VEHICLE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

May 3rd, 2021 by

Timely preventive maintenance is the key to reliability, performance and fuel economy with any make and model vehicle. Our certified technicians at Rhinelander Buick GMC and well-equipped service bays ensure we can provide the best in factory maintenance and repairs when needed.

When you follow a vehicle maintenance checklist and go through all of it about once per year, you generally will find your vehicle holds it value better while giving you the best service life. The following vehicle maintenance checklist will help you to keep your Buick, GMC or other make and model running its best.

Fluids and Filters
All engines need clean oil to lubricate the parts and reduce friction and engine heat. All vehicles should undergo an oil and oil filter change every six months – preferably in the spring and again in the fall to get your vehicle ready for seasonal travels. A clean air filter helps to send clean air to the combustion chamber for better performance, fuel economy and emissions control.
Occasional replacement of the cabin air filter prevents foul odors while ensuring good flow of hot or cold air as needed. And fuel filter check and change will help to keep the gasoline flowing to the engine without causing it to stumble, stutter or stall while you are driving.

Belts and Hoses
The rubber belts and hoses under the hood endure extreme temperature changes and can wear out in a couple of years. A bad belt can break and require a tow to our repair facility for a new one. Bad hoses that become dry and brittle can cause a coolant leak, gas leak or oil leak that might reck your engine. A regular check of the serpentine belt, alternator belt, radiator hoses and other rubber parts can prevent mechanical mishaps.

Coolant Flush and Fill
Wisconsin winters require good antifreeze so you can start up every morning, and summertime highs could cause bad coolant to boil over. A coolant check and topping it off during spring and fall maintenance will help to protect your engine against overheating. A flush and fill done about every two years will keep the protection at its best during hot or cold travels.

Battery and Charging System
Any experienced Wisconsin driver knows that first sub-freezing night every fall causes weak car batteries to die. A bad alternator belt or a worn out alternator also causes problems that preventive maintenance can stop from happening. A quick check to ensure your car’s battery takes and holds a full charge, has good cables and a solid connection to the starter and alternator will prevent sudden dead batteries. We also make sure the alternator generates the correct amount of power to keep your vehicle running well and the battery charged on short or long trips.

Spark Plugs and Wires
Regular tune-up services, like new spark plugs and wires, help your vehicle to deliver the best power and fuel economy. They also help to reduce emissions and make your engine much more efficient. We check and replace bad plugs and wires and ensure the distributor and the ignition all work correctly. That will help to keep your travel costs as low as possible with better fuel economy and a reliably running engine.

Brake System Check
You need good brakes for safe travels and secure stops. At least once per year, our technicians can check your brake pads, rotors and calipers to ensure they all are within specs and giving you full stopping power. If your brake pedal feels like a sponge when you stop, a bad master cylinder might be the problem. A full brake system inspection, including a brake fluid exchange and bleeding as needed, will make sure all four wheels have the best possible stopping power for further safe travels.

Tire Inspections and Rotation
Snow tires are the best tires for driving through snowy Wisconsin winters. If you run all-season radials all year long, you are getting less than ideal traction when the snow is blowing. Snow tires are narrower and a bit taller than all-season tires. Snow tires also have a more aggressive tread pattern that digs into snow and slush and flings it out of the way. When the spring thaw arrives, your all-season radials are the best for summertime travels and handling rainy weather.

Exhaust Check and Smog Certification
Snowy roads often cause rusty mufflers that can lead to noise violations and failed smog checks. An annual exhaust check will make sure your vehicle has a perfect exhaust system that properly handles emissions and keeps them at acceptably safe levels. That will help you to pass an annual smog check if you live where one is required to renew your registration.

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