Safety checks to keep your car sound
Q: At the four-year service, when my Mazda had only done 15,000km, my service guy recommended about $300 of extra work on the vehicle, such as injection cleaning, which is not in the Mazda service. I was a bit shocked and asked if he was aware the car had only done only 15,000km and that I was surprised they thought this work was needed. He then said no and I asked if he had even bothered to look at the vehicle and he said no. I then asked if he was a mechanic and he replied no. Is this overservicing, or is it genuine work that needs to be done onmyvehicle?
Peter Sauerberg, email.
A: I think you can assume it is overservicing. Some dealers encourage their staff to try to sell customers services they don’t really need. Injector cleaning is one of the services that regularly crops up here at Carsguide. You did the right thing by questioning the caller instead of blindly agreeing to the work.
Q: The driver’s door electric window on my Mazda 626 goes down when the button is pressed, but I have to wait about 5-10 minutes before it will rise when the button is pressed to close the window. As the window rises it will go up to about the half-way mark before it grinds to a halt and sometimes slides back down again some of the way. If I switch off the motor and leave it off for 3-5 minutes I can often get the window to rise all the way when the ignition is switched back on. Do you know what the problem might be and can I swap either the rear window motor or the passenger window motor for the driver’s window?
Chris H, email.
A: It’s most likely the window winder motor that’s the problem and you should be able to switch the motor from one of the other doors to the driver’s door. Now that the cooler weather is upon us we should be checking our cars to make sure they are safe and sound for the most challenging driving months ahead of us.
With longer hours of darkness we often are leaving for work in the dark and getting home in the dark. That makes visibility critical. It not only is important we can see the road ahead, but it also is important other motorists see us.
Have a family member check the operation of the lights on our car, perhaps even make it a game the kids can be involved in.
Check headlights, low and high beam, the front and rear turn signals and the side indicators, and the brake lights. Have any not working fixed. Check the operation of the windscreen wipers and washers.
Washer nozzles often become clogged when not in use over the summer and need cleaning before winter sets in.
Regularly check the washer res- ervoir and top up when needed.
Check the operation of the windscreen demister to ensure it is functioning correctly.
Keeping the inside of the windscreen clear of fog is just as important as keeping the windscreen clean on the outside.
Check the operation of window demister.
While visibility is important to safety on the road in winter, so too is grip.
Check the condition of your cars
rear tyres, particularly of tread they have.
The primary function of the tread is to remove water from the area of the tyre in contact with the road, and the tyres’ ability to drain the contact patch is reduced as the tread wears down.
It is important to maintain inflation pressure.
The tyres’ contact patch is reduced when tyres are underinflated or over-inflated.