Valley Toyota

Things to Tune up your car


No one is buying a new car any more, it seems. Unless you pay cash, no one's going to lend you any money, so keep your old car. Of course, I'm talking from the point of view of a repair shop, so keep the source in mind. Mwah-ha-ha and hugs to you all! But seriously, having seen lots of cars worth keeping well over 100, 000 miles, as well as those whose owners have no choice but to keep them, we've compiled a list of ways to make that older car feel like it used to when it was new.

Number 5: Flush every fluid, even those you forgot about.

When was the last time you flushed your power steering fluid? Chances are, you didn't even know that was supposed to be done. Power steering fluid is petroleum based, with certain additives, and like any petroleum product will break down and lose effectiveness over time. Power steering parts include hoses, a pump, several seals, and many moving parts and metal parts and rubber parts, all of which rely on lubrication from the power steering fluid. Flush the power steering fluid and add some extra boost to it, such as Lucas Power Steering Tune-Up, to give your older system a little more help.

Flush your brake fluid - you should be doing this every other year anyway. Again, the system has a pump, hoses, seals, moving parts, metal parts and rubber parts, and all rely on lubrication and the presence of the fluid to function. Over time, the fluid becomes contaminated with air, rubber particles, metal particles, and loses its effectiveness, and we all know what that means. It's your BRAKES. Your BRAKES! The things that keep you from crashing into other things. Brake fluid is cheap, most places will flush it for around $60 including parts and labor, so put fresh fluid in your brake system every other year.

Then there are the things you already know about - your motor oil, your transmission oil, your antifreeze, your differential fluid. You should be doing that anyway, but definitely pay attention to your intervals even more closely when you hit 100K.

Number 4: Straighten or replace your wheels

You have forgotten how your car used to ride. Gradually, over time, your wheels have taken a lot of shock and have shown the evidence of wear and tear. Alloy wheels are somewhat soft and will give in places, and balancing your tires often compensates for a good bit of that, but the subtle differences will all add up to a lower quality ride.

Call a service that straightens and welds wheels, and have them straighten and fix all the little ouchies and boo-boos on your wheels, then have your tires re-mounted and have everything balanced by a shop that does road force (rolling resistance) balancing. You won't believe the difference this will make in the quality of the ride and the comfort over all kinds of surfaces.

Number 3: De-odorize your air conditioning

I bet you didn't even know you could do this. Know what it is like, when you've come out of springtime, and you get that first shock of a hot day, and you turn your air conditioning on, and you get blasted with that smell of mold and chemicals? Yeah, it might give you a brief feeling of nostalgia, but you don't have to experience it that way. Find a place (might be a detail shop) that does de-odorizing of the a/c system.

The vents, cabin air filter (if equipped), and vacuum system get cleaned, mold killed, and a pleasant smell emitted in its place. The drain tubes (bet you didn't know you had those, either) get unclogged (they are clogged, I promise), cleaned and disinfected, and deodorized. Want a cheap way to do it yourself? Find where your cabin air filter is, change it yourself, and spray it down with Febreeze before you put it in. Then start your air conditioning, and spray a disinfectant into your cabin air intake (usually located at the cowling) until you can smell the disinfectant in the cabin of your car.

You can also unclog the drain tubes yourself, you just need to find them. Wear rubber gloves for this, trust me. That buildup of mold, rust, outside contaminants, allergens, and other airborne ickiness is what gives your car that old-car smell. You can go a long way if you can de-odorize it by having it suck in fresher air into a fresher system.



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