Automotive Repair Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to use the manufacturer’s original equipment parts to keep my warranty valid?
Legally, automakers cannot specify which parts are used to complete your vehicle’s service. You may use any brand-name quality parts such as CARQUEST Auto Parts to replace fan belts, hoses, brakes, exhaust or chassis parts and more.
2. What do I have to do to keep my car or truck’s warranty in effect?
Make sure your vehicle is serviced at the intervals specified in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet and keep clear records of your vehicle’s maintenance. Be sure to include the date, parts installed, vehicle identification number, and mileage recorded on the invoice. Keep your receipts in a safe place. If you have a service log in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet, we highly recommend that you use it.
3. My car is a leased vehicle. Am I responsible for maintenance?
Even if you lease a vehicle, you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs required to keep the vehicle in good working order as outlined in the owner’s manual.
4. What parts should be replaced and at what intervals should these services be performed?
Check your owner’s manual. It will give you all of the information you need regarding specific parts and service intervals. Make sure to read it thoroughly and note any exceptions or severe service notations. Warranties are there to protect the consumer, but you must follow the requirements.
5. What if my new car needs repairs other than regularly scheduled maintenance such as a brake job or other repairs? Do I have to return to the dealer for these repairs? What if these repairs are covered under my warranty?
The choice of where to have your car serviced and repaired is yours. However, you will probably have to take the car back to the dealer for any repairs covered under warranty. Thoroughly check your warranty to be certain which repairs are covered.
6. How does the quality of aftermarket parts compare with original equipment parts?
Some are manufactured by the same supplier and may even be warrantied longer than original equipment parts. Aftermarket parts supplied by CARQUEST meet or exceed manufacturers’ specifications.
7. If I do have a warranty related problem with a dealership, what rights do I have?
If you have a warranty related problem, we suggest that you contact the customer service department of the car manufacturer and ask for assistance. They also strive for 100% customer satisfaction and are the best people to help with with these types of concerns.
Thank you for reading our fundamental car tips for caring for your vehicle. We offer complete automotive services to Sterling, VA and the surrounding area. Call Chandler & Sons Automotive at 703-437-7300 if you have any questions.
- According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
- Cooling systems should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked at this time.
(A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is typically recommended.)
- Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a professional.
- Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts or extended trips with a trailer or heavy load.
- Replace your other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc) more often than recommended if you drive in dusty conditions. If you are experiencing engine problems such as hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc, make sure to get them corrected at a quality automotive shop.
- A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
- Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressure once a month; making sure to let the tires cool down first. Don’t forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good working condition.
- Check your owner’s manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car’s engine needs.
- Keep your tires inflated at their proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to drive which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
- Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
- Use the air conditioner sparingly. The air conditioner puts an extra load on the engine forcing the vehicles to use more fuel.
- Keep your windows closed as much as possible. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
- Avoid idling for long periods of time. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel that letting it idle.
- Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
- Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduces your fuel consumption.
- Keep your engine well tuned. A fouled spark plug or a plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
- Inspect the engine’s belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing segments. Worn belts will drastically affect the engine performance.
- Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt, and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
- Change the transmission fluids and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
- Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of your vehicle’s tires.