What to Address With Your Service Advisor

November 30, 2022

What Things Should You Ask Your Service Advisor to Check

By Kayla Lau – Auto Consultant

Auto House Tucson

Have you ever left the service department at a dealership and felt like your questions weren’t fully answered? We suggest creating a general car maintenance checklist to help fill in those gaps the next time you need to visit your local service center. Best practice is to always follow the service recommendations provided to you in the manual that comes with your vehicle from the OEM factory. Here’s a breakdown of major components that will require attention and the intervals in which to check them.


Service Right Away

  • When your check engine light comes on – This light can mean a plethora of different things, so it’s best to have a car maintenance shop narrow down what the specific issue is by running diagnostics
  • TPMS light is on – The tire pressure monitoring system alerts you of potential tire issues often before you notice them, especially with the changing of the seasons. Driving with incorrect pressure in your tires will result in decreased gas mileage and abnormal/unsafe handling 
  • Turn signal(s) flash twice the speed as normal – This is your vehicle hinting that one or more of your signaling lights are not working as expected which can cause  unnecessary confusion for other drivers around you
  • Headlight(s) are dim or completely out – For obvious reasons, headlamps should be replaced immediately when not working correctly (especially since it is illegal to drive any vehicle without both lights functioning properly 


Check Monthly

  • Coolant and oil levels – Check these fluids regularly and top them off especially before a long road trip, you’ll be thankful that you did
  • Tire pressure – Again, maintaining proper pressure at all times will ensure that you have piece of mind when encountering a variety of driving conditions. Expect to add more air when the seasons change and drastically drop the outside temperature
  • Windshield washer fluid – Many modern vehicles will now alert you when this level is low, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you have plenty to avoid any obstruction of view that could occur out on the road 


Check Quarterly

  • Belts, hoses & other rubber components – If any parts under the hood are cracked or glazed and not serviced right away, you can expect to have more costly repairs the longer you wait to address it
  • Battery components & wires – Electricity is an extremely important role in your vehicle’s every day operation. Any frayed, fried, melted or corroded electrical components can mean that the car’s electrical system is experiencing issues
  • Lubricants, oils & filters – Unless you drive an electric car, everybody that you know has to get their oil changed. The intervals in which to get that done can vary depending on the type of car you drive, anywhere between three to six months or 3,000 – 8,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • Wiper blades – Nothing like getting surprised in a downpour during monsoon season and realizing your wipers need replacement at the time that you need them the most
  • Power steering fluid – Nobody wants to turn their steering wheel without power steering assistance, trust us on this one


Check Twice a Year

  • Wax/ceramic coating – Keep your ride shining bright and protect that paint against the elements
  • Battery voltage – Many car repair questions are often times linked to something electrical and the best way to keep those questions from arising is to make sure that your battery is in good health
  • Exhaust components – If your vehicle is louder than what it used to sound like, especially if you haven’t installed an aftermarket system, chances are that you may have an exhaust leak which can cause an overall decrease in performance such as loss of power
  • Suspension – Another commonly overlooked area of many vehicles out there on the road which can be a safety hazard if left unmaintained
  • Tire rotation – Easiest way to remember to do this every time is right before or after an oil change


Check Annually

  • Brakes – Making sure that you are able to stop as quick as possible in an emergency situation is key
  • Air filter – A clean engine filter keeps your engine breathing clean air while a clean cabin filter keeps you and your passengers breathing fresh air as well
  • Shocks or struts – Depending on the type of car you own, these hard working parts eventually get worn out and need replacing. Making sure that they are in tip top shape can possibly save your life by helping to keep your car well planted on the pavement
  • Coolant and antifreeze – Just like the human body, your car gets thirsty as well and needs to be replenished to maintain proper engine operating temperatures


Check Every Other Year

  • Tires – Make sure your tires have enough tread left and no uneven wear is present
  • Transmission – Checking the fluid and replacing it when recommended can same you money in the long run
  • Battery – Most batteries need replacement every 3 to 5 years 
  • Differentials – Both front and rear differentials need periodic lubrication which assists in the optimization of torque that the engine delivers to move the car down the road
  • Timing belt or chain – If you have a timing belt, you will want to have it inspected every 50,000 to 75,000 miles. If you have a timing chain, no real maintenance is ever required
  • Transfer case – For vehicles with four-wheel-drive capabilities, it is important to check the fluids so that you always have the proper power shift from the transmission to your drive axles


Virtually any car maintenance shop will address your immediate concerns that you bring to your service advisor, but keeping a list like this in your back pocket will greatly increase the comprehensiveness of your next service experience. “What maintenance does my car need,” is a question that we hear often at Auto House and luckily for you, we can take care of all these needs plus so much more!


Click the link below to schedule your next service appointment.

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