Recommended Maintenance for a Car That Has Not Been Driven in a While

Whether you have been away for business or finally decided to take that old classic out of storage, a vehicle that has been parked for a long period of time will require some specialized auto care. Continue below to learn the recommended maintenance for a car that has not been driven in a while, plus which auto repair shop in Indianapolis to trust for superior service at neighborhood prices.

Automotive Service Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Automotive Service Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

Automotive Maintenance Tips for a Sitting Car

Hopefully you implemented some preventative maintenance to your vehicle before it took its long hiatus. But even if you didn’t, do not worry. There is still a chance that the right maintenance approach will get your ride operating safely and efficiently. Here are the top areas to focus on when planning to get your long-sitting car back in operation and out there on the open road once again:

Fluids

Did the tank have gas in it? If so, be sure to drain it and fill it up with some new stuff. Gasoline does expire. You want to also flush and refill all other vital automotive fluids, like brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, battery fluid, windshield wiper cleaner, and of course, motor oil. Unless you have keen mechanic skills, it is not recommended to do this yourself. Trust a licensed Indianapolis auto shop to service your car professionally.

Battery

Your battery needs more than just fluid to operate. It also need charge. Overtime, batteries drain of charge, and in lengthier stints of non-operation, will drain beyond the point of a jumpstart. In most cases of a long-sitting car, the battery will need to be replaced with a new one. Fortunately, car batteries are not expensive, plus you can change it yourself!

Tires

Not only do tires lose air pressure during long periods of non-use, but they also develop flat spots. These flat areas develop at the bottom of the tire and cause permanent shape change, so the tire can no longer be round. We need well-rounded and balanced tires for smooth and efficient operation, so in this case, it would be necessary to replace any damaged tires.

Extended Periods of Non-Use

Vehicles that have been sitting for a really long time are likely to incur some additional automotive damages, like rust formation, belt and hose deterioration, and even pest infestations. If your car has sat without being driven for a very long time, perhaps over a year or more, you should have it inspected by a licensed mechanic for dried out rubber belts and hoses, plus any potential wildlife damages like chewed electrical wiring or insulation. You can treat rust yourself to a certain extent using store-bought rust removal cleaners and kits.

Are you ready to schedule professional automotive maintenance appointment with a trusted Indy mechanic? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for ASE licensed and trained factory scheduled maintenance and car inspections in Indianapolis, Indiana. We work on all make and model vehicles!

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Can You Put Diesel in a Car That Uses Unleaded Gasoline?

Gas prices; am I right? Good thing we don’t live in Oregon, where gasoline prices have skyrocketed to a breath-taking $9 per gallon. But still, the price for fuel right now is astronomical, so it is no surprise that so many drivers are looking for alternatives to spending their paychecks on their gas tanks. Aside from better car care and driving habits, there really isn’t much we can do to avoid paying for the fuel we need. This realization has often inspired drivers to explore the benefits of switching to diesel fuel.

But can you put diesel in a car that takes unleaded gasoline? If so, will it improve fuel functionality? If not, what would happen if you did anyway? Continue below to learn the difference between gasoline and diesel, plus whether you can use them interchangeably in vehicles.

Fuel System Repair Indianapolis Indiana  317-475-1846
Fuel System Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

Using Diesel in Lieu of Gasoline is Probably Not Possible

How old is your vehicle? Was it manufactured within the last twenty-five years or so? If yes, then a diesel fuel nozzle won’t even fit inside of your gas tank opening. Diesel fuel nozzles are differently-sized compared to standard unleaded gasoline nozzles at the local gas station, plus there is a special plate fitted under the gas cap on designated unleaded vehicles, making the insertion impossible. Sure, you could use your own fuel container and nozzle, or maybe your car’s older than twenty-five years old and without the hidden gas cap plate. Motorcycles don’t have the hidden gas plate either. But that’s not the end of the story. There are more reasons why you can’t put diesel into a vehicle that takes unleaded gasoline.

The Difference Between Diesel and Gasoline

So, what would happen if you put diesel fuel into a car that uses standard unleaded gasoline? To better understand what would happen and why, let’s explore the differences between diesel and gasoline. Compared to unleaded gasoline, diesel fuel is heavier. One gallon of diesel is a pound heavier than one gallon of gasoline.

Diesel fuel is also oily, and science tells us that oil doesn’t evaporate in the normal sense. The same can be said about diesel. Furthermore, diesel smells completely different than unleaded gasoline. So, when taking into consideration all of these differences, you can rationally come to the conclusion that nothing good would come of you swapping out your unleaded gasoline with diesel. In fact, you can expect your car to not start.

Why You Unleaded Gas Car Won’t Start if You Give it Diesel Fuel

You see, cars that are designed to use unleaded gasoline are equipped with a fuel injection system that uses fuel injectors to shoot gasoline into the cylinders of the engine. Once there, the fuel is ignited by the spark plugs, which then turns the engine over. But if you were to use diesel fuel in place of gasoline, the fuel injectors would transport the diesel into the engine cylinders, the spark plugs won’t be able to ignite the fuel. So, your car won’t start. Now, will it do any damage to your vehicle? That’s a whole other topic.

Will Diesel Damage an Unleaded Gas Engine?

Well, we know that an unleaded gasoline vehicle will not start if you give it diesel fuel, but we haven’t talked about whether it does any damage or not. Well, thankfully, no, there shouldn’t be any damage to your engine or any other system within the vehicle if you put diesel fuel in your unleaded gas engine car. However, you will need to drain the fuel tank and refill it with the proper fuel. This can be a really tedious process and should only be done if you are familiar with routine automotive work like oil changes and filter replacements. Otherwise, take your car into a local Indianapolis automotive repair shop for license car maintenance and repair services.

Does your car or truck need some fuel filter or fluid change service? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional car maintenance in Indianapolis, Indiana at a price you can afford. We work on all make and model vehicles, providing everything from oil changes to major engine work.

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What You Need to Know About Car Repair Insurance

All vehicle owners in the state of Indiana are required to have limited liability insurance coverage on their vehicles. But this type of insurance coverage does not cover automotive repairs and car maintenance services, nor offer extended warranties. If you want to be covered in the case that your car breaks down or requires a major repair, you’ll need to seek out an additional policy separate from your standard auto insurance.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about car insurance coverage so that you can make the best decision for your automotive protection interests.

Cheap Auto Repair  Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Affordable Auto Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

Auto Repair Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage for auto repairs and car maintenance is not included in your standard car insurance policy. Some insurance policies do include coverage for auto body work in the case of an accident or collision, but not limited liability policies. If you have the state minimum insurance coverage, you are not covered for auto body work for your own vehicle, but any other vehicles affected in the collision will be covered under your policy, but only to a certain damage cap.

To be covered under an insurance policy for auto repairs and warranty protection, you will need to either add to your current car insurance policy or seek out a separate policy, either with your same insurance company or a different one. Insurance coverage for automotive repairs is typically pricey. For this reason, it is encouraged to call around to multiple insurance carriers to compare rates and get the best deal. Your current automotive insurance carrier may not provide the best deal for auto repair insurance coverage.

Additional Considerations for Car Repair Insurance

When researching car repair insurance policies, you will find that there are different types of coverage. Different levels of coverage will render different policy prices. The more coverage, the higher the price of the policy, and vice versa. Car repair insurance policies are offered in partial or full coverage.

Another consideration is the deductible. Just like any other insurance policy, car repair insurance policies will come with deductible terms. Before being qualified for automotive repairs, you will be required to pay your policy deductible, upfront. This is something to think about since the deductible you choose will have an impact on the monthly cost of your policy.

Then there is the hassle of making an insurance claim. Everybody knows that the process of filing an insurance claim, whether for car repair or auto body work, is a complicated process, filled with all sorts of roadblocks. Ultimately, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible for every single claim, and their employees are specifically trained to lower the value of any claim that comes through their office. This is something to think about when deciding if car repair insurance is something that is compatible with your budget and overall automotive protection needs.

Are you looking for a reliable Indianapolis auto repair shop that won’t charge you an arm and a leg for car repair or maintenance? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional automotive service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Request a free estimate, or schedule service, today.

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These 6 Car Malfunctions Point to the Alternator

There usually isn’t a lot of talk about alternators when it comes to automotive maintenance and repair. Yet, you simply cannot operate your vehicle without a properly functioning alternator. But how do you know if your alternator is having problems? There are certain signs to look for; 6 car malfunctions, specifically.

If your car or truck is showing one or more of these malfunctions, it could indicate that your ride needs alternator repair.

Alternator Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Alternator Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

What Does an Alternator Do?

The alternator in your vehicle plays a vital role in its overall operation and performance. Basically, the alternator supplies your vehicle with electricity. This electricity is used to power all sorts of mechanical systems and electronics within your car, including the head and taillights, interior cabin lights, heating and cooling, onboard computer systems, GPS systems, stereo, radio, dashboard operating systems, and much more. Without a properly functioning alternator, you will start to notice problems with one or more of these systems within your vehicle. This is how you can look out for the signs of alternator problems.

Oftentimes, people confuse alternator problems with car battery problems because they both supply vehicles with power. However, the alternator is responsible for charging the car battery. So, if you are experiencing electricity-related problems in your vehicle, check your car battery first. If your car battery checks out, you can safely assume your alternator needs a turn in the repair shop.

Common Signs of a Malfunctioning Car Alternator

➀ Electrical Problems

As mentioned, if you start to notice problems with any of the electrical or computerized systems within your vehicle, you might want to assume that it’s the alternator. But first, always check on the car battery to be sure.

➁ Dead Battery

If your car battery checks out in the moment, but then later fails on you, and then continues to do this over and over again, your alternator could be the underlying culprit. If you find that your jump starting your car on a regular basis or your car keeps dying while out on the road, you may need to replace alternator.

➂ Dimming Lights

Because alternators supply vehicles with a source of power, one of the first indications of alternator malfunction is dimming lights. Headlights, taillights, and interior cabin lights can appear dimmer or weak, and may even flicker. If you notice this in your vehicle, it is important to have your car battery and alternator checked out right away.

➃ Strange Noises

A common problem with alternators actually stems from a loose serpentine belt. If the serpentine belt is stretched out, which commonly happens with age, it can lose its ability to spin the alternator pulley effectively.

If you hear squealing sounds coming from your car when you started it, it could be an indication that your serpentine belt is defective and has alternator to lose charge. If you hear grinding sounds or growling noises, it can be an indication that your internal bearings have corroded or deteriorated.

➄ Illuminated Warning Lights on the Dash

If you see any warning lights on your dashboard light up, such as your “ALT” light, battery light, or your Check Engine Light, you might want to take a look at the alternator. This is especially true if you get both the battery light and the check engine light on at the same time. If you just get the car battery light, check your battery to see if it still has charge. If it is not your car battery, take it into the shop to have alternator checked out.

➅ Engine Stalling

If your engine is repeatedly stalling when you start or drive your vehicle, it is a telltale indication of an alternator malfunction. The fuel injectors are simply not getting the power they need to fuel the engine and keep it going. This situation typically leads back to the alternator.

Are you looking for a trusted Indy auto shop that can repair your alternator at a price you can afford? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for engine repair and scheduled car maintenance in Indianapolis, Indiana you can afford. We also offer auto service coupons and discounts!

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Top 3 Ways to Improve Your Car’s Fuel Functionality

Fuel is not cheap, no matter how you use it or what you use it for. Right now, gasoline prices are soaring strong with no indication of coming down any time soon. So, there is no better time than right now to improve your vehicle’s fuel functionality. Not only will improved fuel efficiency and reduced consumption support a smoother, better-performing vehicle, but it will also save you loads on gas costs.

Continue below to learn the top 3 ways you can improve your car’s fuel functionality.

Indianapolis Indiana Car Maintenance 317-475-1846
Indianapolis Indiana Car Maintenance 317-475-1846

The Importance of Fuel Conservation

Fuel conservation efforts contribute to a lot more than just the weight of your wallet. It is important for our planet to conserve our natural resources as much as possible, because once they are gone, they are gone forever. Conserving your fuel will help support this critical cause, plus it will improve your vehicle’s performance and save you a lot of money.

Tuning your vehicle is the best approach toward achieving optimal fuel functionality. The top three ways to do this are to have your car professionally serviced by an Indianapolis automotive mechanic on a routine basis, take good care of your tires, and reduce the weight of the vehicle.

Routine Car Maintenance

At the auto shop, your trusted mechanic will provide all of the factory scheduled maintenance your vehicle requires as recommended by the automaker. As for fuel functionality, the mechanics will replace the air filters, change the oil, and check the tires for proper inflation and alignment. If necessary, they might install new spark plugs, implement an engine flush, or incorporate fuel additives.

Tire Care

It is important to check your tires regularly for proper inflation. Low tire pressure can cause your vehicle to use more fuel than it needs, thus wasting your gas and your hard earned money. If you notice that you are filling up more often than usual, start with a tire inspection. It is also important to have your tires rotated and balanced on a routine schedule, and to replace them when the tread is running low. Low tire tread can also account for poor fuel efficiency.

Car Clutter Management  

Do you have a lot of clutter in your car? The heavier your vehicle weighs, the more gasoline it uses to operate. Try taking as much stuff out of your trunk and interior cabin as possible to reduce the workload of the engine. Things like bike racks, clothing, boxes, packages, golf clubs, hunting gear, fitness gear, and even a spare tire are items to consider removing.

Are you looking for a trusted car mechanic for routine car maintenance in the Indy area? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional, ASE-licensed car maintenance and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Check out our auto shop coupons, too!

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How to Use Engine Braking to Extend the Life of Car Brakes

If you haven’t heard of a car care strategy known as engine braking, you will be glad you came across this blog. Extending the components and systems within your vehicle ultimately extends its life. And engine braking will contribute to this objective. Continue below to learn what engine braking is, why it is beneficial, and most importantly, how to do it!

Car Brake Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Car Brake Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

Engine Braking Basics

How do you reduce your speed when driving? You use the brake pedal, of course! Pressing on the brake is the go-to instinct of all drivers who want to slow their vehicles down or come to a stop. But did you know that routinely pressing the brake can impact your car’s performance and safety? Fortunately, there is more than one way to brake. Enter engine braking.

Engine braking is a driving technique that slows your car down by simply releasing your foot from the brake pedal, then shifting the gears down, one by one. This can be done in both manual and automatic transmission vehicles.

In a manual transmission vehicle, after you take your foot off the brake, keep it off, and then shift down through each gear until it is time to stop completely or gas back up. In automatic vehicles, release your foot from the pedal, then let the car slow down on its own. It is not recommended to use engine braking too often in automatic transmission vehicles.

Benefits of Engine Braking

Engine braking is an easy-to-do driving strategy that can extend the life of your car brakes and improve your vehicle’s overall efficiency. How does it work? In plain language, engine braking limits the amount of airflow sent to the engine, which causes the engine to decrease the speed of the wheel revolutions. There are many more benefits of engine braking. It reduces the rate of wear and tear on your car’s braking system and engine, especially in the case of long descents down steep roads or hills. Engine braking also increases your fuel economy, giving you better gas mileage. And, although not entirely true for automatic vehicles, engine braking is not harmful to your manual transmission so long as you do not let the RPMs go close to or above the red line on the dashboard gauge.

How to Engine Brake Safely

Engine braking is more than just taking your foot off the brake pedal and down shifting through each gear. There are some other good driving practices you must follow to protect your engine and transmission.

First, never shift down to a low gear when you are still driving fast. High speeds are not conducive to safe engine braking at low gears.

Also, it is very important to go through each gear. Avoid skipping a gear, as this can put a lot of strain on your transmission and engine.

Last, engine braking is a great driving tool, but not one to be overused. Too much engine braking can have adverse effects on your car.

Are you looking for professional car brake repair or maintenance in Indy? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional, ASE-licensed car brake repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Check out our auto shop coupons, too!

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How to Tell if Your Car Needs Fuel Induction Service

Your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is important, not only to your bank account, but also to your driving safety and performance. One such car maintenance strategy that helps prevent poor fuel economy is fuel induction. If you have noticed that your car is using up more gasoline than normal, or your car engine is losing performance value, you might benefit from fuel induction service.

Continue reading to learn what fuel induction service entails, plus how to spot the signs that suggest your car is in need of it soon.

Fuel Injection Cleaning Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Fuel Injection Cleaning Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

Fuel Induction Services

If your car is experiencing subpar fuel efficiency or engine operation, the fuel system is the first place you should be concerned about. Generally, a quick fuel induction service is the common, go-to maintenance to rule out more serious automotive problems. If your fuel economy issues or engine performance problems persist after a fuel induction, then your mechanic will have to look further.

What is fuel induction? Let’s first review the journey of your car’s fuel. When you engage the gas pedal, fuel from your gas tank is sent to the fuel pump, down the fuel lines, through the fuel filter, and into the fuel injection system. From there, the fuel injection system sprays fuel into the engine combustion chambers, where it meets air let in from the air filter. The air-fuel mixture is then ignited by the spark plugs, which starts your engine.

Also referred to as fuel injection or fuel system cleaning, fuel induction is a routine car maintenance service that eliminates the harmful carbon deposits produced by impurities in gasoline and fuel additives. These deposits can clog the fuel injectors and fuel lines, which can reduce the flow rate of fuel, or even block it altogether in serious cases, thus leading to engine performance issues and poor gas mileage. This service is suitable for both return and returnless fuel systems.

Signs That Suggest You Need Fuel Injection Cleaning

Refer to your owners’ manual for manufacturer recommendations on how often you should take your car in for fuel injection cleaning services. Between scheduled maintenance, you may notice signs that suggest your car needs fuel induction cleaning sooner than later. Here are some common signs to look out for:

⛽ Poor Gas Mileage
⛽ Filling Up the Tank More Often
⛽ Slowed Acceleration
⛽ Engine Knocking or Banging
⛽ Bumpy Idling
⛽ Losing Power While Driving

Fuel Induction Versus Fuel System Cleaner

You might think you can save time and money by purchasing some over-the-counter fuel system cleaning solution. Although such products are relatively inexpensive, they may not be the best solution for your automotive fuel system inadequacies or performance issues. Fuel induction services range in price depending on a variety of factors, namely the make and model of your vehicle, usually starting out around $150 or so.

A bottle of fuel system cleaner will run you around $35 or $40. Sure, the math says you can save a lot of money by choosing the DIY route, but professional fuel induction service is the better and smarter investment, especially for cars in serious condition. The money you save in the long run on fuel and auto repairs will surpass the cost savings you get from going the over-the-counter route.

Are you in need of a vehicle inspection or fuel injection cleaning? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional fuel system service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also offer a generous selection of automotive service and repair coupons, discounts, and deals!

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Automotive Maintenance 101 for Trucks

Maintenance services are intended to keep a vehicle’s motor in optimal condition and prevent future costly breakdowns and repairs. They are quite necessary, whether you have a car or a truck. If you are new to owning both a car and a truck, you will start to notice a slight difference in their maintenance needs. A truck’s maintenance schedule and requirements differ from that of a standard two or four-door vehicle. But overall, both types of vehicles require pretty much the same services.

The owners’ manual gives detailed instructions regarding your make and model’s factory scheduled maintenance needs and agenda. If you do not have this manual for your vehicle, you can most likely download a copy online, or consult an auto mechanic for professional advice.

Continue reading to learn the recommended car maintenance schedule for trucks, plus where to get dealership-level auto repair and service at a fraction of the cost in Indianapolis.

Truck Mechanic Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Truck Mechanic Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

The Fundamentals of Routine Truck Maintenance

Fluid Refills

All motor vehicles, whether truck, car, or SUV, requires a certain level and array of fluids to operate effectively and safely. These fluids include motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, windshield wiper solution, power steering fluid, and battery fluid. But cars and trucks are used for different purposes, and they drive differently. A car only holds up to five passengers and drives mostly on smooth roads; whereas a truck is likely to carry loads, haul items, and drive on rougher terrains. This type of driving causes the fluids to run hotter and get used up quicker. For this reason, trucks will require more frequent fluid changes than a standard car.

Lube and Oil

On the topic of fluids, trucks also require routine lubrication of their ball joints and U-joints. These areas also need to be inspected regularly for damages or defects. For manual trucks, it is important to also check on the clutch reservoir fluid to make sure it is at a good level.

Vehicles need air and oil filters to keep the motor clean of solid debris. Otherwise, the debris would enter the motor and grind between moving parts, causing engine damage. For trucks that are used in construction or other rugged outdoor sites, it is likely that the air and oil filters are accumulating more debris at a faster rate. This means trucks used under these conditions will require more frequent filter changes than cars.  Fortunately, filters are cheap and easy to change.

Tire Inflation

Lastly, trucks require more frequent tire inflation. Tire inflation is important, and necessary, for trucks because they carry cargo. Tires should be evenly and properly inflated to safely haul cargoes. If tires are not adequately inflated, tire blow outs can occur, causing truck accidents and collisions.

Are you looking for a skilled automotive mechanic who can get your truck in and out of the shop, fast? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional scheduled truck maintenance in Indianapolis, Indiana. Request a free estimate, or schedule service, today.

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Are Bigger Tires More Fuel Efficient?

With the ever-inflating gas prices today, anyone who has to drive a car is looking for ways to save on fuel. For many generations, it has been suggested that larger tires promote improved fuel efficiency; but is this true? Continue reading to learn the truth about the link between tires and gas mileage, plus what you can do to save a few bucks this year when fueling up Regardless of the size of your car tires.

Indianapolis Car Maintenance and Repair 317-475-1846
Indianapolis Car Maintenance and Repair 317-475-1846

Tire Diameter Can Affect Fuel Consumption

According to many professionals in the automotive manufacturing industry, tire diameter does have an effect on how a vehicle uses fuel. After all, any change in tire diameter will impact several factors of the vehicle’s performance, from braking and acceleration to traction control, maneuvering, and of course, fuel economy. In fact, it is suggested that a car can experience up to 25% loss or gain in terms of fuel economy depending on the type and condition of the tires.

Although there are several factors that can influence such fluctuations in fuel efficiency, these four factors seem to have the most impact:

► VEHICLE WEIGHT
► TORQUE CURVE
► GEARING
► AERODYNAMICS

Tire and Engine Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)

Industry experts also suggest that larger tires make more contact with the road per tire revolution. As a result of this increased contact, the car uses less gearing power in the engine runs at lower revolutions per minute. This promotes increased fuel economy because the car is using less gasoline to travel the same distance. Many drivers insist that taller tires can also promote better fuel efficiency due to improved wind resistance.

However, keep in mind that this notion of tire diameter and fuel economy coinciding with one another is not universal across the board with all make and model vehicles. It is important to consult with your trusted automotive mechanic in Indianapolis to ensure that your tires are in good condition and compatible with your driving objectives.

More Tips on How to Improve Gas Mileage:

► Stay current all factory scheduled car maintenance.
► Maintain proper tire inflation and tire pressure.
► Take heavy items out of your trunk or backseat.
► Avoid idling for extended periods of time.
► Practice smooth inpatient driving.
► Use the proper fluids and fuel for your make and model vehicle.
► Start a carpool club.
► Use public transportation more often.
► Repair any mechanical problems with your car right away.

Are you looking for a trusted mechanic in Indy who can help you tune up your car and save more on fuel? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional automotive service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Request a free estimate, or schedule service, today.

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Indianapolis Auto Mechanic
Indianapolis Auto Mechanics 317-475-1846

Check These Five Automotive Fluids Regularly

Winter is still going strong, but the time of year makes no difference when it comes to car maintenance. There are many tasks to stay on top of if you wish to keep your vehicle in optimal condition, year-round. Checking on your automotive fluid levels is one of these vital car maintenance priorities.

Continue reading to learn the 5 car fluids you should check on regularly, plus where to take your vehicle for dealership-level car maintenance at neighborhood prices in Indianapolis.

Auto Service Car Maintenance Indianapolis IN 317-475-1846
Auto Service Car Maintenance Indianapolis IN 317-475-1846

Important Car Fluids

The total number of fluids in a vehicle really depends on the type, make, and model. However, virtually all automobiles require 7 to 8 design-specific fluids for optimal performance and longevity. These include fluids for the engine, brakes, transmission, radiator, power steering, battery, differential, and windshield.

The most important automotive fluids you should be checking on a regular basis, especially during the winter and summer months when the temperatures are more extreme, include the motor oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. You can refer to your vehicle’s owners’ manual for instructions on how to check each automotive fluid level.

Motor Oil

Also referred to as engine oil, your motor oil levels matter every time you turn the ignition. Engine oil is designed to lubricate the internal engine structure, thus abating friction and heat generation, which can be damaging to the engine and other automotive parts. Check your motor oil levels biweekly or monthly, depending on how often and how far you drive. Always be sure to let your engine cool completely before pulling out the oil dipstick. Get your oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or according to your vehicle’s manufacturer’s instructions.

Radiator Fluid

Also called coolant or antifreeze, radiator fluid is responsible for regulating internal temperatures. It prevents a car engine from overheating. Coolant becomes contaminated with rust and other pollutants overtime, making it necessary to check and replace on a regular basis. Improper coolant levels or dirty radiator fluid can cause an engine to overheat, damage other internal engine components, and pose several safety risks to drivers and passengers of the vehicle.

Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission vehicles require transmission fluid to keep the gears shifting properly. Like motor oil is a lubricant for the engine, transmission fluid acts in a similar way for the gears. Check the transmission fluid as often as you check the motor oil. Not only should you have enough fluid, but it should also be clean. Transmission fluid does degrade over time, and as a result can change colors or appear dark and dirty. Dark or black transmission fluid is dirty and requires replacing should be replaced as soon as possible.

Brake Fluid

Your vehicle’s brakes are arguably one of most important safety components.  after all, they allow you to stop your 5,000 pound car when it’s moving at 60 miles an hour! Brake fluid is an essential automotive fluid because it supports the performance of your car’s braking system. If you’re brake fluid is low or poor in quality, it can affect how well your car responds to brake pressure. You should have your brake fluid checked on an annual basis, or more often if you’re experiencing any type of automotive leak.

Power Steering

Today, most vehicles are designed with power steering, and therefore, require power steering fluid. Without sufficient levels of clean, quality power steering fluid, the steering wheel will become more difficult to maneuver, and eventually will hardly be movable at all. Power steering fluid should be checked every year or two years, depending on how often you drive and the age of the vehicle.

TIPS FOR CHECKING AUTOMOTIVE FLUIDS:

↪ Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to check and replace the fluids in your vehicle.

↪ Aside from a transmission fluid check, your car should be turned off and the engine should be completely cooled down before you check any automotive fluid levels.

↪ Be sure your car is parked on an even and level surface for accurate readings.

↪ Choose top quality automotive fluids that are specifically designed for the intended application.

↪ Spotting a small puddle of liquid beneath or in front of your car can be an indication of an automotive leak. Have this inspected by a licensed mechanic as soon as possible.

↪ Never forget about refilling your windshield wiper fluid. It’s very frustrating to run out when you need it most! It can also prevent traffic accidents and roadside emergencies!

↪ Overall, you should check all automotive fluids at least every month to ensure that levels are adequate, and liquids are clean.

Are you looking for a professional auto shop to provide routine car maintenance for your vehicle in place? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for ASE licensed auto service and car maintenance in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ask us about our auto repair and service promotions!

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service
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