Tech Tips Made Easy

Here are some common questions and valuable tips on how to properly maintain your vehicle. Each of our technicians are ASE certified for proper training to ensure our customers the highest level of customer service.

If you have more questions feel free to call us and we’ll be happy to help.

Q. How often should I change the oil in my car/truck in the Arizona climate?

A. Today most new car and truck manufacturers are recommending longer service intervals than ever before, but only for “standard duty” driving.

At minimum in Arizona you should use your manufacturers recommended intervals for “Severe Duty” due to our extreme temperatures and dusty conditions.

Ideally your engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. This is especially true of newer engines that are built with much tighter tolerances than engines built several years ago. Click here for oil change special.

Q. What is a timing belt and why is it so important to replace one?

A. Without getting into a lot of techno-speak about valve timing, etc. the timing belt in your car connects your camshaft(s) to the engine crankshaft. If the timing belt breaks, the engine cannot run, period.

Follow your manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule to avoid being stranded unexpectedly on the open road – and – to avoid very costly repairs.

Typically the timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 miles or five years, whichever comes first.

If you are not sure what the recommended interval is for your vehicle, or if your engine even has a timing belt (not all do), call us and we will be glad to help. We have the factory information available at our fingertips.

Q. I’m thinking of purchasing a used vehicle can you inspect it for me?

A. Yes. We can perform a careful inspection of the vehicle before you decide to purchase a pre-owned vehicle. Micro (automotive repair shop in Tucson) can perform an extensive, 25-point Pre-Purchase inspection.

Q. What is that average annual cost of maintenance?

A. Estimates vary, and clearly the type of vehicle makes a difference. A good rule of thumb is $0.08 – $0.10 per mile. This cost generally covers the cost of maintenance, tires and repair.

Q. What could cause a grinding or squealing noise from a car?

A. Cars are complicated assemblies of many moving parts. Grinding or squealing noises at idle can indicate a belt problem, a bearing problem, or possibly a problem with the internal workings of the engine. Grinding or squealing problems during driving and braking may also come from brakes or suspension.

Q. What do you need to do if there is a leak beneath your car, which you believe, is oil?

A. A sample of the leak is helpful in determining the source. A pan or piece of cardboard placed beneath the vehicle is an easy way to collect leaking fluid. Most vehicle leaks take time to reach the point of dripping. If fluids are hitting the ground, the leak is usually a good one. Before operating any vehicle with fluid leaking onto the ground, all fluid levels should be checked.

Q. Why would the RPM go up but the car won’t move?

A. This is a sure fine sign of transmission problems. Possibly something else, but even money is on the transmission. Don’t give up yet, transmissions are complicated, and failure does not always mean replacement. External valve bodies and solenoids, along with low fluid levels, are some lesser expenses that can lead to an inoperative transmission. Fluid levels should be checked first. Driving a car with low transmission fluid can do irreparable damage to the transmission.

Q. What cause the idling to move up and down?

A. An engine is an air pump, sucking in air, mixing it with electricity and fuel to create combustion. The engine has many ways of control the air, electricity and fuel to create the perfect mixture under every operating condition. A fluctuation idle can be due to poor fuel supply, poor electricity, or poor air. Common causes are mass air flow meters and sensors, idle air controllers, engine control modules and throttle body assemblies. Vehicles 1995 and newer are equipped with OBD II systems, which very often store valuable information in determining the source of the failure.

Q. My check engine light is on, what does that mean?

A. A check engine light is the cars way of alerting you to a problem. A sensor somewhere in the car is reading data outside of normal ranges. Retrieving the code for the check engine light is only the beginning. A code indicates a system problem the sensor that reads reports the problem. After retrieving the code, further examination is needed to determine the reason for the code.

Q. My car won’t start, but the radio works, is it the battery?

A. The energy required to run your clock, your radio and your headlights is not nearly as much energy as it takes to start your vehicle. A battery can be too weak to start and run a vehicle, but b enough to operate the accessories.

If you have more questions you would like answers to feel free to Call Us or click on Appointments to schedule an appointment.  Micro Import Service, we are your automotive repair shop experts in Tucson!