Taking care of your Audi does not need to be expensive and time consuming. Staying proactive with regular maintenance checks and tune-ups can save you from Audi repair costs that could have been avoided. Take advantage of your Audi repair shop’s expertise when it comes to all of your major repair work, that is if you are not a do-it-yourselfer, however, simple health checks on your vehicle can be done by anyone if you know what to look for.
The days of full-service gas stations are a thing of the past as cars today are built to last 30,000 plus miles before a tune-up. That being said, we as consumers have lost the regular reminder of fluid checks, leak checks, hose checks, etc. that we grew accustom to from full-service gas stations. Advancements in the auto industry have been huge since those days, but just because our cars are built to perform longer, does not mean it is a good idea to forget about everything under your hood until you are left stranded. Audi repair can get quite expensive as with all European cars, so if you enjoy tinkering around with your car, here are a few tips on monthly maintenance checks that will keep your Audi in tip-top shape and save you from costly repairs down the road.
The first thing to note is that import car manufacturers are required to specify what kinds of fluids are to be used, so check with your Audi owner’s manual if you want to replace the fluids yourself, otherwise if you see a leak, or your levels are low, take it to your Audi repair shop without hesitation. Also, these are reminders only, if you are unsure of the process for each check, consult your owner’s manual.
Oil: Always check the oil when the engine is warm. Because oil expands when hot and contracts when cold, you will get different readings.
Brake Fluid: If you aren’t sure where the master cylinder is, check your owner’s manual. This is a small rectangular piece of metal with a plastic reservoir that holds the brake fluid. It has a rubber cap that reads “Use only Dot 3 or 4 brake fluid from a sealed container”. Newer cars have this clear plastic reservoir that is easy to see through for checking fluid levels.
Radiator Fluid/ Coolant: Low coolant leads to expensive repairs. Radiator fluid is the most important part of your Audi’s cooling system. Do not attempt to check coolant levels if your car is overheating. The reservoir will be under a lot of pressure and you can be seriously burned.
Automatic Transmission Fluid: You need to check this every month and when your transmission isn’t shifting properly if your Audi is automatic.
Hydraulic Clutch Fluid: If you have a manual transmission, you either have a hydraulic clutch which needs fluid; otherwise, you have a cable that connects the clutch pedal to the transmission.
Power Steering Fluid (if applicable): Most cars require a particular type of power steering fluid for that model, so check your owner’s manual for the type that fits your Audi.
Windshield Wiper Fluid: This is another check you will need to do only when your engine is cool. One slip of the hose and you could be scalded with anti-freeze or hot water.
Old radiator hoses feel crunchy to the touch when squeezing. If you have an old hose that is frayed or cracked or one with a leak, get it replaced immediately. Faulty hoses will cause overheating due to coolant leaks and will lead to costly repairs. Perform this check when engine is cool.
Belts are used to operate the fan, water pump, alternator, air conditioner, power steering pump and smog pump so a broken belt will lead to a slew of problems and costly Audi repair.
If it’s cracked or can be easily pushed more than 1 inch, it most likely needs to be replaced.
CHECK ENGINE LEAKS
The only fluids that get used up are your gasoline and windshield wiper fluids, otherwise, all other fluid stay where they are. If you notice you levels are low, you probably have a leak. Many leaks are detectable by simply opening the hood and observing the engine. Sticky green fluid is coolant, Windex looking fluid for windshields, dark colored fluid is engine oil, dark honey colored fluid with a chestnut smell is gear oil, slippery yellow liquid is brake fluid, slippery red liquid is automatic transmission fluid and gasoline although not visibly detectible, well, smells like gas.
Your Audi repair shop knows exactly what kind of belts, hoses and fluids are to be used on your particular model, so if you find a problem in your checks, get them fixed a.s.a.p.!
We are conveniently located in Houston TX just west of the Galleria, and service mainly the Memorial, West University, Mid Town, Heights, Downtown, River Oaks, Sugarland and Bellaire areas.