Updated: May 9
The warmer weather is on its way here in Albuquerque and if you're like us, you're excited to get back to lots of time spent in the great outdoors! But if your adventure machine has been sitting around during the colder months, you'll want to be sure to bring it by the shop for a little check up before you get it out there for your next adventure.
There are many things to consider when preparing for your next outdoor adventure including water, first aid kits and of course lots of snacks, but what about your vehicle? Is it up to the muddy tasks you're about to embark on?
Here are a few things the team at Reincarnation Inc. The Subaru Guys recommend before getting out there:
Tires, Tires, Tires
Tires are the number one reason for breakdowns and can bring your adventure to a grinding halt. Tire tread depth should be greater 3/32nds of an inch and Tire Inflation should be within specified range by manufacturer, as well the specification on the label of the vehicle itself. The age of tires can be determined from the DOT number on the Sidewall. Typically, a tire that is older than 5 years, should be considered for replacement. The dry, arid climate of the southwest can create premature cracking on the sidewalls. This is the weakest part of the tire and can be the cause of catastrophic failures. Also, have you checked your spare??
As an owner of any vehicle, but especially an Import Vehicle you plan on taking on the road, it is imperative to provide your car with numerous forms of Auto Maintenance, including Oil Changes. Keeping up with a schedule of Regular Maintenance for your Subaru, Volvo, Toyota or Honda by an ASE Certified Technician, ensures you don't end up stuck on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck or get blindsided by costly repairs. The maintenance service most frequently required by your car or truck is an Oil Change. Oil Changes are absolutely necessary for a healthy engine, as are all forms of scheduled Auto Maintenance.
We all love to use the Air conditioning in our Vehicle when the ambient temperatures are spiking, but don't always realize how hard other systems work to keep us cool. A partially charged system may produce some cool air, but can be very taxing on the components of the system. A typical overhaul of an air conditioner can be upwards of $2500, while an annual AC service may be less than a couple hundred. Vehicles older than 5 years should have the AC serviced every year. Also most modern Automatic Climate Control Systems are using the air conditioner blended with heat to achieve targeted vent temperatures. This means that the AC is even being used in the winter!
Wipers and Washer sprayers are not something we think about much until we really need them! Dried out wipers won't work very well in the monsoon rains. Windshield washers help clean off the bug guts of your windscreen, ensuring good visibility when traveling.
Cooling System failures are very common in the Summer months. Plastic tank radiators become brittle over time and can fail without warning. A severe overheat can compromise head gaskets and ruin aluminum engines rapidly. Typically ten years or 100,00 miles, is as long as you would want to run an original radiator, cap and hoses.
Battery and vehicle Charging systems do not like extreme temperatures. A simple inspections and load tests can save you money and time in the future. Lead/Acid batteries should be replaced at least every five years regardless of test results.
The Importance of General Maintenance
Over the years we have had many customers ask why they should spend money on recommended maintenance even though everything seems to be working fine now?
It reminds us of the old saying” If ain’t broke don’t fix it!” While this may have been true in the past, we believe that this is no longer the case.
Automotive technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. A modern automobile can have as many as twenty networked on-board computers. While these electronics make us safer and more comfortable, they still are controlling the mechanical functions of your car.
Dynamic stability traction control, Hybrid drive Systems and CVT Transmissions all rely on fluids for Cooling and Lubrication. Most of these systems lack any sort of filtration and need to be serviced more often not less.
Remember, manufacturers recommended maintenance is the absolute minimum amount a car should receive. Car manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, and Subaru would like to sell you a new car every 4 to 5 years if not sooner. The average age of a car on the road in the US is approximately 12 years old. The next time your car is in our shop for a complimentary multi point inspection, ask about recommended maintenance. A menu service or fluid exchange may help you avoid costly repair and towing bills in the future, as well as save you time.
Of course a little bit of uncertainty can make an adventure fun, but proper preparation before hand, including being up to date on the recommended maintenance needed for the age and milage of your vehicle, will help keep your time in the great outdoors safe and enjoyable and help you avoid costly repairs or long rides in a tow truck.
Our ASE certified team will help you understand special considerations for your Adventure Machine, such as driving on dirt roads and towing, and help you schedule a reservation for a Digital Inspection.
No matter what your plans are this spring and summer, be sure to give the award winning team at Reincarnation Inc. a call to plan how you can travel safely on the road for wherever your next adventure takes you.
The Subaru Guys
The Subaru Guys
1300 2nd St. NW
Albuquerque NM 87102