Category Archives: Preventive Maintenance

Maintenance Mistakes that Can Shorten Your Car’s Lifespan

broken carA car, like most of the things in our possession, will live longer and operate better if properly maintained. And new cars need maintenance just as much as the older vehicles – that’s how you keep them running like new longer!

At Ormsby Auto, we have repaired numerous cars with problems that could have been prevented by maintenance.

Here are a few examples of how timely maintenance could have prevented the damage:

-   Permanently worn tires due to the skipped tire rotation

-    Worn out engine due to the skipped oil changes or reused oil filter

-    Premature tire failure due to the skewed inflation balance

-    Fuel pump failure caused by overused fuel filters

To help you take care of your car, we’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes car owners make when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

Neglect

Whether you do it consciously or unconsciously, neglecting the maintenance is the first step to expensive car repairs in the future. If you bought a new vehicle, you have an opportunity to start off the ownership on the right foot. Read the owner’s manual and mark all the maintenance steps, such as oil changes, tire inspection and rotation, car fluids check, etc., on your calendar. Some of them depend on the miles driven rather than the age of your vehicle, so a mobile app with reminders might be better for this purpose. Here is a selection of car maintenance apps for your device.

If you own a used vehicle, it’s never too late to start keeping up with maintenance, even if the previous owner neglected it. Some other things you should keep in mind in regards to maintenance:

-    Never ignore “check engine” light and other warning signals that light up on your dashboard. Driving with these lights on can cause irreparable damage to your car.

-    Don’t just focus on one thing. Yes, oil changes are important, but so is timely windshield wiper replacement and tire inflation.

No financial backup

Remember this: maintenance is not free. Your expenses may range for a few dollars for a new air filter to a few hundred for a set of new tires. And if you’ve been ignoring maintenance, expect to pay even more for repairs. It’s a good idea to put away money for expected maintenance costs, as well as for emergency repairs. If you continue driving a car that exhibits signs of trouble, expect to pay even more at the end – we’ve seen this happen a lot at our Rockville auto repair shop.

Inexperienced DIY

With the right knowledge and equipment, some of the simple car maintenance, such as oil change, wiper replacement and even tire replacement, can be performed in your own garage. However, more often than not, you should take your car to a shop to get it serviced by professionals. Your attempt to save money by doing DIY maintenance may lead to even higher repair bill at the end. Modern cars are extremely complex and it’s easy to do something wrong, for example:

-    Using wrong, uncalibrated tools to disassemble the parts

-    Using replacements parts that are not OME or are not for your specific car model

-    Performing unnecessary actions

As you can see, a car owner can often become his own enemy by skipping maintenance altogether or resorting to DIY measures. Our Rockville auto repair shop is open for anyone who needs help maintaining their vehicles or repairing the damage. From talking to our customers, we’ve found out that the lack of finances and a busy schedule are the two most common reasons why people ignore car maintenance. At Ormsby Auto, we encourage you to find the time and start saving up money to prolong your vehicle’s lifespan.

4 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Car

car washThe spring is quite chilly this year in Maryland, but hopefully it will get warmer soon – warm enough for you to get dressed in shorts and t-shirt and give your car a thorough spring cleaning. If it’s not on your to-do list, make sure you add it, because at Ormsby Auto we know that cleaning your car won’t just make it look nicer, but may also help increase fuel efficiency and overall performance.

1)  Start by removing everything that doesn’t belong in the car

This includes obvious trash, items of clothing, books, beach chairs that have been sitting in your trunk since the last trip – well, you get the idea.  If it’s in your car and you haven’t used it during the past week, it has to go.

Depending on how much extra stuff you have lying around in your vehicle, it could be weighing your car down enough to make it use more fuel, and that’s exactly what we are trying to avoid. Once all the big items are gone, search every compartment and crevice for small items, such as coins, wires, headphones, pens, etc. that got lost in the abyss.

Things that you plan on keeping in your car (GPS, ownership documents, mp3 players, CDs, glasses, and so on) should be temporarily taken out, so that they don’t get in the way of the cleanup that follows.

To go an extra mile – organize your trunk. Put loose items, such as ice scrapers, jumper cables and motor oil containers in a small box, so that they stop rolling around.

2)  Remove the dust

Once the interior is free of any kind of debris, you can start wiping the dust off of the surfaces and vacuuming floors and upholstery. Remove your floor mats and give them a thorough washing or vacuuming, depending on the material.

To go an extra mile – remove stains from the seats and floor mats with the help of water, brush, stain remover and wet vacuum. You can also polish the dashboard to restore its shine.

3)  Clean the windows

Use your favorite glass cleaner to clean your car’s mirrors and windows from both sides. Inspect glass surfaces to determine any chips, cracks or scratches. Don’t worry, you don’t have to replace the entire windshield – a spot repair should work, just call your local Rockville auto repair specialists to schedule an appointment.

To go an extra mile – replace your windshield wipers if you haven’t done this in a long time, and especially if you notice that they scratch your windshield.

4)  Wash the outside of the car

You can certainly opt to take your car to a car wash, but a bucket of soapy water, a soft sponge and some elbow grease can work just as good. Don’t forget the wheels – power-wash them to remove dirt and salt hiding in the wheel wells and other crevices.

To go an extra mile – touch up any chips and scratches you notice while washing and give your car a thorough waxing to restore the shine and protect from the hot summer sun.

A car spring cleaning is a great opportunity to inspect your car inside and out and take a note of what needs repair or replacement. If you find any of these signs of trouble, feel free to stop by our Rockville auto repair shop and we’ll fix them in no time.

    • Rust on the body and underbody of the car
    • Cracked or moldy weather stripping
    • Signs of corrosion under the hood
    • Visible tire damage

Feel free to bring your car to our service station for a seasonal tune-up and preventive maintenance. We will inspect all systems, test AC to make sure it’s ready for the summer, check components for damage and proper alignment, and advice you how to keep your car in a top shape. You’ll be amazed what a few turns of a screw driver can do to your vehicle’s performance.