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.
Larry is the most honest,trustworthy, knowledge mechanic in Tucson and is always fair on price! If you've been looking for a mechanic give him a try you won't be disappointed!!!!
Very good shop. Nice people. And they do good work FAST, even though they were super busy they got me in and out of there. Larry's shop, Halls automotive, is hidden away in the cut but I would definitely use this shop again. I recommend that my people with car trouble now or in the future check them out.
At Halls Automotive you can trust not only the quality parts, but also the prompt service they give. My family as well as myself have trusted Halls with Our vehicles and Our lives for over 15 years. Julie, Larry's Daughter is very professional and will handle help you with most questions. Thanks, Larry, Julie, and Joe for all you do for Tucson!!!
I brought in my 2000 Volvo v40 and they knew exactly what to do with it. They fixed it up in no time and it was excellent customer service and kept me updated. Highly recommend this shop they did a fantastic job at fixing my problems on the car!!!
I've taken my truck to them a couple of times now and have had a really good experience. They're very responsible with the price, they have many years of experience and are very professional. I will be a lifetime customer.
WOW. MY TRUCK RUNS SO WELL! The service was excellent! I was preparing my truck for my 16 year old and wanted her to drive a problem free vehicle. I was lazy and didn't maintain my truck very well. Hall's Automotive did so good at fixing it up that I have them do all my work now. You will get a fair price. You won't be sorry.
Where to start, I came to Larry with a nightmare of a project. I need a complete engine rebuild, clutch, steering rack, transfer case, rotors, brakes pretty much if was on the car it needed to be replaced. The car had sat for two years and basically was a shell of broken dreams. Larry and his incredibly friendly and efficient staff too the project and quoted me a time and date sure enough they delivered. This job was not for the feint-of-heart. Hall's Automotive definitely made a life time customer and will have my business from now on. I HIGHLY recommend this shop from projects large to small.
Honest, kind mechanic. Trustworthy and decent with appropriate prices. Not the cheapest but someone you can use again and again.
I definitely recommend this shop. Great service! I was able to get an appointment right away, they fixed my car in one day, and with a great price.
I was referred to Larry by the shop (BrakeMax on Pantano) that I take my mid 60's Corvette to for oil changes. I needed help with tune-up and minor repair work. Finding a auto repair shop that works on old cars isn't easy. Larry took care of all the issues the old car had, as well as giving the old car a mechanical look over. I highly recommend Hall's Auto for your car needs.
I would recommend Halls automotive to everyone. Larry did such an amazing job fixing the engine of my truck and at such a reasonable price too. I only go to Halls, even for simple maintenance checkups.
While passing through Tucson, my car (a 2003 Crown Vic) began making a horrible noise that made me halt my trip home to the Northwest in fear of breaking down in the desert. After explaining all that, Larry agreed to see me as soon as I came in. We hopped in the car and he diagnosed the issue immediately and had me ready to go promptly. I didn't actually need a repair (non-essential ac component I didn't care about in my hurried trip home) and he let me go FOR FREE with peace of mind after explaining everything in great detail. I suppose my only complaint is that I can't find such an honest mechanic in Oregon. I only hope that you, the review reader decide to trust halls with your repairs.
Was passing through Tuscon on way to San Diego and my axle bearing broke. I googled a mechanic near me. Called Halls automotive and Larry was able to provide a little bit of insight on what to do. He even suggest a tow company in which he trusts. The tow was very reasonable. Once the car got it into his shop he was able to take a look at it, give me an estimate and fixed within a day and a half. Larry even updated me on what exactly he was doing and why. One of his mechanics even gave me and my 3 year old a ride to the hotel. Larry didn't just "FIX" the broken part (which I think the last mechanic did) he brought parts in from different places and chose the best one for my dollar. After everything was fixed, Larry assured me i wouldn't have this problem again. I 100% trust he did a amazing job and in a reasonable amount of time also. Thank you Halls Automotive!