For most of us, mechanical language can seem foreign, baffling and, in some cases, even daunting. When you bring your car in for service, you are placing your trust in the dealership and the service technician. The thought of leaving your car with a total stranger can be nerve-wracking, especially when you are not clear on exactly what will be done to your car. However, we have decided to set the record straight, decode the jargon and explain exactly what your expectations should be when you come in for service and what not-so-mysterious work is done by our GM Certified Service Experts, Nissan Service Experts, Ford-Trained Technicians and Factory-Certified Hyundai Technicians in the service bays.
The biggest benefit of coming into a dealership is not only will you receive the most professional and qualified service and state-of-the-art and cutting-edge diagnostic and repairs, you will also feel reassured that you are coming into a service department that is backed by your car manufacturer and that specializes in your vehicle’s make and model.
Preparing For Your Visit
Allow enough time
When coming in to any of our dealerships, allot sufficient time for your service and repairs to get completed.
The biggest misconception is that you will be in and out of the dealership in 5 minutes because your car will be taken into the shop right away.
When you initially drive in to the dealership, you will meet with your service advisor and be asked about the state of your car, what concerns you have with your car and how they can work with the technician to ensure your car is back to performing at the optimal level. This can take upwards to 20 minutes. Come prepared to field questions so your mechanic can know exactly where to begin working on your car. However, if you are not sure what the problem is, do not fret. Our service advisors will assist you accordingly.
A quality service expert, service advisor and body shop technician will keep you posted every step of the way.
Ask a lot of questions. That is what your service advisor is there for. When going in for service at dealerships, there is a misconception that there will be a disconnect between the customer and the technician. However, if you have any questions for your technician or would like to talk to them about their qualifications, simply ask.
Ask a lot of questions.
A quality service expert, service advisor and body shop technician will keep you posted every step of the way and their transparent policies will keep you abreast on everything that needs to be repaired or maintained on your car, the repairs being done and exactly what you are being charged for.
Depending on the level of service you are getting done and what needs to be repaired or maintained in your vehicle, your advisor will inform you how long the car will need to stay at the dealership. If you are coming in for basic maintenance, your dealership will likely have the products and parts needed to perform the work without having to order them. This will not only save you the cost of shipping, but will also get your car back to you sooner.
If you are coming in for basic maintenance, your dealership will likely have the products and parts needed to perform the work without having to order them.
If it’s anything more than an oil change, we generally ask our customers to leave their car for the day. Since 80% of the parts ordered are delivered overnight directly from the manufacturer, your car will most likely only be at the dealership for a day. Since your dealership specializes in your car’s make and models, diagnostic time and repair time will be condensed because of specialized expertise, accessibility to top-of-the-line diagnostic equipment, repair tools and a manufacturer-backed service hub.
Grab what you need
Before you leave your car for service, especially if your car is staying at the dealership overnight, remember to take items you will need from your car, such as your garage door opener, clothing, any important documents and, of course, your house keys!
If your vehicle is still under warranty, you may be covered for a courtesy vehicle (conditions apply). If you need a replacement vehicle, budget more time. Most dealerships also offer a courtesy shuttle to those who live in the nearby area. Make sure to confirm when you book your appointment.
Now that you know how to manage and set your expectations when you walk into a dealership to get your service done, let’s get in to how your vehicle will be serviced.
Tip: You can always refer to your Owner’s manual to help you understand your vehicle’s specific maintenance needs.
It is important to note that if you purchased a new car and it is still under warranty, your local dealership will be able to access the warranty easily and begin the work on your car. This could save you a lot of time, energy and frustration that you would otherwise be using to fill out paperwork or getting the warranty transferred elsewhere.
There are two types of services your car can be in need of: Basic or Full.
Basic service should be done at least once every six months, or every 10,000 km:
Multi-point vehicle inspection
A thorough assessment of your vehicle is conducted by our Certified Service Experts. All your vehicle’s critical systems are checked and tested, including checking for tire wear, wiper blades and glass condition, checking fluid levels, including brake reservoir and windshield washer, brakes are tested, and additional systems are checked for visible leaks or damages that might indicate a concern.
Old, contaminated oil will affect the performance of your car as engine components can be compromised.
An oil and filter change involves draining out the old motor oil and replacing it with fresh,
new motor oil, while also replacing the oil filter. In order for your car’s engine to keep running smoothly, cleanly and efficiently, the oil needs to be changed regularly. Old, contaminated oil will certainly affect the performance of your car as engine components can be compromised. A general rule of thumb to follow is to get your oil changed every 5,000 km.
Want to learn the science behind the importance of changing your engine oil? Learn how it effects your engine performance and durability here.
Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 km to 10,000 km or every six months.
Your wheels and tires are moved from one position to another, to ensure even tire wear. The weight of your vehicle is not evenly distributed to all four tires and regular rotation helps extend the life of your tires and improve performance. Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 km to 10,000 km or every six months, which ever comes first.
It’s important to test your battery and electrical system regularly, especially before the weather gets bad. Want to learn more about the inner workings of a car battery? Click here.
For full service, your vehicle will go through several inspections and tests, which should be done once every year, or every 20,000 km.
Auxiliary Drive Belt Check
In most vehicles, a drive belt is replaced between 75,000 km to 125,000 km.
Your engine has many mechanical accessories attached to it, such as an alternator, water pump, power steering pump and an air conditioner compressor. The drive belt is what drives all these accessories. In most vehicles, a drive belt is replaced between 75,000 km to 125,000 km. However, an oil leak or if the protective shield underneath the engine is broken can damage and wear down the drive belt.
When your wheels are misaligned, you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or another. During a wheel alignment check, your vehicle’s wheel angles are measured to determine if they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Poor alignment angles can cause premature tire wear and possible handling issues. Here are five signs that your car is out of alignment.
Wheel Bearing Check
A wheel bearing is a group of ball bearings that enables a wheel to spin freely. While these bearings can withstand a lot of abuse, heat and water can cause severe damage. Wheel bearings can last a long time but neglect and failing to get them checked for damage from accidents and broken seals can do further and expensive damage to your drive axle and can even result in your wheel completely detaching while you drive. Take an in-depth look into how you can diagnose a wheel bearing noise here.
We recommend to get your wheels balanced every 5,000 km to 10,000 km.
Balancing your wheels minimizes potential vibration felt in the steering wheel, seat or floorboard of your vehicle and aids in proper tire tread wear. We recommend to get your wheels balanced every 5,000 km to 10,000 km.
Brake Fluid Condition
Brake fluid is known as the “silent killer.”
Brake fluid absorbs moisture, which lowers the boiling point leading to the creation of vapour due to the heat generated in the braking. This vapour can lead to complete failure of the brakes. This is exactly why brake fluid is known as the “silent killer.” It only takes a minute to test the brake fluid condition and can save your life in the case of a potential accident.
Have your fuel filter changed every 35,000 km to 50,000 km or every two years.
Even the smallest speck of dirt can damage a fuel injector, resulting in erratic performance, poor gas mileage and, in extreme cases, complete engine shutdown. In order to prevent more expensive repairs and to maintain peak performance, it is recommended to have your fuel filter changed every 35,000 km to 50,000 km or every two years. If your engine starts making odd noises before then, come in to one of our service bays and get your fuel filter checked because it might be clogged. Need more reasons to get your fuel filter changed? This video will show you what the inside of a fuel filter looks like after only 20,000 km.
Spark plugs often provide clues about the condition of your vehicle’s engine. For example, an engine oil leak may be indicated by greasy spark plugs. It is very important to have spark plugs inspected and replaced when they show signs of deterioration.
Air Filter Check
Replace your air filter every 20,000 km or once a year.
The air filter provides clean air to your vehicle’s combustion chamber and, if it becomes clogged or dirty, it can cause your car to idle or run roughly and reduce gas mileage. As a rule of thumb, replace your air filter every 20,000 km or once a year. Do you think you have a dirty air filter? Here are common signs to look out for.
With winter upon us, all of our dealerships are offering big savings through their winter service specials. Now is the perfect time to come in for your basic or full service to help prepare you and your car for the winter roads.
Need more reason to come in for a winter service? Here are a few:
- A network of dealerships all across Alberta, from Calgary to Fort McMurray there is a dealer near you to serve all your vehicular needs.
- CMP Auto is the largest GM dealer in Western Canada! With a 4.5/5 rating on Dealer Rater and a 2016 Customer Satisfaction Award, you will receive top-notch and professional service.
- With a 4.6/5 rating and a 94% recommendation rate on Dealer Rater, Sunridge Nissan’s service department is well equipped to handle any vehicular issue, be it your basic service or a full service.
- With a 5/5 Facebook rating and a 4.8/5 rating and 97% recommendation rate on Dealer Rater and only a short drive from Calgary, Strathmore Ford is the ultimate choice for anyone who is looking for the best deals and superior customer service.
- Shaw GMC has been serving the Calgary community for the past 50 years. With a long and decorated history, Shaw GMC is your trusted neighbor for all your car needs.
- Country Hills Hyundai‘s convenient and central location and 4.4/5 Facebook rating should make this dealership an easy choice.
- Okotoks Chevrolet Buick GMC prides itself with having a “no-gimmicks, no-nonsense” approach, competitive pricing and great service, and with a 4.5/5 Google rating, this dealership has the clout to prove it.
- With a 96% recommendation rate and a 4.7/5 on both Dealer Rater and Google, Okotoks Nissan offers the ultimate customer experience from start to finish with professional and honest service.
- For northern Albertans, choosing Summit Chevrolet GMC Buick is a no-brainer! With a 4.8 Google rating and the largest inventory of new and used vehicles in Fort McMurray, Summit GM is truly the “Heartbeat of Fort McMurray.”