Proudly serving Kitsap County for over 30 years
Arlond's Easy Car Care Guide
Here is a simple preventive maintenance checklist from Arlond's most experienced mechanics so you can keep your car safe and on the road.

1.Oil, Filters and Fluids


3.Braking System



6.Tire Pressure and Treads

7.HVAC System


Your engine needs refreshed fluids and clean filters to make sure it operates optimally. One without the other turns into a mess. Check you oil, your transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and even your windshield wiper fluid. While you’re inspecting your fluids, check the filters, including your air filter, too.

Your fluids need defect-free hoses to make sure they can get to the different components of your auto that need them. Check your hoses for cracks, leaks, swelling, restrictions, and brittleness

Don’t risk your safety by trying to save money on your braking system. And we say “system” because you need to inspect t more than just the pads. Your braking system includes rotors, drums, calipers, and lines. A defect with any of these components could lead to a bigger problem.

Temperature extremes have a way of draining your battery. Test your battery to make sure it’s fully charged. While you’re at it, inspect the connections. Are they clean from corrosion or other debris? Are they properly fastened? Make sure you battery is securely anchored, too.

Check both your interior and exterior lights. This includes dash lights. Make sure they are all working properly. If not, you may need to replace a bulb, a fuse, or another electronic component.

Your tires are the only part of your auto that makes contact with the road. Having poorly inflated tires or tires with excessive tread wear can lead to a loss of mpg and possibly even cause an accident. If you still have your winter snow tires on, now is a good time to change them out.

Check your auto’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system not only for improved comfort during the change of seasons, but it can have an impact on your auto’s safety, too. A poorly performing HVAC system can lead to premature overheating or a failure of other important features, like your defroster.

Depending upon the age of your vehicle, you may have a series of belts or a single serpentine belt that drive vital engine components. Check your belt or belts for cracking, frays, glazing, or other signs of excessive wear.

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?

Mechanical failure—an inconvenience anytime it occurs--can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.

  • Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc.
  • Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.
  • Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual—more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
  • Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent-you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.
  • Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.
  • Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
  • Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
  • Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
  • Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
  • Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.