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.
I had a wonderful first-time customer experience at Joy Automotive. I've needed to find a new mechanic closer to where I live. My car had an issue last week, giving me reason to give Joy Automotive a try. Jesse and the team got the issue reviewed quickly and communicated clearly with me about what was going on. It turned out to be a very minor problem, solved in just a few hours, handled in a way that made me sure I'll return the next time the car needs attention. Thanks for everything!
I feel very confident about Joy Automotive keeping my car in tip top shape. I appreciate that they alert me about up coming concerns to watch for as I have a very old car that I rely on.
We take all our cars to Joy Auto. They always provide a clear explanation of the work that needs to be done. The team is respectful and great to work with.
I was referred by a friend to take my car to Joy?s. Since relocating to Santa Monica I was searching for a good mechanic. I found them!
Joy Automotive Service has always provide the best and the fastest service in our company vehicle. Staff is knowledgeable and they are ready to answer any question you may have.
Sergio at Joy Automotive is so great to work with. He responds quickly and very upfront with the repairs and costs of repainting your vehicle. I trust Joy Automotive and will keep bringing my car back for service.
The best! I recommend them to everyone I know. So honest, always do a great job, thanks Joy!
I?ve been taking our cars to Joy Auto since I moved here 12 years ago. I trust them to advise the right thing to do. They always back up their work with a guarantee that they stand behind ? I can confirm that. And you won?t find nicer people to work with. They even help out local kids with their bikes (I saw that). Love local businesses that take care of their community. I recommend Joy to all my friends and acquaintances and anyone that has been there has also been satisfied with the experience. I actually enjoy taking my car in (except when it?s sick:)
My experience every time I go to Joy Automotive, is what you would always want it to be. From the beginning in dealing with the guys in the front office (which I would say, they are the nicest, most accomodating, that I have EVER dealt with. The mechanics really think out side the box about how to best repair your car. They really go to bat and beyond at Joy Automotive. I will NEVER go anywhere else
We have been taking our Prius to Joy Auto for years now. The team is great, reliable, affordable and honest. Unlike the Toyota dealership that we initially used for the 2 years "free" maintenance, Joy Auto never finds things that need to be fixed. Sometimes they have suggestions for things we should consider, but I have literally never felt like I'm being hoodwinked in their care. It's the best place for car maintenance on the Westside!!!
Joy came to me highly recommended by a picky friend who has been their client for years. By now Joy Automotie Service and Repair has done 2 major apparently successful services on my old but great car. Beside the technical, their customer service has been tops in every way from clear communication, clean work environment, accurate time prediction, and reliable estimates. I have recommended JOY to all my friends.
Joy Automotive has always done an excellent job with repairs to my car. I have used them for years and highly recommend them as they are honest, stand by their repairs, are AAA recommended, and do great work!
Staff thoughtful, helpful, knowledgeable. Repair was explained and work done at a fair price. Staff always follows up after service to make sure all is okay. And car is always returned freshly washed. Highly recommend.
I love taking my car into Joy Automotive! Everyone there is super helpful, friendly and most of all honest. They are always upfront about what your car needs, their service is prompt and they usually throw in a car wash. So glad I found this gem in Santa Monica!!
Took my car for an oil change. They took a while but because they had a load of cars to take care of first! Great service. Definitely coming back to fix my other car. I liked their car wash service too!! It needed a wash so badly.
The guys here are super helpful, they always explain things thoroughly, and provide different options based on your needs. Also, its usually possible to get work done same day if you drop your car off early enough. So easy and convenient!
I won?t go anywhere else besides to get my car serviced. Joy has the best, most knowledgeable and honest guys in the auto business. I recently took my car to another auto shop in the Valley, who did an inspection and failed to figure out that my break padding was dangerously low. Thank goodness I went to Joy for a random oil change shortly thereafter, and they let me know about the breaks. I called 6 different shops for a quote to get my breaks redone, and Joy had the best pricing!
I began taking my vehicles to Joy Automotive on a recommendation after moving to the area a number of years ago. From my very first visit, they have consistently treated me better than anywhere else I have ever gone. First and foremost, they know their stuff - top notch mechanical work is all they do. But, you'll also find them to be extremely polite, professional and NO ONE will ever take more time to discuss the issues and offer options that get you back on the road anywhere near their price. To say I am extremely satisfied with their work and what they charge would be an understatement. If you have issues with your vehicle, take it to Joy and ask for Jessie. You will not be disappointed. These guys ROCK!