Making the Most of Your Vehicles Life

Whether you intend to keep your car for 100K, 200K, or even 300K and beyond you
must consider the vehicle’s maintenance needs. Just about any car can make it to 100K
and not be maintained well. It’s between 100K and 200K where your car’s service history
makes a difference. And only those correctly maintained cars will have a
chance of reaching 300K and beyond.

Motor Oil

No matter what oil change interval you subscribe to, it’s not only important to keep your
engine well lubricated, but clean as well. Dirty oil creates sludge and will over time
create blockages and restrict passages for your oil to circulate properly. Plus the build-up
can cause oil leaks or loss of oil pressure. Normal service intervals dictated by car
manufacturers are in reality for those living in ideal situations. Extreme weather, stop &
go traffic, and changing humidity levels in our area all qualify as “severe”; when it comes
to service intervals.


Engine coolants in many European cars are labeled “long life”; so as to give the impression
they don’t need changing as the more conventional anti-freeze brands did. This couldn’t be
further from the truth. Over time these fluids still break down and become acidic,
deteriorating seals and gaskets.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid has a quality that may be unknown to many. It is hygroscopic, which means
it has the ability to attract and retain moisture. Flushing is important because when
excessive moisture builds up inside a brake system it can affect the fluid’s performance.
Where clean brake fluid has an extremely high boiling point the build-up of moisture can
cause oxidation to form, and decrease the boiling point of the fluid, degrading the
performance and lifespan of the hydraulic components of your brake system.

Transmission Fluid

Replacing a transmission is a major expense. Making a transmission last is as simple as
changing the fluid before it breaks down. There are cars nearing 300K miles that still have the original transmission by being diligent with servicing the transmission of their car and there are many, many cars that have transmission failure between 100K to 200K
because of negligent servicing.

Power Steering Fluid

Your car’s power steering fluid is probably the most resilient of all your car’s fluids but too
can become contaminated over time and like anything else, if the fluid is never changed it
will eventually break down causing seals to leak. Replacing a steering rack can be a very
expensive repair on most cars.

To Sum it Up

To summarize, many of us love our cars and want to make them last. The phrase “they don’t make them like they used to”; is only partly correct. From a mechanics standpoint, they feel the vehicles aren’t maintained like they used to.

For more information on getting your luxury vehicle to last contact our skilled mechanics by making an appointment with us [email protected].

Timing and Serpentine Belts

In the fast paced Washington D.C. Metro area everyone is always either working or driving to work. It’s always hectic. Its always about focus on the job and as long as the car is running everything is fine. But some things should not be taken for granted. A Serpentine belt or Timing belt will work fine up until the time they break. If the Serpentine belt breaks and you lose the Alternator charging function, you lose the Power Steering and now your A/C doesn’t work. If the Timing Belt breaks, the car just cuts off immediately and depending on the type of engine you have it could cause serious internal valve damage.

The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:

1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.

2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle’s electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn’t last more than a few miles.

3. The serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles, the power steering pump may be electric and the power brakes may use a vacuum boost.

4. On many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump keeps coolant circulating through to maintain appropriate operating temperatures. In some Florida vehicles, a timing belt runs the water pump.

When a serpentine belt fails, all of these systems fail as well, which can lead to engine impact.

Replacing the belts before they break saves money and time for the hectic workers in the D.C. area by preventing more repairs and costs and the frustration of having your vehicle Towed which is never cheap, to the shop for an extended period of time.

Take Control of Rising Gas Prices

Fight skyrocketing gas prices by taking control of your vehicle’s unnecessary fuel consumption. You can add miles to every gallon you pump by following a few easy and inexpensive maintenance steps with your car, SUV, minivan or pickup truck.

Try these gas saving maintenance and driving tips that really work:

Vehicle gas caps – About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
Underinflated tires – When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
Worn spark plugs – A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plus causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.
Dirty air filters – An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon.
Fuel-saving driving tips include:

Don’t be an aggressive driver – Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 7 to 49 cents per gallon.
Avoid excessive idling – Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
Observe the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
Combining errands into one trip saves gas and time. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.
Avoid carrying unneeded heavy items in the truck. An extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by a percent or two.
As part of the “Be Car Care Aware” education campaign, the Car Care Council is also offering a free service interval schedule to help take the guesswork out of what vehicle systems need to be routinely inspected and when service or repair should be performed. The schedule can be printed for free from the Car Care Council’s Website at

To setup an appointment or request an estimate, please fill out the contact form below or call us now at 703-817-0650.