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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

It's Time for the 21st Century Tune-up

Times are changing...cars are changing. One of the biggest changes in today's automotive industry is the perception of a "tune-up." Ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of a tune-up and chances are there'll be 10 different answers. 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.

The tune-up was historically associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help "tune" the engine. Mounting pressure for increased fuel economy and lower emissions drove the car manufacturers to adopt electronics and to do away with ignition points in the '70s, along with the carburetor in the middle '80s. This eliminated the need for the replacement and adjustment of a growing number of ignition and fuel system parts.

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. Things that were once handled mechanically are now controlled electronically through the widespread use of onboard computer technology.

Because vehicles have changed so much over the years, the Car Care Council has introduced the 21st Century Tune-up. This program is designed to help re-define and educate motorists as to what a tune-up should consist of on today's modern vehicles.

"There is a misconception that today's modern vehicles don't need tune-ups because they never break down, but that simply is not true," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "If you're at work and your computer goes down, you can't get any more work done. It's the same with your vehicle. 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
  • Emissions

Vehicle owners ask for tune-ups for a variety of reasons, including improving performance, maintaining reliability, planning a vacation, preparing for winter/summer or because they're giving the car to a friend or family member.

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 from every aspect. 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. Besides, 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 drivability 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 drivability 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

Car care 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. Under inflation 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.
  • Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician certified competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain CFCs-gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the majority escapes during service and repair-so it's important to choose a qualified technician.
  • Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil, anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local municipal or county government for recycling sites. Never dump used oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in open streams.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 55 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.


What Our Customers Are Saying

Only place I take my card to, even for oil changes. Always professional and friendly and most importantly, trustworthy.


-Thais N.

Excellent, fast, and honest service. I've been coming to Poirier's for 15 years and would never take my car anywhere else.


-Alex H.

No one wants to spend money on repairs but these people know their stuff and they’re honest.


-Casey M.

Exceptional customer service. Always timely repairs and fair prices.


-Chris F.

Always good auto service. The mechanics always go over your vehicle and make sure everything is right. Ken and crew are friendly and very professional.


-Steve A.

Great service, fair price, Ken and Dave treat you with respect and courtesy. Thanks guys


-Buddy

Ken went the 'extra mile' showing us kindness that I doubt that you could find in the average mechanic. We've had him service and repair our two vehicles for the last 10 years...he is both honest and professional...how very rare that is in Fort Lauderdale! We THANK GOD for his service.


-Richard G.

This place is great. They are fair and honest. They don't try to sell you things you don't need. 4 wheel alignment was only $85! I will definitely be back in the future.


-Mark G.

Great service. Trustworthy mechanics and honest owner. Been going for about 15 years and refer friends all the time.


-Valerie M.

Initially went to get an oil change. Ken advised me that they also do a courtesy inspection free of charge, which they did and they found several things in need of repair/replace, things that I wouldn't have found until too late. Thanks to Ken and his staff I did get an oil change and transmission fluid change and will return shortly to have my brake pads replaced. Excellent and professional service done in a timely manner. Would definitely use again and recommend for anyone who is looking for a excellent and professional service without paying dealership prices.


-Anonymous

I didn't even get my car serviced here, but I'm giving them a 5 star rating because of the service given when I called. The man who answered was very helpful and honestly told me that they weren't going to be able to look at my car quickly due to a large number of jobs currently going on, which I thought was extremely professional and courteous given my expressed time-crunch. If I'm ever in need again in Pompano, I will call them first. Thanks for the honesty and assistance.


-William P.

Great job, a place you can go to get your car fixed and fixed right. Great follow up as always. Need car repair, come to Poirier's.


-Frank M.

HONEST, FAIR, AND REASONABLE CAR SERVICE AND REPAIR. Poirier's Service Center was recommended to me 30 years ago by a friend. Since that time they have consistently maintained my vehicles with superior mechanical service. Their service complies with warranty service for my new cars at a fraction of the cost charged by dealerships. Twice a year service for oil changes and general maintenence has allowed me to keep cars for 13 years without expensive repairs. The twice a year checkups detect minor problems that are taken care of before they escalate into costly repairs. Customer Service is outstanding. The owner, Ken Poirier, either calls or texts customers after the service to see if everything is ok. I highly recommend this company for car service and maintenance and any car repairs needed.


-Jenny H.

I bring my car to you all the way from port Orange Florida because you all do great work and are honest. Pleasure working with Dave always willing to help people!!! Thanks for all you do!!


-Gerri A.

ALWAYS honest, caring, polite and professional. For more than 20 years, our family has been referring Poirier's.....every single one of those referred are still using their services and recommending them to their friends and family, as well. How very rare to find any business that you can totally trust. God bless them!


-Lynne N.

I went to Poirier's last week for 4 new tires as recommended and after driving 600 highway miles this week, was glad I did. I felt much safer with them especially driving through several heavy rainstorms. The tires and alignment worked great. I always go to Poirier's.


-Bill H.

They always do an excellent job. Its great to have a place you can trust. They aren't close but worth the drive. You won't find a group of mechanics that are more talented. You can tell they take pride in their work.


-Gene M.

They were very pleasant to work with. Just a great shop, very professional! Will be going there from now on! ????


-Greg A.

Too many years and too many miles of 5-star service to put into one review. Always ready and able to help an older Ford and it's driver keep truckin' toward 200,000 miles. Fair and fast. Can usually hustle and get the job done by the end of the day. Not kidding. Just last Thursday able to do my front brakes, rear cylinders, front right axle, serpentine belt, and brake light. Like I said, older Ford (and driver). 20+ years of all family cars and some friends too. Thanks Ken & Dave and ALL the folks at Poirier's.


-Jim J.

I have been going to these guys for almost 10 years now and they have been handling my families' 3 cars since the first day I met them. The main reason in addition to how friendly and efficient they are is that they have always been completely honest with me and always look at giving you the real prognosis. Whether it is an oil change, new brakes, muffler or even a new set of tires, I have not been able to find better pricing. They are just great, and I can get it all done in one spot.


-Alan M.

Honest, Christian company that I trust with my car. I never have a problem getting an appointment and I never have to wait too long. Staff is friendly and professional. Thankful for their service.


-Courtney K.

What a pleasure after living 30 years in South Florida I have found a truly honest auto repair center that is also extremely skilled. They repaired two of my vehicles that had been diagnosed and repaired incorrectly at other facilities. They stand behind their warranties too. These guys are the real deal! You can trust that you are getting the best and honest in service here. God Bless you and thanks for your service Poirier!


-Sandi B.

The people at Poirier's are always incredible! We have been taking our cars to them for over 20 years and have never been disappointed with their work. We know the owner personally and he is a man of integrity - so having an honest mechanic work on your vehicle is a great peace of mind for us! Would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a reliable, honest place for your car repairs.


-Bill H.

I trust the guys at Poirier's to take care of both my Chevy truck and Honda Accord. They provide honest reliable service. It's nice to be able go into a service center and have them fix the problem you came in with without getting the hard sell on fixing a bunch of others stuff you didn't come in for. They will always give it a good look over and let you know if any maintenance is due but it's not aggressive like other shops can be. Good place!


-Joe B.

Very good service and very professional. Great attention to customer needs. A talented bunch with a benchmark of integrity. Good overall attitude in helping meet your individual needs. They show good leadership in the auto service industry.


-Robert S.

Great service, great follow up. Car was fixed for a fair price before the promised day. Ken and his staff give outstanding service. Would not go anywhere else.


-Christina A.

Since more than 2 years, I discovered this place online. Since then, I fell in love with it. The people who work there are really nice and respectful. They will not charge anything more than what you are supposed to pay. They always call you to make sure everything is okay after service. I'm always satisfy with the service that I receive. I recommend this place to anyone. You will not regret. Thanks a lot to the Poirier's Service Center team.


-Wenshell L.

Been going for years. Excellent, excellent service. Ken, Dave the whole crew. Dave has even fixed problems over the phone. (Lol). But here's the kicker. The owner calls every time to make sure work was done properly and that I was treated right. Can you think of many other businesses that would call to check. Look fair prices, great service and quick, quick, quick. So why are you still reading this. Call them.


-Don B.

I made an appointment for an oil change and also wanted them to check the brakes as they were a little soft. I was greeted immediately upon entering the shop and made to feel welcome. The first thing they did was take my truck out for a test drive and found I definitely had a problem with my brakes. Dave came over a short time later to let me know what needed to be done, checked pricing for parts and came over to review all with me before starting the work. The price quoted was reasonable and while it did take a few hours for the work to be completed it went quickly. It was enjoyable to talk to other people as they came in either for appointments or just stopping in to check some problem. All the employees were pleasant and answered all questions anyone asked without making you feel dumb for asking the question. I am glad I found Poirier's and would definitely recommend them if you need an honest and fair mechanic. I will definitely be going back for my oil changes and any other problems I might have in the future. Wish I found them years ago.


-Jana S.

I have been taking all family cars to Poirier's for years. The work is always completed correctly and on time, for a fair price. More importantly, the business is run honestly. They will diagnose the problem correctly, do the work necessary, and not run up the bill for work that doesn't need to be performed. The communication over phone and text is great. They take care of customers. Only service center I recommend.


-Marc C.

Just had our family van steering repaired and never had to worry about the work or price. Moral of the story: If you want Your Ride Repaired or Serviced for Reasonable $ and done correctly, then call Poirier's Service Center for an appointment. Because of their work ethic and popularity, I recommend making an appointment asap.


-Buddy H.

You can't go wrong with Poirier's Service Center!!! They are the best in automotive repair!! Not only will you receive expert care for your vehicle, they will follow up to make sure there are no further issues. We highly recommend them to anyone who wants great service and fair prices!!


-Kathleen F.

The service and professionalism at Poirier's is unmatched. I found this shop by accident, as my alternator conked out in front of their business. I had never been there before but they treated me like a regular customer. My car was fixed the following morning for a reasonable price, and the owner called me a few days later to make sure everything was good. I was very impressed and have brought my car back for other maintenance services. They are definitely a 5 star establishment!


-Chris B.

Ken has been working on my cars for over 20 years. Honest and trustworthy. Thank you for all of the great service you have provided!


-John S.

I have been coming to Poirier's Service Center for over 20 yrs. By far the most reliable, honest and thorough service center in Florida. Mr. Poirier and his staff are always friendly and take the time to go over every detail with you. Definitely 5 stars !!!!


-Annabelle T.

I have been coming to Poiriers Service center since 1996. I have always been very satisfied with the service, knowledge and courtesy displayed at this place of business. No matter what kind of vehicle, Ken and his staff have always kept my vehicles running in tip-top shape. May God bless them always!


-David T.

I was super-impressed with Poirier's. Every person working there was polite and professional in their dealings with customers. They fixed my car (needed brakes) while I waited, and the price was very fair for the work done. I think I have found THE place to get my car serviced when I am in Florida for the winter.


-Deb B.

For years my Dad and I have been taking our vehicles to Poirier's for both routine maintenance and repairs. You can count on the guys to provide great quality service at a reasonable price with no surprises. The staff is friendly, knowledgable and very accommodating. And the car is always ready when they say it will be. Finally, unlike too many car repair shops, at Poirier's, you never feel like you've been taken for a ride. They are honest, trustworthy and do a great job.


-Richard C.

We have been going to Poirers for ten years. I have never had a bad experience. In fact it is always a pleasure doing business with them. Extremely fair pricing, and outstanding labor. They never nickel and dime you, and are most honest auto folks around. These guys set the standard for integrity!


-Seana R.

I'm not difficult to please. All I want from any service provider is good work and a fair price. I found Poirier's a few years ago and gave them a try mostly because of the great reviews I read online. I have had consistently good service since that time. I recommend them to anyone in the area. I don't go to anyone else.


-Jim Y.

Poirier's Service Center has taken care of my vehicles for all nine years I lived in Florida. Was recommended to me by a friend and I would never consider going elsewhere. There was only one time when they couldn't figure out what was wrong, and when they redid the work they only charged me for parts but no additional labor. Yes, it will cost you $50 bucks for an oil change, but you know you are getting trustworthy service. Most of all, this single woman was never disrespected. Ken Poirier and his staff have the highest integrity. Take your car to them!!


-Meg D.

For 9 years I've experienced the excellent auto service provided by Poiriers. This is an honest team whom one can feel secure that they're not being "ripped-off." This is the only auto service that I use, even with a brand new car.


-Nancy M.

Ken, thanks again for excellent, honest, reliable service. It's been a pleasure to to business with you over the last 27 years.


-Dan C.

What a great place to do business. Awesome customer service. Wow!


-Brian H.

I have been going to Poirier's for years. They are the most trustworthy and complete automotive center in South Florida!!! I highly recommend them. Thank you again everyone at Poirier's Auto Service!


-Collete W.

These guys do a fantastic job. I've never had a bad experience. I really appreciate two things besides the great work. One is that they never give recommendations to fix or change things I don't need. The other is that Ken (the owner) calls us a few days later to check in and make sure we were satisfied with the work.


-Brad J.

My car is getting old and I feel like I have been living here lately. But Poirier's is the first service center I have trusted, and I know what they say needs to be done, really does need to be done. They are upfront and honest with you, and are always trying to help. Even in emergency situations I know I can come here and I am in good hands. The only downside is Poirier's isn't open on the weekends (and that's usually when my car decides to play dead) but with such great service I really don't mind waiting the couple days.. definitely worth it. Really glad I found this place.. I don't trust anyone else with my car!


-Audrey R.

Not only were they the best price around, their waiting area is nice and clean and didn't have that usually stinky smell which is typical with mechanic shops. It made my wait much more pleasant as they changed my front and back brakes. Also, The mechanic showed me what the brakes looked like before deciding which service would be needed. They also take appointments, which helps a lot. We will be using them for all of our maintenance and repair needs.


-Kimberly W.
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