oxford Chamber of Commerce
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • Had a flat tire, AAA recommended towing to Fix N Go, I said sure. Glad I did! Fair, competitive price, awesome customer service, gave recommendations on what needed to be fixed, never pressured other things...I'll be going back several more times! Thanks Joe!!
    -Don Jackson

  • Fix n Go is a great place to bring your car. Joe is very customer focused. They are upfront about costs and work with you to make only the necessary repairs needed at the best price. They go above and beyond. They are honest, follow-up and treat you with respect. Enough said!
    -Susan Irwin

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and reasonably priced.
    -James Fahy

  • Frank is a great guy to deal with, honest.
    -Scott Ouimet

  • Compared to other repair shops and dealers that I have brought my car to, Fix N Go has been one of the best. Matt especially was very helpful and went above and beyond to help me out when I was in a pinch. I will exclusively be taking my car back here for any repairs, oil changes, etc. Great service, and the prices are reasonable.
    -Sarah Tomaka

  • These guys are always great. They are conveniently near my work, so I just drop a car off in the morning for an oil change or whatever else. We've had different work done by them on a few different cars, and they've always done very good work and seem to be price competitive. Definitely would recommend trying them out to anybody I know, and have done so.
    -Nate E.

  • Very helpful staff.
    -Chris Ophus

  • Good group of mechanics. They appropriately diagnosed my car issues and were in a reasonable price range. They were nice enough to drive me back to my house after they took my car for major service.
    -Richard Alegre

  • I brought in my Volvo v70, and they fixed my problem in two days. It took them that long because of part shipping time. I checked the work, and it was done correctly and professionally.
    -Grant Rowland

  • Truck broke on the freeway. These guys were great and helped me out when I needed it. Thanks guys.
    -David Squires

  • My car kept dying. They checked everything and kept me up to date. I will always be a customer. The service is excellent, and all the guys did a great job.
    -Mesheko Lewis

  • As a college student with an old car and a tight budget, I definitely recommend Fix N Go Troy as the most reliable and trustworthy service in the area. Their prices are very fair given their high quality service, and their close proximity to I-75, and the Sterling/Troy neighborhoods is super convenient.
    -John Esse

  • Great service, nice people. Thanks Todd!
    -Anita Myles

  • Referred to them by Discount Tire to get an alignment after getting new tires. They squeezed me in the same day, and my Trailblazer feels like its new again!
    -John Troy

  • Fix N Go has fast and friendly service. They just informed us that one of our vehicles needed 2 new tires because of dry rot. They just don't do oil changes, they inspect your vehicle to make sure it is running properly.
    -Russ Francis

  • Fix N Go is very reliable, and I am always confident that I am being charged a fair price for their products and services. The staff at Fix N Go is very friendly and always helpful in explaining the repairs that they are performing on my car.
    -Julie Esse

  • We have taken our cars to these guys for a few years. I have always found them helpful, friendly, and you get in and out. I haven't had them trying to sell me something I didn't need, and I trust their judgement. Would definitely recommend them.
    -Vicky Siegel

  • My family drives 4 older vehicles, and we trust Fix N Go to keep us in tip-top shape. They don't try to over sell, the prices are fair, and we think Todd is great!
    -Lori Esse

  • Very nice guys. Quick to respond, friendly, and honest. I will recommend Fix N Go. This was my first time here, and they treated me like a valued client. They fixed a minor problem at no charge. Thank you. Thank you.
    -Al Todek

  • I like getting service here. I can make an appointment for an oil change and come in and wait. They do it quickly and never pressure me into getting additional repairs. If some are needed, they tell me about it and let me decide.
    -Grace Laverdiere

  • I took my car in to get an alignment done. I was expecting the fix to take at least an hour, but was done within around 30 minutes. They were pretty quick to get the job done, and the people were really nice. I'd definitely go again.
    -Jenn Yang