Today's vehicles are a very necessary but complex and potentially expensive part of our everyday lives. Since we can't live without them in most cases, keeping operating costs as low as possible and reliability as high as possible must be a top priority.
We educate our customers on the value of properly maintaining their vehicles and how properly maintaining a vehicle actually lowers overall operating costs. Experience maintaining our customer's vehicles has shown this to be true and now recently released statistics by the US Department of Transportation confirm it. According to their study it costs roughly half as much to operate and properly maintain your vehicle, over a five-year period, as it does to only repair your vehicle when it breaks! Obviously vehicle preventative maintenance doesn't cost – it saves.
A thorough read of a vehicle owner's manual and a basic understanding of automotive design makes it clear that preventing the breakdown of vehicle lubricants and fluids will greatly extend the life of the components involved. The replacement of these lubricants and fluids, early in their breakdown cycle, well before they have deteriorated completely, will keep maintenance costs to minimum. This is the only approach that really makes sense since it can save the vehicle owner the cost of expensive component replacement.
A portion of the Automotive Industry actually believes in over-maintaining a vehicle. We believe this to be every bit as bad as not maintaining your vehicle at all. Not only are you paying for service that is unnecessary, which over time can add up to thousands of dollars, but it can also cause premature failure of some vehicle components and create unnecessary repairs.
Vehicle maintenance, as promoted by the oil industry, offers frequent oil changes as the cure-all for long vehicle life. In reality oil changes only address a small portion of the overall equation, totally neglecting some of the most expensive and important components of the vehicle such as transmission, brakes, cooling systems, differentials, steering and driveline. The actual testing of fluids to determine their ability to do the job they are designed for is not even mentioned. Usually nothing more than a "they look bad" is offered as a reason for replacing fluids, when in reality a fluid that "looks bad" can be good or can be well past the point when it should have been replaced to avoid unnecessary damage! Testing the fluids and sticking to a maintenance schedule are a good way to ensure fluid performance.
Fluids Are the Life Blood of the Vehicle
Just as having impurities in your blood will cause you to become sick or even die, impurities in your vehicle, fluids will cause components to operate incorrectly and fail prematurely. For example, brake fluid is an inorganic substance that will not react with the metals or seals in your brake system. Kept pure, your brake hydraulic fluid will last virtually indefinitely. If, however, water vapor is allowed to enter the system, (which happens over time naturally through normal operation), the oxygen molecules in the water will begin to react with the metal and seals in your brake system allowing oxidation, (more commonly known as corrosion), to occur.
This corrosion causes premature failure of brake hydraulic components resulting in expensive repairs that can be avoided if moisture is removed from the system before it can reach a toxic level. The only accurate way to ensure moisture levels are not building up is to test the system for moisture. Testing your fluids and changing fluids when necessary will save wear and tear on components and extend the life of these same components.
At Import Auto we help customers monitor vehicle maintenance and performance every time they visit.