Tips & Tools

Manufacturer Specific Tools, Info and Equipment

At Steve Overbeck Auto Services we service all makes and models of vehicles. As vehicles have gotten more complicated the tools used to fix them have gotten more complicated as well. We have found the only way to properly repair today’s vehicles is to have the same tools and information provided by each vehicle manufacturer to the dealerships. Over the past few years we have made a significant investment in diagnostic software so we can properly diagnose and repair your vehicle with the same equipment used in the dealership. So if your dealership has recently closed, moved out of the area, or is just too far away, we can help. We have factory equipment for all of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Acura, Mazda, Jeep, and Saab vehicles. So what does this mean to you? We have the ability to reprogram keyless entry systems, reflash / reprogram onboard computers to the latest software, recalibrate airbag systems, change driver preferences, perform vehicle health checks that check all of the vehicle’s computers for errors, tire pressure monitor diagnostics, as well as “check engine” light diagnosis. We are constantly updating our software to cover the newest vehicles and we can currently cover most 2012 models on the road. We also have great aftermarket support for many other makes, including VW, Audi, BMW, Hyundai and Kia. Please call if you have specific questions about your make and model.

Preventative Maintenance

With today’s busy schedules it is easy to overlook maintaining your vehicle, especially if it has been running just fine. Increasingly we are seeing vehicles come in for service only after something has gone wrong. Sometimes the “Ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach can be costly. Major engine and transmission repair or replacement can cost thousands of dollars. Even though newer cars do not require a “tune up” there are still things that need to be inspected and serviced on a regular basis. Most manufacturers have settled on a 30,000 mile service interval with regular oil changes in between. So that means at 30,000 / 60,000 / 90,000 / 120,000 and so on your vehicle should be inspected, with oil changes ranging between every 3,000 and 5,000 miles depending on the vehicle. Here is a list of the items that we inspect during a regular Preventative Maintenance service:

Inspect / Service as needed:

-Drive Belts
– Wiper Blades
– Lights & Bulbs
– Battery & Terminals
– Tire Wear & Air Pressures, including the spare. Rotation and balance
– Brake System
– Air Conditioning System
– Suspension System
– Steering System
– CV Axle Boots & Joints
– Engine Coolant / Anti-Freeze
– Transmission Fluid
– Differential Fluid
– Power Steering Fluid
– Brake Fluid
– Washer Fluid
– Coolant Hoses & Connections
– Ignition Wires & Ignition Coils
– Engine Cooling Fan
– Vapor & Vacuum Lines
– PCV Valve
– Fuel Lines
– Fuel Filter
– Brake Lines & Emergency Cables
– Exhaust System
– Rotate tires

Repair or Replace as required:

– Replace Air Filter
– Replace Fuel Filter **
– Replace Cabin Filter **
– Spark Plugs **
– Engine Coolant **
– Transmission Fluid **
– Brake Fluid
* * If applicable

Additional services may be required by your manufacturer. Please call, for detailed information on your specific vehicle. We will be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of what your vehicle needs to continue running in top condition for many years to come. In some cases, based on failures we have seen “in the real world” we have modified maintenance schedules to help prevent costly repairs in the future.

3 Month/3000 Mile Oil Change, Fact or Fiction?

Most all of us have heard the formula, oil changed every 3 months or 3000 miles. Is it good practice or a way for shops and oil companies to sell more products? At Overbeck’s we say, “It depends.” How’s that for a clear answer? Cars are a lot different today than they were 30 years ago and so is the oil they use. Some vehicle use conventional oils and some use synthetic oils, some use a blend of the two. Also, some of today’s cars hold up to 8 quarts of oil, not just the 4 or 5 we commonly see. So the 3 month/3,000 mile rule may not apply. If your car uses conventional oil and you drive a mix of short in-city trips with some highway use stick to 3,000 miles. Oil is cheap, engines are not. If you find you only drive a couple thousand miles a year, we recommend getting the oil changed twice a year, every 6 months. With synthetics the formula can change a bit. Synthetic oils are designed to last longer and provide greater wear protection in engines with tight tolerances and high heat. We see no problem letting synthetic oil go 5,000 miles between changes. If you are a short trip driver and don’t rack up the miles we still recommend changing it twice a year. Another thing to consider is the engine’s oil capacity. A number of the manufacturers who are claiming 7,000 to 10,000 mile oil change intervals are building the engines to hold 8 quarts of synthetic oil, so they are gaining mileage between changes by not only using synthetics but also an increased capacity. So don’t think that by just switching to synthetic oil you can go 7,000+ miles between oil changes. We often get the question, “Should I switch to synthetic oil?” In most cases the answer will be no. We recommend you stick to the type and viscosity of oil recommended by the manufacturer. Please call if you have questions regarding your specific vehicle or driving conditions. And if you are due for an oil change, we can handle it while you wait. One of our ASE certified technicians will do the job so you can rest assured it will be done correctly.

200,000+ Mile Formula.

We hear it every day, “I want to get 200,000 miles out of this car”. Well, that is entirely possible and may be a lot easier than you think. It all comes down to one thing: Maintenance. By following a few simple maintenance schedules, 200K or even 300K miles are easily attainable. Now I know some out there will say this is over kill, and you don’t have to do this or you don’t have to do that. All I can say is that it works. I use this on my own cars, and I have never seen a car break or wear out from being overly maintained. Not all of the items are applicable on all cars. Please call if you would like us to help you build a maintenance plan that will help you reach your mileage goal.

Every 3,000 miles:

– Oil and oil filter change
– Lubricate chassis where applicable
– Lubricate door hinges
– Check lights
– Under hood and under vehicle inspection
– Check tire pressure

Every 30,000 miles:

– Replace Spark Plugs
– Replace Air Filter
– Replace Fuel Filter
– Replace PCV Valve
– Replace distributor cap and rotor
– Replace transmission fluid

Every 2 years:

– Replace engine coolant
– Replace thermostat

Every 50,000 miles:

– Replace differential fluid
– Replace transfer case fluid
– Replace power steering fluid

Every 60,000 miles:

– Replace ignition wires

As Needed:

– Replace drive belt (usually 30 – 40K)
– Replace brake fluid (usually 30 – 40K)
– Replace Shocks and Struts (usually 100K)
– Replace brakes (usually 40 – 80K)
– Replace Battery (3 to 4 years)