Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair.
Just as you would your physician, tell where it hurts and how long it's been that way, but LET THE TECHNICIAN DIAGNOSE and recommend a remedy. Professional repair establishments have always recognized the importance of communications in automotive repairs. Once you are at the repair establishment, communicate your findings. Be prepared to describe the symptoms. Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the technician.
Batteries and alternators.
Cold weather increases the strain on the battery, ask yourself, is yours run down? A good battery will accept and hold a charge. A bad battery won't. Moving from the battery to the alternator, you should know the alternator is designed to maintain battery charge, not to recharge a dead battery. Overloading the charging system with a dead or significantly low battery can actually cause your alternator to fail from being overworked. The object of preventative maintenance is to identify and correct potential problems before they occur. Don't wait until it's the middle of a Colorado Winter to get caught in the cold!
Cold temperatures test your vehicle's performance and make maintenance even more critical. All your vehicles fluids should be inspected before the cold weather sets in. This includes brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. At Mancinelli's, all these fluids are inspected routinely when you bring your vehicle in for an oil service. Hot weather in the summer causes fluids to evaporate and break down which causes the fluid to lose its lubrication properties. Heat also causes hoses, seals, gaskets and other connections to leak. In addition, it's a good idea to have the coolant flushed with the proper coolant based on manufacturer's recommendation (see your owners manual). It is recommended that your coolant be flushed every two years (unless using an extended-life coolant in many newer vehicles) and fall is a great time to do it. Lastly, switching to a synthetic oil will help your vehicle operate more efficiently and will also make it easier to start in extremely cold weather.
Belts and hoses.
Belts, hoses, thermostats and clamps should be inspected for damage and wear as well as functionality. Replacing worn or damaged parts now before the cold weather comes will keep you on the road and out of the shop with these repairs which could lead to more costly repairs down the road. Also beware of the 'quickie' change shops and have your belts, hoses and filters inspected by a Mancinelli's ASE Certified Technician. We promise we won't try to replace something that doesn't need to be!
How often should you have your engine tune-up?
Follow your vehicle's manufacturers recommendation as noted in your owner's manual. As a general rule, HAVE YOUR ENFINE TUNED UP EVERY 30,000 MILES OR AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR.