Quick Lane Tire and Automotive Center in the Lancaster Auto Mall services
all vehicle Makes and Models.
- Lube, oil and filter
- Belts and hoses
- Cooling system maintenance
- Struts and shock absorbers
- Transmission fluid and filter change
- Batteries, alternators, starters and electrical
- Scheduled maintenance
- Tire replacement, balancing and rotation
- Air conditioning system maintenance
- Wiper Blades
- Exhaust systems
- Steering, suspension and alignment
Schedule a service at our Lancaster Automotive Service Center
A Guide to Vehicle Maintenance and Light Repair
Quick Lane is our answer to your busy lifestyle. We have created this Guide to Vehicle Maintenance & Light Repair to provide information you may need to better understand the services your vehicle requires throughout your ownership experience.
If you have any questions about your vehicle's performance or the information contained in this guide, please feel free to stop by and speak with a factory-certified Quick Lane technician, who will be happy to assist you.
OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
The best way to ensure long engine life is to regularly change the oil and filter. Mileage intervals will vary based on the age and use of your vehicle. Your owner's manual contains specific recommendations. Checking your oil level between changes is very important. Low levels can cause increased wear, reduced fuel efficiency or complete engine failure. At higher mileage, oil consumption increases, and more frequent checks become necessary.
Proper wheel alignment helps ensure good handling, better fuel economy and maximum tire life. Radial tires, because their sidewalls are flexible, make alignment problems harder to detect when driving. The tire simply bends at the sidewall. So, you need to do two things:
- Periodically look at the tires for signs of abnormal wear--usually on the side.
- Be aware of how your vehicle drives. Does it seems to pull or fade to one side? Is the steering wheel no longer centered when driving straight ahead?
The number of miles traveled since your vehicle's last alignment can help you determine how to care for your tires. Tire manufacturers recommend that tires be rotated and check for abnormal wear every 6,000 - 8,000 miles, with an alignment every other time or once a year.
Brakes are the most important safety system on your vehicle. They MUST work properly every time. Even if they don't fail completely, worn or poorly maintained brakes put you and others at risk. There is no room for compromise.
- How They Work
You may have disc or drum brakes, or a combination of the two -- disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear. All braking systems must be regularly checked to ensure proper performance. Your parking brake also requires periodic inspection.
Both braking systems work by forcing pads/shoes against rotating discs/drums, slowing them and the wheels to which they are attached. Both systems adjust themselves, but the components can stick, causing premature wear and/or poor performance.
When you apply your brakes, fluid moves under high pressure through a system of hoses, cylinders, valves and other components. All parts of this system much be free of leaks, and moving parts must be able to move freely.
- Brake Fluid
Although different types of brake fluids are available, each must meet specific standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). You must used the correct fluid for your vehicle and not mix it with any other type. A low fluid level can indicate pad/shoe wear or a hydraulic leak.
- Anti-lock Brake System
The anti-lock brake system (ABS) includes valves and sensors and sometimes its own computer. ABS enables your vehicle to stop without locking the wheels and skidding. Proper ABS operation can also be affected by changing the size of the tires by more than a set amount from what was originally installed on the vehicle. This is a particular concern when light truck and sport-utility owners customize their vehicles with larger tires.
SHOCK AND STRUTS
Shock absorbers and struts help resist abrupt movements in your vehicle's suspension to smooth and control the ride. Struts are an integral part of the suspension, whereas shocks are an addition to it. Worn shocks or struts can result in excessive weight transfer from side to side or front to back, and they may prevent the tires from following the surface of the road.
These factors reduce the tires' ability to maintain full traction and adversely affect braking ability. In addition, worn components make your vehicle susceptible to damage to its exhaust system and oil and transmission pans. Your vehicle may also suffer rapid wear of other suspension and steering parts, and the wheel alignment will also be adversely affected.
The battery performs three functions:
- Supplies power to the cranking and ignition systems so the engine can be started.
- Supplies additional power when the vehicle's electrical requirements exceed what the charging system can provide.
- Acts as a voltage stabilizer for the electrical system.
Replacement batteries should equal or exceed the capacity of the battery that came in your vehicle. Each carries two measurements of this capacity.
The alternator is driven by the engine with a rubber belt. Its function is to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of the vehicle and charge the battery. Alternators have a long service life and do not require periodic maintenance. The belt driving the alternator, however, should be checked for wear and proper tension. A loose belt may be heard as a loud squeal.
The starter uses power from the battery to crank the engine. Like the Alternator, it has a long service life and does not require regular maintenance until it needs replacement.
The cooling system consists of the radiator, the hoses and fittings connecting it to the engine, and the water pump which circulates the coolant under pressure. Because of this pressure, removing the radiator cap is dangerous unless the engine is cold.
Modern cooling systems use an expansion tank, which allows the system to be completely filled with coolant. This greatly reduces the possibility of corrosion. The expansion tank is opaque and has graduations molded in it. You can observe if the coolant is at the proper level by comparing it to the graduations. In addition, you should periodically check the ground under your vehicle for sings of leakage.
A green or yellow fluid leak may indicate a water pump in need of repair, a worn radiator, a loose connection or a leaking hose. You must have this diagnosed as soon as possible, as your engine will be damaged if you lose the coolant.
BELT AND HOSES
Several individual or one large rubber belt drives the alternator, water pump, air conditioning, power steering and part of the emissions system. Hoses carry coolant between the engine and the radiator. All of these items age with the vehicle. They should be inspected regularly, but especially when the vehicle passes 50,000 miles.
AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM
This is another pressurized system which normally functions well with minimal maintenance. The belt driving the compressor should be inspected, especially as the vehicle passes 50,000 miles. Besides a belt problem, a leak could develop at a fitting or hose, or a compressor may require repair or replacement. The latter should emit a noise that is present only when the system is running. Diminished cooling ability can indicate a leak. Special equipment is required to diagnose and repair the air conditioning system.
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION SERVICE
Automatic Transmission service consists of replacing the fluid and filter. Your owner's manual will indicate when you should do this. Exceptions requiring more frequent service include towing, heavy-duty operation or overheating.
FUEL INJECTOR SERVICE
Modern injectors do not usually require service, as gasoline refiners have made great progress in developing additive packages to keep them clean. Sometimes, however, a problem does occur. Water or dirt can make its way into the system and plug a filter or damage an injector, or there may be a poor electrical connection.
Your engine pushes the exhaust gases through a series of pipes, a catalytic converter to reduce emissions and a muffler to quiet the sound. If the system is not functioning properly, your vehicle can emit pollutants, toxic gases and excessive noise. Since most drivers tend to keep their windows closed and their radios on, by the time they hear the noise, the leaks may have been present for quite some time. Depending on the location of the leak, this can expose you to toxic fumes and pollutants. If you have concern about your exhaust system, you should have it inspected as soon as possible by a certified technician.
Your vehicle's fuel, ignition and emission control systems are all integrated. They are controlled by sensors and a computer. This integrated system can diagnose itself, and can even compensate to a degree for poorly performing components. This makes your vehicle more reliable, but complicates the diagnosis of potential problems. A tune-up is necessary at specific intervals to get these integrated systems in your vehicle working together properly again.