It is getting to be that time of year again. With the warm weather rapidly approaching phone calls will be made to get to get our home A/C units tuned up, landscaping and irrigation maintenance, pool pumps serviced and for some of you, a pedicure to go with those new flip flops. While this is all important maintenance, what about our cars? I ask this because we just finished two major jobs at the shop that could have been avoided and saved both of these young families thousands of dollars with just a little maintenance. The first one suffered from a broken timing belt, causing extensive valve and cylinder head damage. The manufactures replacement interval was recommended at 60,000 miles and this car had over 120,000. The young couple did change the oil regularly at a local car wash but the "car care professionals" at that facility never advised them of the needed maintenance, probably because it wasn't a service they offered or just a lack of knowledge. The second car had gone close to 18 months without an oil change or even having the oil checked. Needless to say, it required an engine replacement when it finally seized up. Now both of these cases are extreme but they could have been avoided. Every vehicle has some required maintenance, usually at 30, 60 and 90 thousand mile intervals. With the average cost of a transmission replacement close to $3,000, wouldn't spending a few hundred dollars on service every 30,000 miles seem like a smart investment? Just like your home, your cars air conditioner is a sealed unit, but unlike your home your car uses a belt to run the compressor, has rubber hoses connecting components and is subject to extreme under hood heat. Oil is circulated through the system with the refrigerant and a system low on refrigerant by as little as a few ounces, while still feeling cold will damage the compressor. We recommend having your a/c system evacuated and recharged every other year. Take out your owners manual and check out the maintenance section or call us and we can look it up for you. Don't let a little "savings" now cost you down the road.