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New ownership since 2016! 520-351-2061

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs, today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels.

As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions.

If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go. As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting engine, mechanical powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel ignition, and emissions.

To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.



Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

Mechanical failure - an inconvenience anytime it occurs - can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. A well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.

Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters - air, fuel, etc.

Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.

Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent - you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.

Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.

Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.

Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Carry emergency gear - gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.



Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too! Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.

Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended - more often in dusty conditions. Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Emergencies - Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.



Keeping your vehicle in tune with the environment is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last longer - up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians.

The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%.
  • Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
  • Check your tires for proper inflation. Underinflation wastes fuel - your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle.
  • Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 60 mph.
  • Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.
  • Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm-ups on cold winter mornings.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage.
  • Store luggage/cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
  • Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions.
  • Join a car pool.

Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.

ASSOCIATIONS

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • Parts Plus
  • BBB Reviews
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • We found our former auto repair shop closed only to "randomly" pull into Mark Knaak's, Covenant Automotive, LLC today. While it makes sense to get an appointment, they performed mechanical service on two of our cars without hesitation. They were pleasant to work with, asked appropriate questions, provided information and excellent service second to none. Mark is a VERY experienced mechanic and able to work on almost ANY make or model. He specializes in "high end" luxury vehicles. Raise your prices, Mark! You deserve EVERY penny. THANK YOU. We'll be back!
    -Thomas & Gloria W.

  • Mark was honest, kind, worked very efficiently, and made my experience at Covenant Automotive not only enjoyable but heaven sent. I will certainly be taking my Nissan to him and his team as long as they are in business in Tucson. Thank you Mark for your kind heart and excellent service!
    -Hallah K.

  • Very impressed! I just dropped in before 3pm on 2/19/2018 with my 2001 F150 Lariat, thinking I might need a fuel filter replacement..."Service Engine Soon" light was lit. When they checked, it was determined the truck was misfiring on #8. I thought I'd have to arrange another day to bring it in for the estimated 3 hour job; Mark assured me that he could get two guys to work on it right away, and if they had to go a little past 5, they'd do whatever was needed to get me going. Well, a whole set of plugs and a new coil, and they finished at 4:50! Amazing work!
    -Pam D.

  • My stepdad brings in our cars to Mark and he does a fabulous job taking care of them! I took my Nissan Maxima in for an oil change and to get my splash guard nailed back into place. They took excellent care of my car and I am very impressed with them! Will be back with my husband's car for an oil change, and will keep coming back! The oil change is a great price for the service that you receive!
    -Renee F.

  • Very honest work done in timely manner prices very good
    -Sean H.

  • Mark has worked on my Mercedes E350...and now a doge journey (only an oil change and inspection before cross country trip.) The service and above all, honesty you'll get here is just the best. We're moving east and will miss them!
    -Phyllis G.

  • Very honest and fair! My stepdad has been bringing the cars here for years and they are very fast and effeciant. I will be coming back again in the future for any work that needs to be done to my car.
    -Renee

  • Covenant has repaired my BMW multiple times and are amazing to work with. I always get a fair price and they are extremely responsive. They will continue to get my families business.
    -Elise N.

  • My 2000 GMC 1500 SLT 2WD with 147K original miles had developed a popping sound in the frt left side while I was visiting in Tucson, and being a bit of a motorhead from years past, I had a good idea as to what it was. I took it into a well known national chain garage to do an inspection, not only did they charge me $20 to do the inspection, they quoted me well over $2300 to complete the work. Then I did a little web search and found Covenant Automotive which is backed by NAPA so I called made an appt. I took it in as scheduled and they got right on it, doing the inspection and working up a quote, that is when Mark told me that he would quote the job in the most economical manner, which meant replacing the entire upper arm rather than replacing the bushings and the ball joint separately on both sides, as well as the tie rods on both sides. He quoted me $1017 and change which also included an alignment. They took me back to the RV Park where I was staying and finish! ed the work as promised, on time and on budget! I have driven the truck now for a few weeks, took a 500 mile road trip and I am completely satisfied with the quality level of their work. Mark and his team are not just mechanics, they are motorheads themselves and it is in their blood, they will work on your car or truck as if it was their own and they take great pride in their commitment to their customers My thanks to the team at Covenant Automotive, and Happy New Year!
    -Marc G.

  • All I can say is I wish you were here in Amarillo where I just moved. I've never had such good service from anyone, and I am a real skeptic when it comes to mechanics. You and your crew are the best. Thank you!
    -Bonnie Lundy