Ask a hundred drivers about getting better performance from their vehicles, and you’ll likely hear a hundred different answers. That’s because better performance can mean many things.
For some, it might mean acceleration. They care about speed and power and focus on acceleration from a standstill to a certain speed, such as 0 to 60 miles per hour (mph).
For others, it might be about the maximum speed that your vehicle can reach. You can use a GPS device or a speedometer to track your vehicle’s speed as you accelerate on a straight, flat road.
Maybe it’s about fuel efficiency. You select a car based on fuel efficiency, getting the highest miles per gallon (mpg) possible. You can calculate your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by tracking the fuel you use over a certain distance and dividing that by the total distance traveled.
It can also be about handling and cornering. It’s the way your vehicle handles turns and corners, measured by evaluating the amount of body roll, tire grip, and steering response.
How auto repair affects performance
When you bring your vehicle in regularly for auto repair, it helps keep your ride in good working condition, and helps prevent expensive repairs down the road.
Cars are an incredible investment, with the average car now costing just over $48,000. Vehicle maintenance also requires an investment in time, energy, and money. If you schedule regular maintenance visits with a reputable auto repair shop, you’ll be able to avoid major repairs that can occur due to age and neglect. By following a schedule, you can catch minor problems before they become significant issues affecting your vehicle’s performance.
Regular maintenance helps to keep your vehicle’s systems running at peak efficiency. A well-maintained system means it keeps the engine running smoothly, which can improve your fuel efficiency. That’s even more important today, with the price of gas creeping up every week.
Performance is also about extending the life of your vehicle. Staying on top of maintenance items can help to prevent premature wear and tear on your vehicle’s systems, which can help your car last longer and perform better over time.
While you might not consider selling your car soon, regular maintenance will ensure top dollar and higher resale value. A well-maintained vehicle is generally worth more than one that has been neglected, so by keeping up with care, you can help to preserve your vehicle’s resale value.
Regular maintenance can also help to ensure your safety on the road. Imagine heading out on a dark night if you haven’t changed the motor oil in months. It’s gloppy, a thick mess. It can easily cause your engine to fail, leaving you stranded by the edge of the road. A poorly maintained vehicle will never fare well, putting your and your passengers’ safety at risk.
Signs your vehicle needs maintenance soon
Even a well-maintained car will occasionally encounter problems. The difference comes down to how fast the driver responds. If performance is important, you’ll schedule a visit to the auto repair shop as quickly as possible. If not, you might see how long it takes before a more serious problem arises. (Which driver are you?)
Awareness is key to improving performance and ensuring your vehicle stays operating well. There are several signs that a vehicle needs maintenance soon. Here’s what to look out for:
Warning lights – If the check engine light or any other warning lights on your dashboard come on, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your vehicle, and needs to be checked by a mechanic.
Strange noises – If you hear unusual sounds such as grinding, rattling, or squeaking when driving your vehicle, it could be a sign of an issue that needs to be addressed.
Changes in performance – If you notice reduced acceleration, difficulty starting, or decreased fuel efficiency, it could be a sign that maintenance is needed.
Vibrations – If you feel vibrations or shaking while driving, it could indicate an issue with your vehicle’s suspension or wheels.
Fluid leaks – Glance underneath your vehicle. If you notice any fluid leaks underneath your car, such as oil or coolant, it could be a sign of damage or wear and tear.
Worn tires – If your tires go flat, won’t hold pressure, look worn down, or have uneven wear, it could be a sign that your vehicle needs an alignment or tire rotation.
Unusual smells – Yes, that odor is trying to tell you something. If you smell something unusual coming from your vehicle, such as burning rubber or oil, it’s a sign of a problem.
Of course, these are just a few of the more common items you might notice. Paying attention will alert you to changes in your car’s behavior. Always err on the side of maintenance. A trusted mechanic can also be your guide, helping you stay on top of minor issues, fixing them before they escalate to bigger problems.
Need a service maintenance checklist?
Service intervals can vary by make or model. It’s best to sit down with your owner’s manual to understand better how your vehicle works.
You should always service immediately anything that impacts safety. If the check engine light appears, it’s a warning of a problem with the engine. Don’t panic; it’s designed to alert you early to give you enough time to get to safety and bring your car in for a diagnostics test. Don’t ignore it – fast action will ensure the lowest level of repair.
The tire pressure light is another dashboard icon you should always consider. Low tire pressure indicates your tire isn’t correctly filled. It will impact how you drive and may cause it to go flat or blow out.
Have a broken or faulty headlight or taillight? It’s another reason for quick action. This could put you at risk whenever you’re on the road.
Monthly checkups should include more safety tests. Test turn signals, brake and parking lights. If you’re heading out on a long trip, it’s time to test motor oil and top off if necessary. Refill the windshield washer reservoir to ensure you never face an obstructed view. It may be time for wheel balancing and alignment. This also allows a mechanic to look at the tire’s tread.
Quarterly checkups are good for motor oil and filter replacement. Most vehicles require new oil every 3,000 to 10,000 miles, or three to six months, whichever is greater. It’s also time to pop the hood and take a look underneath. Do those belts and hoses appear to be leaking fluid?
Twice a year, we suggest even more inspections. This is a great time to bring your vehicle in and have it serviced by a professional. This gives you a chance to learn the reputation of a local auto repair shop. It provides a mechanic with an opportunity to understand the car better. You can perform small maintenance items to ensure a well-functioning vehicle as you move into a new season.
Yearly and long-term checkups require a bit more servicing. Use your owner’s manual as guidance.
How can we help you create optimal performance for your vehicle?