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.
Joe & all at OTA always do what is best for you and your car!!!!
Had a flat this morning! OTA had me back on the road quickly and for only $34.
Everyone here is extremely helpful. They do a great job, they call you to let you know how much it's going to cost before they start the work, and everyone is professional and courteous. I highly recommend this place always.
The crew at OTA have been servicing my 2002 Tacoma since the warranty expired 13 years ago, and they always do a professional job for a reasonable price. This time, I was due for an oil change, and since the truck is 16 years old, Jeff suggested I replace the timing belt even though I still have low miles on the truck. I got a thorough rebuild of the front of my engine including a new coolant pump, belts, and hoses. The price was less than I expected, and the truck runs great.
OTA has provided good customer service for us for several years, on several vehicles we owned. They never try to sell you anything unnecessary. The quality of the work is always the best.
OTA always gives me good service, great communication and fair pricing. They stand behind their work and do not "create" problems that are not really problems!!!!! This is the only independent shop I ever use.
Excellent place to take my car, am visiting from out of state. Thank you Joe and Jeff!
Had car dropped off during weekend when closed due to engine troubles. Returned call first thing Monday morning when they received envelope and key from drop off slot, explained when and what they were going to check. Returned call with diagnosis very quick. Thank you Jeff and Joe.
Would not take my car anywhere else. This group is A-one. I have never been disappointed.
They put rear brakes in my Lexus SUV. They are always professional and courteous. From Jeff and Joe along with the gentleman at the front desk. Outstanding effort for a very fair price.
They are outstanding. Every time I go there I don't have to worry about my cars. They're very reasonable, and I trust them.
Nice people who do really good work. The always take good care of us.
Lovely people who care about what your car needs to keep going and allow you & family to be safe on the road. Last oil change - they topped off the oil, cleaned windows, and vacuumed up foot areas. Coffee and free TV to watch while you are waiting.
Always receive outstanding service.
Always a good experience at OTA. They are efficient, friendly, and professional. I trust them for anything at all that my car needs.
Honest. Friendly. Knowledgeable. Fair rates. If you need a mechanic shop, then this is the place. They explain all their repairs and why you need them now or which can wait. They have always done right by me and my family, since we started going there almost 10 years ago.
Very good people. They really know how to take care of you and your car at a reasonable price.
Great people, great mechanics, great service. Very caring. Your car is in good hands.
Very professional. The people there are very nice and courteous, and the job is always done right. If you have to leave your car there, they'll give you a ride home and pick you up when it's done.
Great staff, knowledgeable mechanics and affordable prices. Great place to have your car serviced.
Good honest shop.
Always friendly, reliable and knowledgeable.
Got my motor vehicle inspection done here...have a beautiful car that I am very particular about...they did a magnificent job...quick turnaround...respectful...nice paved parking lot and well kept facility...made the experience painless and proficient...highly recommend for anyone who needs car care or inspection services.
Excellent customer service with honest work! Great shop and fair pricing. Don't trust your vehicle anywhere else!
You will get honest answers and excellent parts. Joe and the gang go above and beyond each and every time. I have used them for 9 years for every personal and business vehicle I own. I don't let anyone else touch my vehicles.
Great local company!
Best mechanics in the area. Friendly, reasonable prices. Would recommend them to anyone in the area.
They do great work.
OTA did a great job when I had a problem with a set of Goodyears I purchased 2 years ago. they stepped up and handled the problem and provided a loaner car for me. Not even a car dealer will do that! They are winners and know what customer care is about. Once again, good job.
Never ever a bad experience. Always answer the phone promptly, always explain EVERYTHING that needs to be done to your car with very reasonable pricing. The staff as a whole are trustworthy and experienced.
Was referred to OTA when my old mechanic retired. Very trustworthy, quick turnaround & loaner cars available.
I had my exhaust manifold done there, the price was reasonable, and they told me 2 days it would take. I had it back within 1 day, and my truck is not making the loud noise any more. The staff was excellent too. They even drove me home.
Very professional service at a great price. The mechanics are very knowledgeable and do a good job! Satisfied Customer 5 Stars!
Great location, great people, excellent service.
Great service and stellar customer service.
Friendly staff, fair pricing, felt like family.
OTA has been repairing my car since I moved to New Jersey some years ago, and I have never had an issue with my car after it was serviced by OTA. I trust them implicitly to do the necessary repairs that they recommend when I bring my car in for servicing. They often go above and beyond what is obvious and repair things I may not be aware of. I drive away from their facility knowing my car is in the best shape possible for safe driving. I am pleased to write this review to thank them for their honesty and expertise in auto repair.
Definitely the best automotive shop there is. Have been a customer for about 15 years and wouldn't go anywhere else. Even with the specials a new car dealer throws at us, we still would rather go to OTA. Highly knowledgeable, professional, quick with appointments and turn arounds. Staff treats customers like family.
Finally, a repair shop you can trust. I have an old Buick, went to ANOTHER PLACE and was told it would cost almost $2,000 needing a radiator, etc. A friend suggested I try OTA. Not only did I not need a radiator, but they fixed it for $213.00. Amazing! I'll never go anywhere else!!!
Someone recommended I go to OTA, and as soon as I got there, someone went for a ride in my truck, listened to the problem and got my truck in the same day to fix it. My truck is running great and problems are fixed!! Very happy with their services. Thank you guys!!
We moved here last year and have brought both cars to OTA for maintenance. Today we found ourselves at a deserted Gille Park, in the rain, with 2 kids, a dog and a big old dead battery. Joe from OTA ran up and gave us a jump, totally going out of his way to be friendly and helpful. Thank you, Joe and OTA. We will be in this week, and your customer service, helpfulness, and expertise have made us customers for life! Thank you!!!
Great people, great service, and they have been helping out my family for years.
If you take your vehicle to another service shop, you've made a mistake. Great people, fast service, and the prices are second to none.
Excellent customer service and reasonable prices! Thank You!
I was recommended by my best friend's girlfriend to go to OTA, because they are honest mechanics and will get the job done. And that's the truth. The top end of my engine had to be redone, and they fixed other little things with my car that I didn't even know about! They're really great people, and I will never take my car anywhere else!
I first went there because he did a favor for my daughter. He spent about an hour tracking a tire down at another center. He would not accept anything for his time. Jeff is now a friend and he cares.
Joe & all at OTA always do what is best for you and your car!!!!