Prescott Auto Repair Service, Oil Changes and Automotive Maintenance - Twin Lakes Auto Service

Ten Tips for SUV Owners

Tips for SUV Owners - Twin Lakes Auto Service

Don't let the larger size and rugged image of the typical SUV fool you. SUVs need routine care and maintenance for peak performance and safe operation. Their owners - new SUV drivers in particular - should take time to learn about safety.

For those too busy or too overwhelmed by modern vehicles to perform their own maintenance, the pros at the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offer some advice on choosing a repair establishment:

  • Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one.
  • Ask friends and associates for recommendations; consult local consumer organizations.
  • Look for a courteous staff, with a service writer willing to answer all of your questions.
  • Brake early and with caution. SUVs can weigh up to two or three times as much as a typical vehicle, which translates into longer stopping distances. Be aware of the distance between you and the vehicles in front of, and behind you, and begin your braking sequence earlier than you would in a lighter vehicle.
  • Look for a neat, well organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.
  • Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based solely on location
  • Look for posted policies regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, acceptable methods of payment, etc.
  • Be aware of road conditions. SUVs typically handle snow with ease, but no vehicle can, or should, speed through sleet-, snow- or ice-covered roads. Stopping in such conditions can even be tricky in an SUV. Be sensible and drive as road conditions warrant.
  • Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community, or customer service awards.
  • Start off with a minor job and progress to more complex work if you are pleased with the establishment.
  • Ask if the repair facility usually handles your type of repair work.
  • Check your tires. Four-wheel drive doesn't guarantee good traction - all four need to have good tread depth and be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended air pressure. Air in tires contracts, reducing the tire air pressure up to one pound per square inch for each 10-degree drop in temperature. Check your inflation pressure more frequently during the cold months, or times of wide temperature swings. Under-inflation will lessen the gripping action because the tire tread will not meet the road surface as it was designed to do.


Look for evidence of qualified technicians: trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and certification of the technicians by ASE.




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