car maintenance

New Year Maintenance Checklist

A new year can bring a fresh start, resolutions, and new goals. Whether you are going to eat healthier, save more money, or find more time for family, you have mapped out some sort of plan on how to do those things in 2020. Just as we want to take care of our bodies and maintain a healthy lifestyle, our vehicles need the same kind of attention. The start of a new year is the perfect time to review a maintenance checklist for your vehicle. A checklist will help you schedule maintenance throughout the year and budget for some of the pricier items your car or truck may need. Then you can stick to “being a better car owner” this year!

No Hassle Maintenance (3-6 months)

Car maintenance doesn’t mean you have to go to a mechanic. Some of these items are things you can do yourself and are hassle-free. Here are some maintenance items you should check every 3-6 months:

Ensure Your Horn Works: There are people that never use their horn and would never know it wasn’t working until they needed it. Honk your horn ever so often to ensure it works.

Check for Fluid Leaks: Simply checking your garage floor or driveway for fluid puddles or stains can indicate a fluid leak.

Check Headlights for Damage: Make sure both headlights are working properly and make sure there are no cracks or darkened areas.

Check Tire Pressure: Newer cars have tire pressure monitoring systems that will alert you if your tire pressure goes below the expected level. If you have an older car without a TPMS, you can check with a tire pressure gauge or stop by a gas station that has one. It’s a good idea to check your tire tread and sidewalls at the same time.

Windshield and Wipers: Examine your windshield for any cracks and replace your windshield wipers if needed. Your washer fluid will need to be topped off as well.

Check Coolant Level: Add more if necessary.

Oil & Filter Change: Changing your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles keeps your engine running smoothly.

Maintenance Matters (6-12 months)

Your owner’s manual can be a good guide to specific procedures and provide you with a vehicle repair list, but you’ll need to make sure to get these checked off your list every 6-12 months:

Brake Inspection: Don’t take chances with your brakes! Get them checked even if there aren’t any signs there’s something wrong.

Examine Your Spare Tire: Have you checked to see if you even have a spare tire? If you do, check the condition of the tire for any damage.

Check All Fluid Levels: This includes oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and power steering fluid.

Detail Your Vehicle: If you’re not in the habit of cleaning your car regularly than you’ll need a full detail (inside and out). This will help maintain the value of your car.

Polish Windshield and Headlights: You don’t realize how much dust and grime get layered onto your windshield and headlights. You’d be amazed at how this can reduce your visibility at night and in the rain.

Rotate Tires: You want to make sure your tires are wearing evenly to reduce damage and last longer.

AC Inspection: Don’t sweat it! Help keep your system running smoothly and operating efficiently.

Check It Off Your List

The experienced team at Godwin Motors has all the knowledge and the training that they need to operate on your vehicle and help you check these items off your list. We can do it all from oil changes, brakes and tires to transmission diagnosis. If you don’t know if it’s time for a bigger service item, like replacing an engine or timing belts or a tune-up, give us a call and we’ll be glad to let you know when to schedule that service. Head into the new year with a new appreciation for your vehicle!

2010 Chevy Camaro Exterior Passenger Side Rear Profile

Can I use my tax return refund for down payment on a car?

You’re probably aware that we’re currently smack dab in the middle of tax season. Thursday is the official cutoff for employers to get W2s to their employees, which means you could be filing your taxes as early as sometime this week – if you haven’t already, that is, some companies are good about getting these things out early. With that in mind, you might be thinking about what to use your possible tax return on, considering refunds have averaged nearly $3,000 in recent years. Some people pay off debts, others take a vacation, but you can also utilize it to make a big purchase you’ve been considering, something like a down payment on a car, perhaps? Read the rest of this entry >>

Before Your Brakes Fail

Have you ever heard your car squeal like a pig? Did you think to get your brakes checked or figured it would just go away? Our vehicles make lots of different noises, but squealing, grinding, clicking, and pulsating are usually not a good sign. And those sounds tend to get worse the longer you ignore them. Listen to your car and check with an expert before your brakes fail.

Be a Good Listener

Don’t think that your antilock brake system (ABS) light has to come on for there to be a problem with your brakes. Yes, you definitely need to pay attention to that light since there might be a wiring or electrical problem, but there are other signs you need to be concerned about. Here are some sounds associated with brake failure:

 

  • Squealing  (might mean your brake pads are wearing thin)
  • Grinding  (could mean you’ve worn down to the rotors)
  • Clicking  (spring mechanism holding your brake pad down may be broken)
  • Pulsating  (could be a warped drum or rotor)

 

You should also be concerned if your vehicle seems to pull from one side to the other or drags a little more when hitting the gas. This could be a problem with your emergency brakes, alignment, or fluid leaking on the brake pads.

 

Avoid an Accident

The last thing you want to happen is to get in an accident due to failed brakes. Regular maintenance can help you avoid the nightmare of not being able to stop before it’s too late. Godwin Service, Godwin Motors’ in-house full-service center, can help you diagnose whether the sounds you are hearing are brake related or not. You can now get quotes for your auto repair anytime with OpenBay repair and maintenance estimator. Just enter in some quick information about your vehicle and receive a quote. Make an appointment at http://www.godwinmotors.com/schedule-car-maintenance-or-auto-repair-columbia-sc . We also offer a Winter Maintenance Package that includes checking your brake wear along with all the other maintenance you need during cold weather months. Take advantage of the discount at http://www.godwinmotors.com/car-coupons-columbia-sc .

Mechanic Changes Oil Under Hood

Where should I get my oil changed in Columbia SC?

Now that you’ve clicked into this blog and have subsequently realized that it’s posted on Godwin Motors’ website, you probably already know what our answer to the question up above is going to be. Where should you get your oil changed in Columbia SC? Godwin Motors, of course. But instead of just giving you our biased opinion, we thought we’d explain to you exactly why you should be getting your oil changed here in our service department. Read the rest of this entry >>