Category Archives: Maintenance
We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Mount Juliet. Some days it’s all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That’s why you’ve gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps – we have to keep track of it all.
So let’s talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the critical scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.
Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Mount Juliet auto owners. They’re all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.
1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your vital power steering parts are protected from harmful corrosion. Next time you’re in for an oil change, ask your Mount Juliet service advisor if it’s time for a power steering check-up.
2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your sedan pulls to one side. It’s pretty annoying, but it’s also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast; which is an unneccessary expense! Most auto manufacturers owners manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.
3. Differential Service
Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do – one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they’re part of the drive-train that transfers power from your sedan engine to your wheels. They don’t need service that often, but you can’t completely forget them. Check with your friendly Conder’s Automotive service specialist.
4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more Mount Juliet cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they’re clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.
5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Mount Juliet area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let’s just say that your car won’t run without it – period. And if it breaks while you’re driving it can do thousands of dollars worth of costly engine damage. Check your owners’ manual or with your Mount Juliet service advisor. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles; definitely look into it right away.
6. Transmission Service
Transmission serviceis very basic, but it’s often forgotten by Mount Juliet drivers. Your sedan transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs. And it can also improve your gas mileage.
7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us Mount Juliet motorists don’t think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Mount Juliet. If you’re lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you’re not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Conder’s Automotive in Mount Juliet adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.
8. Brake Service
No we’re not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We’re talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won’t work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Conder’s Automotive technician for recommendations.
9. Coolant System
Another thing that’s so easy for Mount Juliet auto owners to forget about: When you don’t change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you’re stranded – bummer.
10. Fuel System Cleaning
In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is critical. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Conder’s Automotive in Mount Juliet will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Conder’s Automotive will really help your fuel economy.
There you have it; 10 services that are often overlooked. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn’t been performed? Considering our busy lives, we’re not surprised.
Mount Juliet auto owners know it takes some thought and effort to actually maintain a vehicle; but it not only saves cash in the long run – it saves time too. And we can all use a little more time.
Conder’s Automotive can help with any of these services. Give us a call at 615-758-1515.
At Conder’s Automotive we get a lot of Mount Juliet motorists asking about car trip preparation. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of Mount Juliet so it’s important to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.
Smart Nashville auto owners plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Mount Juliet to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Conder’s Automotive for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your vital fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.
How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?
How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Mount Juliet.
Check your owners’ manual for any other vital recommended service and have Conder’s Automotive in Mount Juliet do the multi-point inspection before you head out in Tennessee.
Consider also having the coolant system serviced at Conder’s Automotive – you want to stay within the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer in Mount Juliet you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.
A lot of Mount Juliet folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or Mount Juliet summer heat, or driving on dirt roads in Tennessee. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Conder’s Automotive wants you to get there and back.
So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Mount Juliet?
- A Hamburger;
- A Soft Drink, or
- Gummy Bears?
Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee’, then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Mount Juliet and around the country.
Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!
You’ll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You’ll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won’t have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.
Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Mount Juliet road without worrying about where that spill is headed.
So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don’t have to ask you which you prefer: It’s a no brainer.
Conder’s Automotive, along with AutoNetTV, wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
Give us a call at: 615-758-1515
Buying a new car in Mount Juliet is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?
People in Mount Juliet who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?
For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Mount Juliet and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.
Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.
Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Mount Juliet, but they do give you information to use in your decision.
Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.
So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.
Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Mount Juliet:
- Ford Escape – $116 a month
- Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
- Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
- Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.
Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Mount Juliet service advisor at Conder’s Automotive. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.
And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.
There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.
We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.
Give us a call if you have any questions:
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
The hottest Tennessee news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Mount Juliet. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things Mount Juliet motorists can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Nashville environment. You can really improve your fuel efficiency by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.
The first one for Mount Juliet motorists is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Mount Juliet service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Conder’s Automotivetech. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Mount Juliet gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.
Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the sedan owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.
The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with important information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Mount Juliet drivers up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s detrimental dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.
One item Mount Juliet residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency! And with current gas prices in the Mount Juliet area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Mount Juliet car owners cash at the pump.
Now most Mount Juliet auto owners aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other essential services spelled out in your owners’ manual.
Conder’s Automotive knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Conder’s Automotive – which may also be updated with recall notices and critical maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.
Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Mount Juliet car owners, sedan manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Mount Juliet drivers follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are most of your trips less than four miles around Mount Juliet?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero Tennessee temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in Tennessee?
Do you drive often in dusty Nashville areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Mount Juliet?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold Tennessee weather?
Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Mount Juliet interstate on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Nashville or Mount Juliet? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Mount Juliet surface streets?
Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Mount Juliet weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.
Why should Mount Juliet auto owners care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Mount Juliet or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to detrimental oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why Tennessee auto owners need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.
Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in sunny Tennessee summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent dangerous corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your MPG. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly Conder’s Automotive advisor. We can help you restore your sedan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.
To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
There’s a segment of the Mount Juliet population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the Tennessee area over time. Many Mount Juliet motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.
Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Mount Juliet drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.
Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.
Now, the ignition system in your sedan is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to Conder’s Automotive for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.
Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Mount Juliet have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.
Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your sedan will perform better and return better fuel economy.
Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern sedan engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.
And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.
For example, your sedan engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.
Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Conder’s Automotive, we have been taking care of all those little things for 30 years. Your sedan still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Mount Juliet did not go away.
About 90% of our driving decisions in Nashville are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely essential.
Most Mount Juliet car owners have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our sedan windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.
It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we Mount Juliet car owners need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Nashville area. 78% of car owners only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.
Mount Juliet car owners need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as a key sedan safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.
Mount Juliet auto owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of Tennessee, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.
Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Nashville conditions, if your sedan has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.
Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering Mount Juliet sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the sedan windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard for Mount Juliet drivers; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire sedan windshield – that’s a significant consequence for neglecting such a small part.
AutoNetTV and Conder’s Automotive recommend Mount Juliet drivers replace worn blades right away. Your Mount Juliet service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Conder’s Automotive, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.
Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their vital work. Even though Conder’s Automotive will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Bring it with you if you’re heading out on a road trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t clean your windows as well.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.
Find us at:
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
For advice on how to make your sedan last longer, visit us at Conder’s Automotive
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
These days many people in the Nashville area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your sedan and see what’s been done and when. Have your Mount Juliet service advisor at Conder’s Automotive do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Mount Juliet service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
People in Mount Juliet have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?
Some new vehicle manufacturers in Mount Juliet are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Mount Juliet were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.
The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.
What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.
Visit Conder’s Automotive in Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
Severe driving around Mount Juliet includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.
Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.
The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Mount Juliet just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.
Some types of sedan will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.
For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Mount Juliet service advisor at Conder’s Automotive and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.
If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.
So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.