Auto Body Tips from an Automobile Connoisseur

The Ups And Downs Of Car Ownership: Tune-Ups, Fillups, Checkups, And Breakdowns

Owning a car means that you will have a lot of ups and downs with your vehicle — "ups" referring to tune-ups, fillups, and checkups and "downs" referring to breakdowns. Thankfully, there are any number of auto body repair shops that can manage all of your ups and downs. Here is what is typically included in each up and how to manage each down. 


Most people do not realize this, but a carburetor is the number-one thing that needs a tune-up regularly. It is the component in your engine almost primarily devoted to creating the combustible mixture and conditions to make a car go. It is also affected by clogs and a slow throttle. During a tune-up, the carburetor is fully cleaned and the throttle is checked. If the butterfly valve that helps control how much throttle your carburetor produces (and, therefore, its ability to create speed) is somehow dysfunctional, the mechanic replaces it during the tune-up. 


A vehicle uses no less than six different fluids. Some use more. You have brake fluid, oil, injection engine fluid, transmission fluid, washer fluid, and antifreeze/coolant, and that just names a few. During a maintenance service appointment, all of these fluids are checked and filled up, along with the air pressure and air in your tires. 


There are two kinds of vehicle checkups. The first is purely maintenance, where you are just making sure everything is working properly, sounds good, and is filled/topped off. The other kind is also maintenance, but you hear something strange or the sensor lights on your dash tell you that you need to have something checked. In this case, your mechanic will hook your vehicle up to a diagnostic computer and check the usual culprits: the timing belt, the serpentine belt, etc. Small repairs may be necessary, but nothing too major. 


Breakdowns will happen, especially if you bought a used car and drive it for more than five years. Breakdowns will also happen if you are not in the habit of taking really good care of your vehicle. The rest of the time, breakdowns happen with no clear reason why or because you were in an accident recently and there was visible and/or invisible damage to the vehicle. Regardless of how or why your vehicle broke down, a mechanic at an auto body repair shop can find the trouble and fix it for you, usually within a week or less.