When we work on your car, the most common reasons for service and/or repair are 1) Recommended maintenance and 2) Replacement of broken parts. There is another category that you and the Model Garage should consider, and that is replacement of parts due to age. Many of our customers have cars that they are happy with and that they would like to keep for at least several years. For those owners, we've tried to offer a few ideas.
Regular Oil Service: It's a good idea to perform an oil change service at least every 6-8 months. Changing the oil is only part of the benefit--we road test your car, adjust tire pressures to manufacturers' specifications, note tire tread depth, check fluid levels, and look the car over with a trained eye. If we see something amiss, we'll bring it to your attention.
Radiators: Failed radiators can cause serious problems in both Volvos and the Toyota family of cars. Replacing the radiator (if it's original) after 10-12 years would not be excessive.
Coolant Hoses: Volvos and Toyotas come with good quality hoses, but after 10-15 years, you should consider replacing them. The expense of replacing them is significantly less than replacing the car or the car's engine if it overheats. It's all part of providing you with safe, reliable transportation.
Transmission Oil Change: On cars we maintain, we check the transmission oil quality periodically. If it's dirty, draining and refilling the transmission oil is inexpensive preventive maintenance. The exceptions to this rule are some very late model cars. In days gone by, we used to change the transmission oil every 15-20,000 miles. Manufacturers have cut back on transmission oil changes, but we'll help you decide if they make sense for your car.
Timing Belts: The #1 preventable cause of engine failure on interference fit engines (engines on which the pistons will hit and damage the valves if the timing belt breaks) is a broken timing belt. Although we generally use manufacturers' mileage recommendations to determine timing belt intervals, there are exceptions--feel free to ask us what our experience tells us about your car. We recommend replacing the timing belt after 10 years, regardless of mileage, on most cars.
Batteries: If your car battery is over 5 years old, it's a candidate for replacement. The inconvenience of a dead battery is worse than losing out on a little battery life. When we service your car, we'll check your battery, but we may need your help to determine the battery's age. Please let us know if your battery is over 5 years old.
Remote Batteries: If you're not sure when the batteries in your remote were last replaced, it may be time. If you bring all your remotes with you when you come in for service, we'll gladly replace the batteries for the price of the batteries.