by Pat Goss
For anyone who wants their vehicle to go the distance, proper preventive maintenance is critical. Now where do you find the proper products to use? Well, you have to refer to the owner’s manual because that is the bible for the particular automobile that you want to service. Don’t deviate from that.
See one of the problems is that there are all kinds of new oils and chemicals out there that supposedly help specific problems. Well, that’s okay if you happen to have that specific problem, but if you don’t, simply use the oil or the product that your owner’s manual calls for. Just because your car has high mileage on it doesn’t mean it has problems or that it has excessive wear.
Now here’s something. For many, many years brake fluids have been upgraded by many repair shops. DOT 3 is the standard and a DOT or DOT 4 is a better grade. It has a higher boiling point. Well, right now, though, General Motors has issued a technical service bulletin that says the use of the better brake fluid could void the warranty on the brake system in your car. So if you have a GM car that’s under warranty, don’t let your repair shop use the DOT 4 brake fluid in it.
All right, power steering. Goodness gracious. You know it used to be that power steering systems used automatic transmission fluid. Well, that’s gone away. Today most vehicles use a specific power steering fluid. Look in your owner’s manual and only add the fluid that’s recommended to the power steering system. Oh, speaking of automatic transmission fluid, you know it used to be there was one or two sizes that fit everything. That’s no longer the case. Just about every vehicle manufacturer now has a proprietary fluid, something that is vehicle specific, and you cannot interchange these fluids.
So look in the owner’s manual and be certain you only use the transmission fluid that the manual recommends. And don’t be surprised if it’s a little bit more expensive, and in some cases a lot more expensive. They aren’t taking advantage of you. That is just a high quality fluid.