Quick Car Care
by Pat Goss
Well, sir we’ve got your Mustang checked out and such a deal for you; I’m going to sell you something. First, you need a new air filter because dirty air filters waste gasoline, and you certainly don’t want to do that. You need new wiper blades and here’s something we noticed when we were checking out your car – look at the color of the oil; looks pretty nasty on that paper towel. Well, we recommend we put a chemical in there to clean the inside of your engine to make it last longer. We can get it started, we can get it taken care of right away for you.
Alright folks, this is something that goes on thousands of times every day. There’s several lessons to be learned here - you have to have sales resistance; don’t be an impulse buyer. Evaluate what you need and what you don’t need, you can always come back and have it done later. The other thing, air filters on modern cars do not affect fuel economy, so don’t fall for that one. And, all oil pretty much looks dirty on a paper towel, so that’s not really telling you about the need for anything on your car - so another one to look out for.
Alright, now, quick lube – they’re great; they’re great at changing oil and topping off fluids and things like that. But, cars have more than fluids to them, and there are a lot of things that quick lubes don’t test, and they’ll tell you right up front they don’t test. They don’t have a lift, they don’t have any way to do it. They don’t test, they don’t examine, and they can’t tell you whether they’re good or bad.
Things like ball joints for instance; ball joints ware out and if they fail, the wheel comes off. Tie rod ends, they wear out, and if one of those fail, you can’t steer the car. What about brakes, they need routine testing; brake lines, they rust, they corrode. Brake hoses, they’re made of rubber, they deteriorate. Engine mounts, suspension parts – on and on and on. So that means, what you really need to do is at least twice every year, you need to go to a full service shop where they’re going to check all of these things that keep the car safe and reliable. You certainly don’t want to be in an accident simply because somebody didn’t test a safety related part. Oh, and something else, no matter where you go, make sure they have the proper fluids for your car. It has to be what’s recommended, not some universal product.
So, twice a year, full service, get everything checked. And you’ll have a safe car. If you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.