Service FAQs


A computer system called OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics-Second Generation) monitors the operation of the vehicle to ensure emissions are at acceptable levels, helping to maintain a clean environment. The malfunction indicator lamp comes on when the vehicle is placed in ON/RUN for key access or Service Only Mode for Keyless Access, as a check to show it is working. If it does not, have the vehicle serviced by your dealer.

If the malfunction indicator lamp comes on while the engine is running, this indicates that the OBD II system has detected a problem and diagnosis and service might be required.
Malfunctions often are indicated by the system before any problem is apparent. Being aware of the light can prevent more serious damage to the vehicle. This system also assists the dealer technician in correctly diagnosing any malfunction.

Caution: If the vehicle is continually driven with this light on, the emission controls might not work as well, the vehicle fuel economy might not be as good, and the engine might not run as smoothly. This could lead to costly repairs that might not be covered by the vehicle warranty.
Caution: Modifications made to the engine, transmission, exhaust, intake, or fuel system of the vehicle or the replacement of the original tires with other than those of the same Tire Performance Criteria (TPC) can affect the vehicle’s emission controls and can cause this light to come on. Modifications to these systems could lead to costly repairs not covered by the vehicle warranty. This could also result in a failure to pass a required Emission Inspection/Maintenance inspection.



A misfire condition has been detected. A misfire increases vehicle emissions and could damage the emission control system on the vehicle. Diagnosis and service might be required. To prevent more serious damage to the vehicle:
Reduce vehicle speed.
Avoid hard accelerations.
Avoid steep uphill grades.
If towing a trailer, reduce the amount of cargo being hauled as soon as it is possible.
If the light continues to flash, find a safe place to stop and park the vehicle. Turn the vehicle off, wait at least 10 seconds, and restart the engine. If the light is still flashing, follow the previous steps and see your dealer for service as soon as possible.


An emission control system malfunction has been detected on the vehicle. Diagnosis and service might be required.
The following may correct an emission control system malfunction:
Check that the fuel cap is fully installed. The diagnostic system can determine if the fuel cap has been left off or improperly installed. A loose or missing fuel cap allows fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere. A few driving trips with the cap properly installed should turn the light off.
Check that good quality fuel is used. Poor fuel quality causes the engine not to run as efficiently as designed and may cause stalling after start-up, stalling when the vehicle is changed into gear, misfiring, hesitation on acceleration, or stumbling on acceleration. These conditions might go away once the engine is warmed up.
If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.
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To ensure proper engine performance and long life, careful attention must be paid to engine oil. Following these simple, but important steps will help protect your investment:
Always use engine oil approved to the proper specification and of the proper viscosity grade. See “Selecting the Right Engine Oil” in this section.
Check the engine oil level regularly and maintain the proper oil level. See “Checking Engine Oil” and “When to Add Engine Oil” in this section.
Change the engine oil at the appropriate time. Always dispose of engine oil properly. See “What to Do with Used Oil” in this section.


It is a good idea to check the engine oil level at each fuel fill. In order to get an accurate reading, the vehicle must be on level ground.


If the engine has been running recently, turn off the engine and allow several minutes for the oil to drain back into the oil pan. Checking the oil level too soon after engine shutoff will not provide an accurate oil level reading.
Warning: The engine oil dipstick handle may be hot; it could burn you. Use a towel or glove to touch the dipstick handle.
Pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean paper towel or cloth, then push it back in all the way. Remove it again, keeping the tip down, and check the level.
If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.


Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement
Lift the wiper arm off the glass in the service-up position.
Windshield Wiper Arm
Tip: Hold the wiper arm and disengage the windshield wiper arm blade lock.
Windshield Wiper Arm Blade Assembly
Tip: Pull the windshield wiper arm blade rearward from the wiper arm sheep-hook to remove. If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.
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Windshield Wipers


Checking the transmission fluid in your car is a relatively simple procedure and should be done about once per month. To get the most accurate reading you should check the transmission with the engine running and properly warmed up, on a level service.
First, remove the dipstick from under the hood (if you are unsure as to where it is located, check your owner’s manual).
The handle is usually a bright color (generally yellow or red).
Remove the stick, wipe it clean, replace, and then remove it again.
There are labels for “Warm” and “Cold”- check the warm readings.
If it is not full, slowly fill the fluid up a little at a time, and continue to measure with the dipstick.
To fill the fluid you should use a funnel and pour it into the hole where you pulled the dipstick. After filling, replace the dipstick, and after a few moments remove to confirm that it has been done correctly.
When checking your transmission fluid be sure to check it’s color. Transmission fluid is a pinkish/red color. If your fluid is brown that is a sign that there may be something wrong with the car. If this is the case, schedule an appointment, where our experienced technicians are more than happy to help!

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The vehicle must be on a level surface when checking the coolant level.
Check to see if coolant is visible in the coolant surge tank. If the coolant inside the coolant surge tank is boiling, do not do anything else until it cools down.
If coolant is visible but the coolant level is not at or above the mark pointed to, add a 50/50 mixture of clean, drinkable water and DEX-COOL coolant.
Be sure the cooling system is cool before this is done.
If no coolant is visible in the coolant surge tank, add coolant as follows:.


Warning: You can be burned if you spill coolant on hot engine parts. Coolant contains ethylene glycol and it will burn if the engine parts are hot enough. Do not spill coolant on a hot engine.
Caution: This vehicle has a specific coolant fill procedure. Failure to follow this procedure could cause the engine to overheat and be severely damaged.
Warning: Steam and scalding liquids from a hot cooling system can blow out and burn you badly. Never turn the cap when the cooling system, including the surge tank pressure cap, is hot. Wait for the cooling system and surge tank pressure cap to cool.
The coolant surge tank pressure cap can be removed when the cooling system, including the surge tank pressure cap and upper radiator hose, is no longer hot.
Turn the pressure cap slowly counterclockwise. If a hiss is heard, wait for that to stop. A hiss means there is still some pressure left.
Keep turning the cap and remove it.

Fill the coolant surge tank with the proper mixture to the mark pointed to on the front of the coolant surge tank.
With the coolant surge tank cap off, start the engine and let it run until the upper radiator hose starts getting hot. Watch out for the engine cooling fans. By this time, the coolant level inside the coolant surge tank may be lower. If the level is lower, add more of the proper mixture to the coolant surge tank until the level reaches the mark pointed to on the front of the coolant surge tank.
Replace the cap tightly.
Caution If the pressure cap is not tightly installed, coolant loss and possible engine damage may occur. Be sure the cap is properly and tightly secured.

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A class of fuel called TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline is appearing at retail stations of various fuel marketers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. This gasoline meets the detergent standards developed by seven automotive companies. All vehicles will benefit from using TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline over gasoline containing the “Lowest Additive Concentration” (LAC). LAC is also known as the minimum detergent treat rate, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and in Canada, the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB). Those vehicles that have experienced engine deposit related concerns may especially benefit from using TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline.
GM strongly recommends the use of TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline. TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline is guaranteed not to contain harmful organometallic additives, which are sometimes used to raise a fuel’s octane rating and could harm the vehicle’s emission system.
The EPA and CGSB require only a minimum amount of detergent in gasoline. This minimum amount is not adequate to keep the engine running at optimal conditions for the life of the vehicle. TOP TIER Detergent gasoline contains 2–3 times more detergent than the EPA and CGSB minimum requirement, resulting in a lower amount of intake valve deposits (IVD). These IVD’s can negatively affect fuel economy, emissions, and performance.
General Motors, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz developed the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline Standards and support the use of TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline by recommending it in their vehicle Owner Manuals. All seven corporations recognize the benefits to the vehicle, the environment, and the consumer. Additionally, the companies recognize that by joining together they can better address the industry concern with low fuel detergency levels and the intentional addition of metallic additives.
This is a voluntary program for fuel marketers and not all fuel marketers will offer TOP TIER Detergent gasoline. When fuel marketers make public announcements regarding that their gasolines have met the TOP TIER Detergent Standards, they will appear on the list of brands under the Retailers tab at the Home website of

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A Statement About Fuel Economy
As gasoline prices have increased, the consumer has shifted priorities to become increasingly concerned with fuel consumption. GM is presently proud to offer over 30 cars in the U.S. with EPA highway estimates of at least 30 mpg. In Canada, vehicles are rated for fuel consumption in liters per 100 kilometers. GM offers over 20 vehicles in Canada that consume less than 7.0 L/100 km on the highway. The information below contains reasonable and prudent advice for your dealership and the consumer to get the most from every gallon or liter of gas.

The information below is presented in two easy to understand sections:
What Not To Do: Engine and Fuel Additives, Alternate Fuels, and “Miracle” Products
What to Do: Maximizing Fuel Economy/Minimizing Costs
Note: Additional Information about ways to maximize fuel economy, driving more efficiently and detailed test information can be found on the web at
WHAT NOT TO DO: Engine and Fuel Additives, Alternate Fuels, and “Miracle” Products Various unproven products with claims to improve vehicle fuel economy have been reported ranging from magnets that align molecules to chemical combustion improvers.
Most products claiming to provide benefits are based on unsubstantiated claims. Those that do present “scientific” results generally either have too little supporting data to be conclusive, have not conducted experiments in a controlled fashion, or cannot be substantiated by anyone else but the product’s manufacturer.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission summarizes results for products tested by the federal government at A review of the list shows that the majority did not work, and for those that showed some effect, the benefit was too small to be cost effective.
Harmful Ideas That May Damage Your Vehicle and Increase Emissions
One more recent poor idea to improve fuel economy that should not be attempted is to blend either kerosene or diesel fuel into gasoline. Why? Both kerosene and diesel fuel are distillate fuels meant for use in compression ignition engines, not spark ignition engines. They have very low octane and since they are heavier (higher density) than gasoline, they will cause heavy engine deposits and degradation of engine oil.
Notice: Never put Kerosene or Diesel Fuel in your Gasoline Engine vehicle. This may result in inconsistent performance and permanent damage to your vehicle that is not covered by your New Vehicle Warranty.
Chemicals that are normally used as solvents also should not be used. These include acetone, ketones, and methanol. These solvents can be incompatible with your vehicles rubber or sealing components, and may dissolve the vehicle’s paint finish. In the case of methanol, corrosion of metal parts in the fuel system also may occur.
Notice: Never use acetone, ketones, or methanol additives in your vehicle. Some of these solvents may damage or corrode your fuel system. They are also very damaging to the painted surfaces of the vehicle if spilled.
Damage to vehicle components that result from non-approved or aftermarket additives and devices are not covered under the terms of the New Vehicle Warranty. The only fuel additive currently approved by GM is GM Fuel System Treatment Plus, P/N 88861262 (12 oz) or 88861013 (20 oz) (in Canada, P/N 88861012).
WHAT TO DO: Maximizing Fuel Economy/Minimizing Costs
The best fuel economy possible is the direct result of proper maintenance and good driving habits. Listed below are GM’s recommendations to achieve the best mileage possible. The first group are things to consider for your vehicle, while the second are tips relating to your driving habits.
Vehicle Considerations:
Tire Pressure – One of the major contributors to poor fuel economy are under inflated tires. Tires low on pressure create drag that the vehicle’s powertrain must overcome, wasting dollars in fuel. Always keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure as shown on the vehicle placard. This not only serves to increase gas mileage but cuts down on tire wear, further decreasing your costs per mile.
Air Filter – A vehicle that has a dirty air filter can’t efficiently draw air into the engine. This restriction forces the engine to expend energy to “breathe” wasting fuel in the process. Change recommendations are found in your vehicle Owner’s Manual.
Proper Viscosity DEXOS Rated Oil – Always use the proper viscosity oil in your engine. Oil that has a higher than required viscosity will create more drag on the internal components of the engine, causing more work for it, especially when cold. Each Owner’s Manual contains information on the proper type of oil for your vehicle. For current and recent vehicles look for the DEXOS indicator on the bottle. Older vehicles Owners Manuals indicate to look for the starburst symbol. DEXOS rated oil is also an excellent choice for these older vehicles. If you are in doubt, stop by your dealer for an oil change, and any other services required. Most current GM vehicles are equipped with oil life monitors to further assist on the “when” to change your oil. (Aveo/Wave/Optra/Epica currently do not have oil life monitors).
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Notice: GM Vehicles DO NOT require additional engine oil additives. Some additives may cause harmful effects to the internal seals and additionally void the terms of your vehicles New Car Warranty.

Top Tier Fuels – Some fuel manufacturers provide gasoline advertised as TOP TIER DETERGENT GASOLINE. These fuels are preferable when and where available. They help to keep your fuel injectors and intake valves free of deposits. Clean engines provide optimal fuel economy, performance and reduced emissions. For a complete list of Top Tier Fuel providers, please refer to the latest version of Corporate Service Bulletin #04-06-04-047 in the US or #05-06-04-022 in Canada. When Top Tier fuels are not available, consider a bottle of GM Fuel System Treatment Plus, P/N 88861262 (12 oz) or 88861013 (20 oz) (in Canada, P/N 88861012), at oil change time, which will remove intake system and injector deposits. GM does not recommend any other fuel system cleaner.
Important: DO NOT confuse Top Tier Fuels with Higher Octane (Plus/Premium Grade Fuel) commonly sold at most all gas stations. Plus and Premium fuels are required in some high performance GM vehicles. However, they do not necessarily represent higher detergency present in TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline.

Important: For additional information regarding Top Tier fuels and availability, please refer to the latest version of Corporate Bulletin Number 04-06-04-047 for U.S. or 05-06-04-022 for Canada.

Notice: E85 FUELS: Only vehicles designated for use with E85 should use E85 blended fuel. E85 compatibility is designated for vehicles that are certified to run on up to 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. All other gasoline engines are designed to run on fuel that contains no more than 10% ethanol. Use of fuel containing greater than 10% ethanol in non-E85 designated vehicles can cause driveability issues, service engine soon indicators as well as increased fuel system corrosion.

Use the Recommended Grade (Octane) Fuel
Important: In high performance GM vehicles that DO require Premium (91 octane or higher) fuel, you MUST use fuels of at least this octane. Use of lower octane fuel may result in reduced performance, knocking, and/or permanent engine damage not covered under the terms of the New Vehicle Warranty.

Check Engine/Service Engine Soon Light – Is the Check Engine/SES light on? When this light is on, the vehicles On-Board diagnostics computer has noticed that something is wrong. GM vehicles have many sensors that the computer uses to both control and sense actual fuel usage. When the computer lights the Check Engine/SES light it has lost some ability to run efficiently. This may result in increased fuel consumption, increased emissions, and/or driveability concerns.
Spark Plugs – Even though most current GM vehicles have 160,000 km (100,000 mi) service intervals for spark plugs, if your vehicle is at that point in its life, have the spark plugs changed to assure proper running and continued efficient, trouble free operation. Refer to the applicable Maintenance Schedule for spark plugs service intervals on Chevrolet Aveo, Optra, Epica, Pontiac Vibe, Wave and Saturn Astra.
Changes In Driving Habits:

Slow Down, Drive Smoothly – Avoid quick/full throttle acceleration from a standstill in town and high cruising speeds on the interstates. While the optimum MPG for highway cruising speed varies from vehicle to vehicle, faster is almost always worse. If your vehicle is equipped with a Driver Information Center that displays Instant Fuel Economy, select that read out and vary your cruising speed while on the highway. The display will change continuously with uphill and downhill sections but you should quickly be able to identify on level ground the speed range that your vehicle does the best in.
Empty Your Trunk – Avoid leaving unnecessary items in your trunk. It takes power to move increased weight and that means more gasoline consumption and reduced performance. While the change may be slight, multiplied by thousands of miles, it all adds up.
Avoid Extended Idling – There is no need to idle your engine till it reaches operating temperature. Idling wastes fuel.
Combine Trips – Your vehicle uses much more fuel when the engine is cold. This is especially true in the winter months when the engine will take the longest to warm up. Combine errands or trips so that the vehicle only needs to warm up once to encompass many different stops. – The U.S. Department of Energy website is an informative resource for more information on driving efficiently.

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A Bluetooth-enabled cell phone must be paired to the Bluetooth system and then connected to the vehicle before it can be used. See the cell phone manufacturer’s user guide for Bluetooth functions before pairing the cell phone.
Pairing Information
A Bluetooth phone with music capability can be paired to the vehicle as a phone and a music player at the same time.
Up to 10 devices can be paired to the Bluetooth system.
The pairing process is disabled when the vehicle is moving.
Pairing only needs to be completed once, unless the pairing information on the cell phone changes or the cell phone is deleted from the system.
One Bluetooth device can be connected to the Bluetooth system at a time.
If multiple paired cell phones are within range of the system, the system connects to the paired cell phone in the order that they were last used in the system. To link to a different paired phone, see “Linking to a Different Phone” later in this section.
Pairing a Phone
Press the PHONE screen button.
Select PHONES and select Pair New Device.
A four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) appears on the display. The PIN, if required, may be used in Step 5.
Start the pairing process on the cell phone to be paired to the vehicle. See the cell phone manufacturer’s user guide for information on this process.
Locate “Buick IntelliLink” on the display. Follow the instructions provided in Step 3, to enter the PIN. After the PIN is successfully entered or the code is confirmed, the system responds with “ has been successfully paired” when the pairing process is complete.
If “Buick IntelliLink” does not appear, turn the phone off or remove the phone battery and retry.
If the phone prompts to accept connection or allow phone book download, select Always Accept and Allow. The phone book may not be available if not accepted.
Repeat Steps 1−5 to pair additional phones.
Listing All Paired and Connected Phones
Press the PHONE screen button.
Select PHONES.
Disconnecting a Connected Phone
Press the PHONE screen button.
Select PHONES.
Press the z next to the phone to disconnect.
Deleting a Paired PhoneOnly disconnected phones can be deleted.
Press the PHONE screen button.
Select PHONES.
Press the M next to the phone to delete and follow the onscreen prompts.
Linking to a Different PhoneTo link to a different phone, the new phone must be in the vehicle and paired to the Bluetooth system.
Press the PHONE screen button.
Select PHONES.
Select the new phone to link to from the not connected device list.
If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.
For more information or to request service, click here
Before Removing the Battery:
Set up a secure working environment. Park on a flat, level surface at a safe distance from traffic sparks or open flames. Put on the parking brake. Put on gloves and safety goggles.
Remove the cigarette lighter and plug the memory keeper into socket. If you don’t have a memory keeper make sure you have all the PINs for your electronic equipment before you start. You may wish to check your car manual to see what devices may be affected.
Remove the Old Battery and Install the New One:
Locate the battery – The battery should be located in an accessible part on either side of the car’s frame. The battery is a rectangular box with two cables attached to it. In some European cars the battery is under the matting in the trunk, or inside the fender of the wheel well.
Identify battery terminals – Locate the positive and the negative terminals. The positive terminal will have a plus sign and the negative terminal will have a minus sign.
Disconnect the negative terminal – Loosen the negative clamp with a wrench and slide it off of the terminal. It is important that you disconnect the negative terminal socket before the positive terminal socket. Otherwise, you may short circuit the positive terminal to a grounded part of the car.
Disconnect the positive terminal.
Remove the car battery and put in the new battery.
Reconnect the positive and negative terminal.
Tighten the clamps using a wrench.
Close the hood – Shut the hood of your car firmly and start your car.
Check that all the electronic devices are working properly.
Remember to properly dispose of the old battery.
If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.


Removing the Flat Tire and Installing the Spare Tire
Do a safety check before proceeding.
Turn the wheel wrench counterclockwise to loosen the wheel nut caps.
If needed, finish loosening them by hand. The nut caps will not come off of the wheel cover.
The edge of the wheel cover could be sharp, so do not try to remove the cover with your bare hands. Do not drop the cap or lay it face down, as it could become scratched or damaged.
Store the wheel cover in the trunk until you have the flat tire repaired or replaced.
Wrench and Tire
Turn the wheel wrench counterclockwise to loosen all of the wheel nuts, but do not remove them yet.
Caution: Make sure that the jack lift head is in the correct position or you may damage your vehicle. The repairs would not be covered by your warranty.
Position the jack head, as shown.
Set the jack to the necessary height before positioning it below the jacking point.
Attach the jack lift assist tool to the jack by fitting both ends of the jack and tool over one another.
Warning: Getting under a vehicle when it is lifted on a jack is dangerous. If the vehicle slips off the jack, you could be badly injured or killed. Never get under a vehicle when it is supported only by a jack.
Warning: Raising the vehicle with the jack improperly positioned can damage the vehicle and even make the vehicle fall. To help avoid personal injury and vehicle damage, be sure to fit the jack lift head into the proper location before raising the vehicle.
Warning: Lifting a vehicle and getting under it to do maintenance or repairs is dangerous without the appropriate safety equipment and training. If a jack is provided with the vehicle, it is designed only for changing a flat tire. If it is used for anything else, you or others could be badly injured or killed if the vehicle slips off the jack. If a jack is provided with the vehicle, only use it for changing a flat tire.
Turn the jack handle clockwise to raise the vehicle far enough off the ground for the compact spare to fit under the vehicle.
Checking Tire Air
Remove all of the wheel nuts.
Remove the flat tire.
Warning: Rust or dirt on a wheel, or on the parts to which it is fastened, can make wheel nuts become loose after time. The wheel could come off and cause an accident. When changing a wheel, remove any rust or dirt from places where the wheel attaches to the vehicle. In an emergency, a cloth or a paper towel can be used; however, use a scraper or wire brush later to remove all rust or dirt.
Remove any rust or dirt from the wheel bolts, mounting surfaces, and spare wheel.
Install the compact spare tire.
Warning: Never use oil or grease on bolts or nuts because the nuts might come loose. The vehicle’s wheel could fall off, causing a crash.
Put the wheel nuts back on with the rounded end of the nuts toward the wheel. Turn each nut clockwise by hand until the wheel is held against the hub.
Lower the vehicle by turning the jack handle counterclockwise. Lower the jack completely.
Tighten the wheel nuts firmly in a crisscross sequence, as shown.
Lower the jack all the way and remove the jack from under the vehicle.
Tighten the wheel nuts firmly with the wheel wrench.
Warning: Wheel nuts that are improperly or incorrectly tightened can cause the wheels to become loose or come off. The wheel nuts should be tightened with a torque wrench to the proper torque specification after replacing. Follow the torque specification supplied by the aftermarket manufacturer when using accessory locking wheel nuts.
Caution: Improperly tightened wheel nuts can lead to brake pulsation and rotor damage. To avoid expensive brake repairs, evenly tighten the wheel nuts in the proper sequence and to the proper torque specification.
If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.
What Do Extended Warranties Cover?What are the types of extended warranties?There are two general types of extended warranties. The first type (and the one most consumers are familiar with) are extended warranties offered by vehicle manufacturers. These comprehensive policies often extend the original warranty for an additional period of time, allowing customers to continue to take their vehicle to the dealer for service and repair once the original warranty ends.The second type of extended warranty is offered by an independent service or insurance company. These warranties allow services to be performed at many different locations, including the dealership. Since the warranty is offered by a third party, some companies will require customers to pay the repair shop directly for service, and then submit receipts to the warranty company for reimbursement.What are the benefits of an extended warranty?An extended warranty is a safeguard against unexpected vehicle repairs. An extended warranty helps to ensure that repair costs are covered without undue financial stress. Many extended warranties are also transferable to future owners. This works in favor of the seller as it may increase resale value. For the buyer, it gives additional peace of mind when purchasing. The transfer fee is usually minimal. In addition to repair and resale benefits, many extended warranties offer other automotive-related benefits such as towing, car rental discounts, lost-key lockout services, and trip-interruption benefits that can help defray unexpected expenses if your vehicle breaks down far from home.What they do not cover: exclusions and wear itemsExtended warranties cover most major vehicle components, but they are not nearly as comprehensive as the “bumper-to-bumper” warranties that come with a new vehicle. Even the most comprehensive extended warranties have exclusions for items such as the windshield, headlights, or light bulbs. “Wear items” are vehicle parts that deteriorate over time from normal use. These include tires, brakes, and shocks, which are nearly always excluded. The subtle differences between extended warranties offered by different providers are often found in the exclusions.Does my vehicle need an extended warranty?An extended warranty is ideal for someone on a fixed budget who does not want to be surprised with expensive repair bills. If that describes your situation, and you plan to keep your vehicle longer than the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, an extended service contract may be right for you. Like all insurance policies, it is prudent to do some homework before purchasing one to establish the reliability and repair costs of the vehicle in question.A vehicle with a good reliability record may not be a strong candidate for an extended warranty. You can research vehicle reliability and quality ratings in the autos section of Although the reliability of your particular vehicle is never guaranteed, vehicle trends become apparent in these long-term quality ratings.Furthermore, a vehicle with low repair costs may not be a strong candidate for an extended warranty. Repair costs vary greatly between makes and models and it may be less expensive to pay for minor repairs out-of-pocket, rather than purchasing an expensive warranty. A common electrical component (such as an alternator) can cost double or triple the price on some vehicles. Check prices on common components to determine how much repairs will cost on your vehicle before you invest in a warranty.A vehicle currently under the manufacturer’s warranty may not be a good candidate for an extended warranty. Review your current warranty. If your vehicle is warranted by the manufacturer for another few years, there is no reason to have double coverage. Remember, you can always buy an extended warranty just before your original warranty expires.The bottom lineLike any insurance product, some policies are less expensive and more inclusive than others. If you are a good candidate for an extended warranty, choose one that fits your budget with a sensible deductible, and a clause that allows it to be transferred to a future owner. Do your research correctly and you may find a policy that not only covers the cost of most of your repairs, but also pays for itself with increased resale value years down the road.
Powertrain Warranty: Don’t be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn’t promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don’t cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.
What Is Wrong With My Brakes?
Most would agree that brakes are the most important feature of your car—but do you know how to detect when there’s a problem with your brakes, or how to do a maintenance check on your brake system?

Below are the standard warning signs that something might be wrong with your brakes. If you’re noticing any of the following symptoms, be sure to follow the links at the bottom of this article for step-by-step instructions for checking and replacing your brake system, including the master cylinder, brake lines and disc brakes. And if your brakes happen to go out while you’re driving, follow these rules for handling the situation.

1. Unusual Noises
If you hear your brakes squeal or make a grinding noise when you use them, it’s a sign that they may need adjustment or replacement. Grinding noises are particularly serious, as they indicate that your brake pads are worn may need to be replaced.

2. Brake Warning Lights
If the brake or Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) warning light on your dashboard lights up, it means you’re running on low brake fluid. See the master cylinder section for details on how to add more fluid, and also follow the instructions for brake line inspection—usually low fluid means that there’s a leak somewhere in your brake lines .

3. Pulling
If your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, it could mean your brakes are maladjusted, there is brake fluid leakage, or your brakes are worn out and need to be replaced.

4. Pedal Problems
If your brake pedal feels “spongy” or hard to press down, it usually means that air has gotten into the brake lines. You may also be having an issue with low brake fluid. Be sure to check your master cylinder and your brake lines.

5. Bad Vibrations
If your steering wheel, brake pedal or entire car shakes or vibrates when you apply the brakes, your brake rotors may be warped and need replacement.

To head many of these issues off at the pass, be sure to have your brakes checked periodically (once or twice a year).
When Do I Change Oil?
Engine Oil Life System
When to Change Engine OilThis vehicle has a computer system that indicates when to change the engine oil and filter. This is based on a combination of factors which include engine revolutions, engine temperature, and miles driven. Based on driving conditions, the mileage at which an oil change is indicated can vary considerably. For the oil life system to work properly, the system must be reset every time the oil is changed.
When the system has calculated that oil life has been diminished, it indicates that an oil change is necessary. A CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message comes on. Change the oil as soon as possible within the next 1,000 km (600 mi). It is possible that, if driving under the best conditions, the oil life system might indicate that an oil change is not necessary for up to a year. The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and at this time the system must be reset. Your dealer has trained service people who will perform this work and reset the system. It is also important to check the oil regularly over the course of an oil drain interval and keep it at the proper level.
If the system is ever reset accidentally, the oil must be changed at 5,000km (3,000 mi) since the last oil change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever the oil is changed.How to Reset the Engine Oil Life SystemReset the system whenever the engine oil is changed so that the system can calculate the next engine oil change. To reset the system:
Using the DIC controls on the right side of the steering wheel, display REMAINING OIL LIFE on the DIC. When remaining oil life is low, the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message will appear on the display.
Press V on the DIC controls and hold down for a few seconds to clear the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message and reset the oil life at 100%.
Be careful not to reset the oil life display accidentally at any time other than after the oil is changed. It cannot be reset accurately until the next oil change.
The system is reset when the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message is off.
If the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message comes back on when the vehicle is started, the engine oil life system has not been reset. Repeat the procedure.
If you are uncomfortable replacing the battery yourself or you are experiencing any other issue with your vehicle, please contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.
If your air conditioning isn’t blowing cold air, there are a few different things that could be wrong with it. Here are some of the most common issues and what you can do to fix them.
It Needs RechargingThe most common cause of an air conditioner not getting cold enough is that it needs to be recharged. You can recharge your refrigerant by yourself, but if you’re not comfortable doing it, one of our ASE Certified mechanics are standing by and should be able to get your cold air flowing again pretty quickly.There’s a Freon LeakFreon is the chemical that cools the air, so if there’s a leak in the system, it will eventually run low or run out. Todays A/C systems are very sensitive. They require a specific amount of Freon, measured in pounds, to operate correctly.
The proper way to check the system for the correct volume of Freon is with a charging machine. This device will first remove all Freon form the system then input the correct amount for proper operation.
Freon leaks may be very, very slow. If you add more Freon and lose your cold air within a few weeks, however, you may need to have the hoses and other system components checked and replaced.The A/C Compressor May Not EngageThis problem can occur due to a variety of conditions. Failure can occur when there’s an electrical fault in your compressor’s circuit or clutch, Freon can be low or the vehicle can be overheating.
Today’s cars are computer controlled and one of the first systems that is turned off when the computer senses an engine problem is the A/C system. Usually, the malfunctioning part has to be replaced by a qualified mechanic.The Blend Air Door is StuckThere’s a small hatch inside your car’s ventilation system called the “blend air door”. When you turn your environmental system from heat to cold, the door should change to drawing in cold air. If it doesn’t change, it will still be drawing heat from the engine and blowing it on you! Again, this is a job for a qualified mechanic.You Can Feel Cold Air, But It’s Not BlowingThis could mean the A/C’s fan has stopped working. It may be as simple as changing a wire, or you may need a new fan unit. Again, this isn’t something you can really change yourself, especially since it may require taking apart your car’s dashboard to reach all of the components.Other IssuesYour A/C system is complicated, and while there are some easy fixes like adding Freon, there are also more difficult issues that only a trained and certified mechanic can fix. In a few cases, the problem is indicative of more severe issues, but usually repairing the A/C is a fairly simple job, even when a mechanic has to handle it.


A rough engine idle can come from a variety of causes. During the winter months, cars may have a harder time starting and will shake when first turned on. This form of rough idle can easily be mistaken for other problems. Engine idle problems can also be attributed to malfunctioning components, such as spark plugs. Holes in the air intake valve can also cause a rough engine idle because of excessive amounts of air being drawn in.
The rough idle of an engine can signify a power loss in the car. This loss of power could lead to other problems, such as excessive gas consumption. This lack of power can also lead to additional wear on other parts of the car. Ignoring problems with the engine of can lead to a massive breakdown that will require you either to make costly repairs or replace the car entirely.
Rough idle problems can be attributed to a variety of problems in an engine. A primary form of defense against these issues is to give your car regularly scheduled tune-ups. Many automotive service shops have tune-up packages that will review many different areas of your engine. Some also allow you to receive an oil change which knocks out two forms of maintenance. Review the owner’s manual to see the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
Additional Maintenance Checks
Checking parts of your car such as the air filter and spark plugs should be included in a regular maintenance schedule. Other procedures include oil changes, tire rotations and transmission checks. Keep a small notepad in the glove box with the dates and mileages that you last had these checks done. This will assist you in staying on track for your next service.