Offer is available for all vehicles. Visit bakeautocare.com/coupons for more details.
Replacing coolant on a regular basis will prolong the life of the radiator and other cooling system components. Most new car maintenance schedules call for coolant that too long and recommend every two years or 24,000 miles.
There are some who argue that annual coolant changes on late model vehicles with bi-metal engines (aluminum heads/iron blocks) and/or aluminum radiators is a good idea.
It does not really make much difference how often the coolant is changed as long as it is changed before losing its corrosion resistance. Antifreeze is made of ethylene glycol (which never wears out) and various additives (which do wear out).
Some additives provide "reserve alkalinity" to neutralize internal corrosion before it can start. As long as the coolant is changed before its reserve alkalinity is depleted, can be expensive internal corrosion in the radiator, heater core and engine.
How can you tell when it is time to change the coolant? The only way to know if the coolant still has adequate corrosion protection is to test it. By dipping a test strip in the coolant and noting its color change, you can determine coolant condition and whether or not it is time to replace it.
When coolant is changed, the system should be reverse flushed rather than simply drained. This helps dislodge and remove accumulated debris and debris in the system. It also removes old coolant that would otherwise remain in the engine block.
Use of a cooling system cleaner is not necessary unless the system has been badly neglected and is full of lime deposits.
The cooling system should be refilled with a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol antifreeze and clean water. This provides freezing protection down to -34 degrees F and boil-over protection to 265 degrees F.
When coolant is changed, inspect belts and hoses. Make a visual inspection for leaks. Pressure test radiator and cap. Check operation of heater and defroster.
The thermostat does not need changing unless it has been causing trouble or the engine has severely overheated. If a thermostat is replaced, it should have the same temperature rating as the original. This is extremely important on late model vehicles with computerized engine controls. Fuel, ignition and emission functions are all affected by coolant temperature.
A complete brake job should restore the vehicle's brake system and braking performance to good-as-new condition. There is no pat answer as to which items need replacing and which ones don't. It's a judgment call.
A complete brake job should begin with a thorough inspection of the entire brake system; lining condition, rotors and drums, calipers and wheel cylinders, brake hardware, hoses, lines, and master cylinder.
Any hoses that are found to be age cracked, chaffed, swollen, or leaking must be replaced. Make sure the replacement hose has the same type of end fittings (double-flared or ISO) as the original. Don't intermix fitting types.
Steel lines that are leaking, kinked, badly corroded, or damaged must also be replaced. For steel brake lines, use only approved steel tubing with double-flared or ISO flare ends.
A leaking caliper or wheel cylinder needs to be rebuilt or replaced. The same applies to a caliper that is frozen (look for uneven pad wear), damaged or badly corroded.
Leaks at the master cylinder or a brake pedal that gradually sinks to the floor tells you that the master cylinder needs replacing.
The rotors and drums need to be inspected for wear, heat cracks, warpage, or other damage. Unless they are in perfect condition, they should always be resurfaced before new linings are installed. If worn too thin, replace them.
Rust, heat, and age have a detrimental effect on many hardware components. It's a good idea to replace some of these parts when the brakes are relined. On disc brakes, new mounting pins and bushings are recommended for floating-style calipers. High temperature synthetic or silicone brake grease (never ordinary chassis grease) should be used to lubricate caliper pins and caliper contact points.
On drum brakes. shoe retaining clips and return springs should be replaced. Self-adjusters should be replaced if they are corroded or frozen. Use brake grease to lubricate self-adjusters and raised points on brake backing plates where shoes make contact.
Wheel bearings should be part of a complete brake job on most rear-wheel drive vehicles and some front-wheel drive cars. Unless bearings are sealed, they need to be cleaned, inspected, repacked with wheel bearing grease (new grease seals are a must), and properly adjusted.
As a rule, tapered roller bearings are not preloaded. Finger tight is usually recommended. Ball wheel bearings usually require pre-loading.
As a final step, old brake fluid should always be replaced with fresh fluid.
Change oil and filter often enough to protect the engine from premature wear and viscosity breakdown. For most cars and light trucks, the standard recommendation is to change oil and filter every six months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Most late model owner's manuals say that except for "Severe Service" applications, oil change interval can be safely stretched to once a year or every 7,500 miles, with filter changes at every other oil change.
When auto makers make such recommendations, one assumes they are based on extensive durability testing. After all, auto makers themselves would have to bear the warranty costs should their maintenance recommendations prove inadequate.
Except for Chrysler's 7/70 powertrain warranty, and a few others that go up to 5/50 or 6/60, most new car powertrain warranties don't go beyond 3/36. So where's the risk? There isn't any.
With proper maintenance, there is no reason an engine shouldn't go 100,000 miles or more without developing a thirst for oil. That is why most oil companies, as well as aftermarket service professionals, recommend changing oil and filter every six months or 3,000 miles.
They also make such recommendations because many motorists are not aware that they should follow the "Severe Service" maintenance schedule in their owner's manual, calling for oil and filter change intervals of three to six months or 3,000 miles. Severe service (as defined by auto makers themselves) includes:
Protective additives in a motor oil do not hold up as well under such driving conditions for several reasons. If the engine is not running long enough to get the oil hot, condensation and fuel vapors will not boil off. Contaminants will accumulate in the crankcase, leading to formation of corrosive acids and sludge.
Excessive idling and high operating temperatures from towing and high speed driving during hot weather accelerate viscosity breakdown. Exposure to dust can put dirt particles in the crankcase.
The filter also needs to be changed every time for two reasons. Today's pint-sized filters do not contain as much filter material as their quart-sized counterparts. The filter contains dirty oil that can contaminate fresh oil added during an oil change.
Considering what four quarts of oil and a filter cost, versus the cost of replacing an engine, it is better to change oil and filter a little more often than might be absolutely necessary rather than risk not changing it often enough.
When the ignition switch is turned to the on position without the engine running, the malfunction indicator lamp or MIL (commonly labeled and referred to as the "Check Engine Light" or "Service Engine Soon Light") illuminates for a bulb check. With the engine started and running, the MIL will only stay lit if there is an emissions-related concern.
The on-board diagnostic (OBD) generation two (II) system, equipped on all vehicles manufactured from model year 1996 to the present, performs monitoring of emission control systems continuously and non-continuously. Fuel control, engine misfires, and the comprehensive component monitor (which tests all engine and transmission sensors [inputs] and actuators [outputs] for electrical faults) are monitored continuously. The computer will set a hard code and command the MIL to illuminate upon the first fault detection of a continuous monitor. In the event of an engine misfire severe enough to damage the catalytic converter, the computer will command the MIL to flash. The catalyst, exhaust gas re-circulation, fuel evaporative control, oxygen sensor, heated oxygen sensor, secondary air injection, and diesel exhaust after-treatment systems are monitored non-continuously. These non-continuous monitors are tested once per drive-cycle when prerequisite operating conditions are met. Depending on the manufacturer, some systems like the fuel evaporative system may be tested even when the engine is turned off. If a fault is detected during a drive-cycle of a non-continuous monitor, the computer will store a pending code. If the same fault is detected during the second consecutive drive-cycle, the computer will set a hard code, record a freeze frame data of various inputs at the time the fault was detected, and will command MIL to illuminate.
Once lit, the MIL will remain on until the vehicle has completed three consecutive drive-cycles in which the fault is not detected. The MIL will also turn OFF when stored diagnostic trouble codes are cleared by a scan tool or when power to the computer is lost. However, the MIL will only continue to remain OFF if the fault is successfully repaired.
STAR Certified Smog Check & Repair
Oil & Filter Change
Wheel Alignment & Tires
Muffler & Exhaust System
Check Engine, ABS, Tire, & Air Bag Lights
Batteries, Starting, & Charging
Belts & Hoses
Steering & Suspension
Engine & Related Services
Transmissions & Related Services
Certified Automotive Technicians
Certified Automotive Repair Facility
STAR-Certified Test and Repair Station