Victor Botnari, owner of Universal Motorcars, says saving now on missed maintenance will cost you later
The summer travel season is heating up. And with high inflation, many Americans will try to prioritize how to spend their precious dollars. Staying on top of your car’s maintenance may be more important than ever this year, says Victor Botnari, whose Universal Motorcars has served the Las Vegas Valley for more than 30 years.
The expert says three maintenance items should be on everyone’s list as their cars head into consistent triple-digit heat; doing them now could help you avoid high repair bills later.
Cooling System Check: When many people hear the words “cooling system,” they immediately think of the vehicle’s air conditioner; but the system that actually cools your engine is the one Botnari is referring to here.
This system includes the radiator, thermostat and fan, along with other components that help to cool the engine as it endures 100-plus degree temperatures day in and day out. A system check is actually quite inexpensive (less than $100). Knowing you’re heading into the hot season without leaks is critical, as a faulty cooling system could cause the engine to overheat.
“In the summer you put a lot of pressure on the cooling system’s components. If you let your engine overheat, you’re looking at thousands of dollars in repairs,” Botnari said. “Of course, you also want to stay on top of your oil changes and make sure oil levels aren’t low. That will overheat your engine as well.”
A/C System Recharge: For many vehicles, the manufacturer recommends the air conditioner be serviced, not just inspected, every couple of years. A service may run you $150 to $400 and involves more than a visual inspection. The certified mechanic will need to recover old refrigerant, vacuum the system, and recharge with new refrigerant. Over time refrigerant is lost, and when it’s not replenished, the compressor works harder than it needs to.
“The compressor is supposed to cycle on and off, but when the refrigerant is low, the compressor runs continuously trying to cool down the interior of the car, wearing it down prematurely,” he added. “Once it goes out, you could be looking at $2,000 or more in repairs.”
Replace Worn Out Tires: If you have tires whose tread is at 4/32” or less, it’s a good idea to replace them before regular exposure to the summer heat. The heat will force the air in the tire to expand and potentially cause a blowout, which can also be a safety hazard.
To learn more about auto maintenance subjects or to schedule a repair, visit UniversalMotorcarslv.com or call (702) 754-6774.