Tony Leahey Motor Group service tips.
To talk to our friendly, professional Service Department Phone (02) 6393 7200 or to book a vehicle service simply fill out our online service booking form and we will contact you shortly.
Regular care checks and maintenance are all it takes to avoid potential car reliability problems.
These service tips will help you keep your car in good shape by keeping an eye on the most important things like: healthy oil and cooling systems, safe tyres and batteries and working headlights, windscreen wipers and indicators in between your vehicle services with us.
1. How to check your radiator and cooling system
Caution: Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Let it cool for a few hours to avoid injury.
A quick check of the radiator coolant is as easy as looking at the level in the plastic overflow bottle of most cars. The coolant level should be in between the high and low markings.
Once the engine has cooled, you can remove the radiator cap and check the level in the radiator. If the level is low, top it up with the coolant recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or call us for advice on 6393 7200.
If your car is regularly losing coolant, there may be a leak somewhere that could be a sign of a bigger problem which needs our professional assessment. While you have the bonnet open, inspect the hoses and pipes - such as those leading to and from the radiator and heater - the fuel lines and any pipes associated with the power steering or brakes.
Stains could indicate a leak, and any soft, kinked, swollen or cracked hoses should mean a call to us to arrange inspection. If your car is regularly losing coolant, there may be a leak somewhere that could be a sign of a bigger problem which also needs assessment.
2. How to check your engine oil
- Park your car on level ground
- Start the engine, let it run for a short time, then turn it off
- While the engine is warm, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a clean cloth or paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick – make sure it’s fully inserted, otherwise you'll get a false reading
- Remove the dipstick and check the oil level. It should be in between the low and high markings. If the oil level is low, top up your oil but first check the owner’s manual for the correct oil grade. Don’t start the engine if there isn’t any oil on the dipstick! An engine with no oil can seize and be expensive to fix
3. Check your car’s tyre pressure and condition
Incorrect tyre pressures can reduce the life of your tyres and may make your car less safe to drive. The correct tyre pressure for your car is located on the tyre placard, which is usually found inside one of the front doors. If you can’t find it, check the owner’s manual. It’s good to carry a basic pneumatic/mechanical tyre pressure gauge in your car because service station gauges may not be accurate.
You should also check your tyres have sufficient tread. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.5mm on any part of the tyre surface – it’s wise to replace your tyres before they wear this far. Tyres have tread depth indicators in the grooves between the tread. When the tread is worn to be level with an indicator, it is time for a new tyre. Also check your tyres for abnormal wear and damage such as cracks or bulges, which could indicate a suspension problem. Routinely rotating your tyres helps spread the wear and extend tyre life, and it could be good timing to do so before a big trip.
Did you know our service department includes a Tyre Centre with dedicated Tyre Fitter? We can check and replace tyres within your vehicle service.
5. Transmission and power steering fluids
The right way to check your power steering and transmission fluid level differs between makes and models – you can find out how in the owner’s manual. A low fluid level in either could indicate a leak, which should be checked by our Service Department as soon as possible.
6. Maintain your windscreen wipers and washer fluid
Fill your washer bottle with clean water and the right amount of windscreen-washer additive available through our Parts Department. Don't use household detergents as they can damage your paintwork and wiper blades.
If your wiper blades are not cleaning your windscreen properly, or are split or perished, they need to be replaced, we can do this for you at time of vehicle servicing just mention this when you are booking your service.
7. Checking your headlights, tail-lights and indicators
Having working lights is a safety fundamental that’s so obvious, it’s often overlooked. Test your indicators and headlights, including the high beams - your car’s reflection in a glass shopfront or on a wall can be useful if you don’t have someone to help you test the reverse and brake lights.
Replace blown globes with the correct type – you can read this on the globe itself, check the owner’s manual or ask our Service or Parts Department.
8. Warning signs that something is wrong with your car
- You will need to call us to arrange an inspection time if any of the following occurs;
- A dashboard warning light remains on
- You feel any unusual vibrations
- The temperature gauge reads hot You hear any unusual noises
- The oil pressure gauge reads low
- The car has a tendency to wander or steer to one side
- You experience any abnormalities when braking
Our Service Department are here to partner with you in maintaining your vehicle and ensuring it remains in excellent working order. We are available any time to assist and can contacted on 6393 7200 or email email@example.com
Note: This is a guide only. The manufacturer's specific recommendations take precedence and you should still have your car regularly serviced by a qualified technician.