The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and
contrary to some beliefs, today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to
keep them performing at the most efficient levels.
As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions.
If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go. As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting engine, mechanical powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel ignition, and emissions.
To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter
Mechanical failure - an inconvenience anytime it occurs - can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. A well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.
Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.
Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters - air, fuel, etc.
Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.
Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent - you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.
Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.
Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
Carry emergency gear - gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer
Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too! Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.
Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.
Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended - more often in dusty conditions. Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Emergencies - Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.
Keeping your vehicle in tune with the environment is definitely a win-win
situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and
operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last
longer - up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master
The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.
This place is by far one of the best shops I've taken my car to. Very clean shop, experienced mechanics and people who went the extra mile. Thanks Arnst Ocean.
Arnst Ocean Automotive has saved the day for me quite a few times now on my 1966 Mustang. Whether you have a classic car or a modern car, I highly recommend this shop. They are upfront and honest, and they are completely transparent with the work that is needed and the price to get the job done.
Just a great shop! I drove in after hours with a flat and the 90 degree sun stalking me. The owner came out, didn't gouge me price-wise, and made a bad day a little less terrible. A reminder of how things used to be. I recommend.
Dave Clayton and his son make getting your car fixed a pleasure. Have total confidence in them.
Dave is the best!
Honest and knowledgable mechanic (a rarity in S. Florida). I've been a customer for 5 years and wouldn't think of going anywhere else.
Good and honest people.
A very honest mechanic, with great knowledge. The best one for your car.
Everyone was great to me. Being new to Delray Beach, they were so nice to do business with today. The repair was completed in a timely manner, and they answered all questions.
Great service, quick and affordable.
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Wouldn't trust my vehicle with anyone else. Fast, well-priced service.
Ask for Matt the dancing mechanic. Your car will thank you.
Amazing place with very caring staff! I am very pleased and will go back again.
Honest! Well run office and garage. A very rare combination today. My cars have a home there, and I don't have to worry.
I loved it! They are super nice, really clean office and garage, and the prices were good compared to alot of other places. I will be a repeat customer.
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They're good, but they're also nice. I'd recommend to a friend.
Not only the most honest shop, but their work is impeccable. They remember your name and are super professional. This is how your neighborhood mechanic should be. I won't go any where else. Ever!
Arnst Ocean Automotive is awesome. I wouldn't go anywhere else! Matt is the best and extremely trustworthy. Highly recommended.
Amazing service!!!! You can tell that Dave is an honest, hardworking businessman and the type of person I want to give my service to. I got my car serviced on Tuesday and today is Saturday and I received a 10 dollar gift card towards services for being a new customer! That was a nice touch to an already amazing experience!! Definitely will be back.
One of the best shops in the area! Highly recommend! Dave is a straight shooter and always does quality work and keeps you in the loop with things as they come up. The place to go to get it done right the first time.
Great shop. I will return here next time my car has a problem. They did a great job fixing my car, and the car has been running good ever since.
Dave did a great job of getting my Jeep Wrangler running again. He took the time to properly diagnose it and figure out what was really wrong instead of just changing out probable components. I'll use them again.
I've been going here since I bought my '67 Lincoln Continental Convertible five years ago. I have have found Dave (the owner) and his staff to be fast, competent and dilligent in all the work they've done for me over the years. I recommend them highly.
I have been taking my vehicles to this shop for over a decade. The service Dave provides is always consistent and thorough. Arnst Ocean Automotive is a hidden gem and the best in the business. You can thank me later.
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