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Tips & Advice


My new car dealer says I have to return to their facility for all of my car's Maintenance to keep from voiding the warranty. Is this true?
Absolutely Not. You can have routine service done by any competent independent service station, shop or garage and still maintain your warranty.

Do I have to use the manufacturer's original equipment parts to keep my warranty valid?
No! Legally, automakers cannot specify the use of their or anyone else's parts for your vehicle's Maintenance. You may use any brand-name quality parts such as CARQUEST to replace fan belts, hoses, brakes, exhausts, chassis parts, oil and more.

What do I have to do to keep my car or truck's warranty in effect?
Make sure your vehicle is serviced at the intervals specified in your Owner's Manual or Warranty Booklet and keep very clear records of your vehicle's Maintenance. Be sure to have the date, parts installed, vehicle identification number and mileage recorded on the invoice. Keep these receipts in a safe place. If you have a service log in your Owner's Manual or Warranty Booklet, use it.

My car is a leased vehicle. Am I responsible for Maintenance?
Yes! Even if you lease a vehicle you are responsible for all Maintenance and repairs and to keep the vehicle in good working order and condition as outlined in the Owner's Manual. Auto Technician.

What parts should be replaced and at what intervals should these services be performed?
Check your owner's manual. It will give you all of the information you need regarding what parts to replace and when to do it. Make sure to read it thoroughly and note any exceptions or severe service notations. Warranties are there to protect the consumer, but you must follow the requirements.

What if my new car needs repairs other than regularly scheduled Maintenance such as a brake job or other repairs? Do I have to return to the dealer for these repairs? What if these repairs are covered under my warranty?
The choice of where to have your car serviced and repaired is yours. As far as repairs covered by the warranty, you will probably have to take the car back to the dealer. Thoroughly check your warranty to be certain that the repairs are covered.

How does the quality of aftermarket parts compare with original equipment parts?
Some are manufactured by the same supplier and may even be warranted longer than original equipment parts. Aftermarket parts supplied by CARQUEST meet or exceed manufacturers specifications.

If I do have a warranty-related problem with a dealership, what rights do I have?
If you have a problem, contact the customer service department of the car manufacturer and ask for assistance. They are concerned with customer satisfaction and may be able to help.

Know Your Rights When It Comes to Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
From Acuras to Volvos, Buicks to Saturns, we can help you protect your new car or truck warranty. By using our quality service and parts, our technicians can perform all of your new foreign or domestic vehicle's Maintenance and repairs while keeping your warranty in effect. You don't have to return to the new car dealer for scheduled service or checkups to ensure your manufacturer's warranty remains in force. We bring you this information because you have the right to have your vehicle serviced wherever you choose. Ask us how we can help you protect your vehicle's warranty.

How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change or every 5,000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.

Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the manufacturer recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.

What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems or failure of emission tests.

What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut off the engine! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.

When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If intervals are extended, ensure you use oil that is capable of extended mileage changes.

What causes milky brown engine oil?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.

How to make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.

What is synthetic motor oil?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather) or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.

When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum-tipped spark plugs.

What should I do when I need to replace a burned out fuse?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.