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MICHELIN

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

It's Time for the 21st Century Tune-up

Times are changing...cars are changing. One of the biggest changes in today's automotive industry is the perception of a "tune-up." Ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of a tune-up and chances are there'll be 10 different answers. 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.

The tune-up was historically associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help "tune" the engine. Mounting pressure for increased fuel economy and lower emissions drove the car manufacturers to adopt electronics and to do away with ignition points in the '70s, along with the carburetor in the middle '80s. This eliminated the need for the replacement and adjustment of a growing number of ignition and fuel system parts.

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. Things that were once handled mechanically are now controlled electronically through the widespread use of onboard computer technology.

Because vehicles have changed so much over the years, the Car Care Council has introduced the 21st Century Tune-up. This program is designed to help re-define and educate motorists as to what a tune-up should consist of on today's modern vehicles.

"There is a misconception that today's modern vehicles don't need tune-ups because they never break down, but that simply is not true," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "If you're at work and your computer goes down, you can't get any more work done. It's the same with your vehicle. 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
  • Emissions

Vehicle owners ask for tune-ups for a variety of reasons, including improving performance, maintaining reliability, planning a vacation, preparing for winter/summer or because they're giving the car to a friend or family member.

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 from every aspect. 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. Besides, 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 drivability 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 drivability 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

Car care 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 Auto Technicians. The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
  • Check your tires for proper inflation. Under inflation wastes fuel-your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
  • Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician certified competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain CFCs-gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the majority escapes during service and repair-so it's important to choose a qualified technician.
  • Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil, anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local municipal or county government for recycling sites. Never dump used oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in open streams.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 55 mph.
  • Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise-control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family. Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm ups on cold winter mornings.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Store luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
  • Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions. Join a car pool.

Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.

ASSOCIATIONS

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • NAPA
  • Jasper
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • When visiting family and friends in Spring Hill my car started having some serious issues. Knowing that I had well over 1,000 miles to get it back home to Ohio, I had to have it repaired. Worried that because I was from out of town that I would possibly have problems. I went to Bayside on the recommendation of a family member in Spring Hill. Greg and his staff looked the car over, found the problem and fixed it. The car runs great, and they did not overinflate the charges like I have had done to me before. I drove the car home, there were NO problems, the work was quality work and Greg and his staff are simply awesome! THANK YOU~
    -Vicki B. -Heath Ohio

  • Very impressed with the service. They are very friendly and professional. I am familiar with vehicle repair and they took me to the repair area and showed everything that needed attention and it was right on. They got my 2004 Taurus with 175k miles on it running and most important stopping like new. Highly recommended.
    -David B.

  • I don't normally write reviews, but I felt I had to write one for this business. Overall, my experience there was a pleasure...from Karen, the receptionist to the owner who was always available to answer questions . My car had some A/C problems and was diagnosed and fixed and I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg. They have a new customer now...I will trust them to make repairs at a fair price...all they while being courteous and professional.
    -Andrea, Spring Hill

  • I recently moved to this area and was very pleased to find a place with such great service. Everything was fixed to perfection. I found the prices to be very fair. The staff was extremely courteous and helpful. A five star business in my opinion.
    -ll Revett - Spring Hill, FL

  • I kept hearing about Bayside Auto Works from 99.9 radio that I always listen to. I needed my car checked and an oil change. They were courteous, professional, even rotated my tires, replaced my lights in my tag that were our all for a very reasonable price. I will refer others to Bayside and be doing business with them from now on. You just don't find businesses and auto care services like this anymore. Thanks Bayside.
    -Meg, Spring Hill

  • Very impressed with how business is conducted here. I've been in Florida for 21 years and have had some bad experiences with auto repair shops but not this one. They earned my business in the future.
    -Briana, Hudson

  • I am happy with the work I had done on my car here (coil over/spacer install and alignment) and found their price very reasonable. Thanks guys!
    -Cory, Spring Hill

  • After recently realizing I spent the past few years being taken across town by a shady mechanic, I was happy to end up at Bayside. My car is used 95% for work so keeping it in top shape is very important to me. Greg and his staff were honest, prompt, and reasonable. I look forward to my next visit. I highly recommend!
    -Chris, Tarpon Springs

  • Everyone was pleasant and the mechanic didn't try to get me to approve work that wasn't necessary. I saved money
    -Jaclyn, Spring Hill

  • It is a pleasure to take your vehicle to a repair garage and know in some way shape or form your not going to be taken advantage of is a huge relief for a peace of mind. Thank you Greg and Bayside Auto works for providing me with professional service and a friendly atmosphere.
    -Bob, Spring Hill

  • It is a pleasure to take your vehicle to a repair garage and know in some way shape or form your not going to be taken advantage of is a huge relief for a peace of mind. Thank you Greg and Bayside Auto works for providing me with professional service and a friendly atmosphere.
    -Bob, Spring Hill

  • The problem with my car was diagnosed quickly and with accuracy. The repair was completed in a timely manner and the technicians solved the problem. I was very impressed that Greg remembered me from an earlier visit about two months ago. His ability to remember my name/auto indicates that he is on the ball! I will be a repeat customer.
    -Melissa, Spring Hill

  • The problem with my car was diagnosed quickly and with accuracy. The repair was completed in a timely manner and the technicians solved the problem. I was very impressed that Greg remembered me from an earlier visit about two months ago. His ability to remember my name/auto indicates that he is on the ball! I will be a repeat customer.
    -Mark, Spring Hill

  • Everything that was scheduled to be checked was done. I was surprised at how quickly It was completed. Everything was put back together properly and completely, with no resulting cleanup or fixes required. All-in-all, it was a good professional job.
    -Robert, Spring Hill

  • I have been in the Automotive field myself for over 32 years, And to find A business that looks after the customer as well as Graig, and Manny at Bayside is a true Blessing.. Ifinally have a place to take my Vehicle with NO worries. Thank you and your staff.
    -Jeff J, Spring Hill

  • The techs were quick and efficient in fixing the engine problem and had the car back to me within a matter of hours. Also, the repair cost was very reasonable.
    -Done, Spring Hill

  • Great job as always. Feel real confident and trusting when ever you check my vehicle, that you will be honest with me as to what needs to be done. So my car will be safe.
    -Joseph, Spring Hill

  • What I like most about bayside auto works is that you get that old fashioned feel where it truly is a small business catering to the community and most important of all they never try to upsell you! you go in for what you need and that's that!!
    -Pete, Spring Hill

  • One of the best automotive repair experiences I've ever had and I've been into cars since the 60s. Well worth the 30 min drive. Finally found a shop I can trust. Greg knows his cars... all cars, and has a strong desire to treat people right. He repaired my wife's Bimmer for much less than all the other quotes received from other german repair shops and he completed the job as quoted and faster than expected. Doesn't matter what you drive, if it needs attention, take it to Greg. I'd recommend anyone to Greg - their stress and anxiety about dealing with repair shops will cease to exist. I'm taking my Sonata to Bayside too.
    -Mark, Odessa

  • The best place on the planet to have anything done to any vehicle. Courteous, professional. And the price is right.
    -Troy, Spring Hill

  • am very pleased with the work your mechanics have done. It is nice to know that there is an automotive shop that cares about its customers, and not out to gouge us. I will definitely recommend you to anyone that asks for a reputable shop. Thank you, and have a prosperous new year.
    -Jeff, Spring Hill

  • Excellent customer service! Fair price and quick efficient work!
    -Rachel, Tarpon Springs

  • Wow! The service that I receive at Bayside is the best I have ever received at an auto service center. From the complete service breakdown to the final bill . I always feel totally comfortable in their friendly environment. Thanks Greg
    -Chris Hudson