A: Last year, 87 percent of vehicles examined during the National Car Care Month check lane campaign failed one or more parts of the inspection. The most common failures are low tire pressure, low or dirty oil, dirty air filter, worn belts and low fluid levels.
Q: How often should vehicle owners replace their spark plugs?
A: According to Susan Christophersen, manager of product service and training for ACDelco and a member of the Car Care Council's Women's Board, "New technology has dramatically extended the life of some spark plugs-platinum-tipped plugs, for example, can last up to 100,000 miles. But most spark plugs last a minimum of 30,000 miles, and generally are inexpensive to replace."
Q: What should motorists look for when choosing a service center to take their vehicles for inspection?
A: Vehicle owners should make sure the service center has ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)-certified technicians. Look for a clean, professional-looking facility with trained technicians and up-to-date equipment. Customers should feel comfortable that the shop owner and the technicians are concerned about the safety and performance of their vehicles and will repair them right the first time.
Q: What is the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on U.S. highways, and what can vehicle owners do to prevent it from happening to them?
A: According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the principal reason for mechanical breakdown is a cooling system failure-resulting in an overheated engine. Low coolant, worn or loose belts and leaking hoses are all too common and can be identified and corrected with regular vehicle maintenance.
Drivers are encouraged to get a spring vehicle inspection and to get their vehicle serviced at a service center that has ASE-certified technicians. To find an ACDelco parts retailer or an ACDelco Independent Service Center, log on to acdelco.com or call 1-800-ACDELCO.
Experts say low tire pressure, a dirty air filter and worn belts are some of the more common reasons vehicles fail inspection.