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.
Very fair prices, small business :)
I had a nail in my tire and they were closing in two minutes and I called there. They stayed open to serve me and they were very nice. Reasonable with their prices. Thanks Space Coast.
Great people and tires!
GREAT!!!! Took my wife's car here after the Cocoa Hyundai dealership could not figure out what was wrong with it. Explained the problem with the guy in the office named Frank. He immediately said it sounds like a wheel bearing. They took care of it the same day. I will take my cars here from now on. Frank was honest and the price of the repair was very fair. I will recommend them to everyone who lives in the Brevard area. This is not a "Jiffy Lube" shop. They know what they are doing.
My family has used Space Coast Tires for years. I went to see them and Frank and the staff took fantastic care of my car! I highly recommend them! It's easy to find that trustworthy mechanic that does fantastic work as long as you look in the right spot! Thanks.
Brakes, alignment, front ends and more. These guys are awesome.
Excellent excellent place to take your car.
This place is awesome. Called in for a quote on a set of tires. Exact $ amount quoted was the exact amount paid and beat all the big name chains. Seriously!!! Time estimate was right on time as well. They were busy as all get out and still impressed the hell out of me. I'm definitely taking my business here from now on.
I have been using Space Coast Tire to get my car serviced and repaired since moving to Florida in 2004. They do excellent work, their prices are fair and I highly recommend them.
Great, friendly people. Great prices, and in and out with no hassles. Thanks for saving my day!!!
Honest friendly staff that helped me out in a pinch. Recommended highly.
My family has been coming here since I was a youngster and am 32 years old now. This is the only place my wife and I bring our cars to. Frank has always been there as long as I can remember and one of the few honest mechanics you will ever meet. If your local and need work done I would highly recommend it.
This place offers actual honest mechanics that will help you. This type of caring behavior is becoming foreign to the world. I will continue to use this place for all my cars. They treat you right, work really efficiently, and correct the problem the right way. No half measures here. Also the owner is a really good guy, helped me out multiple times. The best part has to be their pricing, it's almost like a common sense approach was taken here. This place is a hidden gem. If you are looking for honest, quality work at an affordable rate there is no other place, simple.
This place offers actual honest mechanics that will help you.
They do excellent work, their prices are fair and I highly recommend them.
I've been coming here for years. The guys are top notch!!
Space Coast is the only shop I trust with my vehicles.
My truck looks amazing. Got four new tires. I'm hard to please but they knocked it out of the park. Great work guys!!!
These guys are great! Always very quick to get me taken care of and I have never heard a sales pitch. They explain what needs to be done in a way that I understand and lets me know if there is a safety issue. I have been coming here for 5 years, my dad comes here, and we recommend this place to everyone! Great job guys!!
Awesome I love this place. The guys are honest, concerned and so caring. I give a big ups to them!!! I have had several awesome experiences with this repair shop.