Car Care: Auto Maintenance Services
At Tom's Alignment Center, Inc., we understand that the best way to care for your car or truck is to follow the service intervals that your vehicle's manufacturer recommends. Servicing all brands, models, imports and fuel systems in Bozeman, Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. has the tools and expertise to make sure your ride runs exactly as its manufacturer intended it to. From reminding you about routine service intervals to ensuring that all fluids, filters, and hoses are in optimal condition, Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. takes care of your vehicle and leaves you with one less item on your to do list.
Contact us at 406-587-1011, or send us an email, and our experts will be happy to answer your questions and determine what needs to be done.
Our basic auto maintenance services include:
30/60/90K Mileage Maintenance
As time goes by, various auto repair and maintenance needs come up at different intervals. Most manufacturers recommend car maintenance in intervals of 30,000 miles. This is the 30/60/90K mile schedule (issued by the manufacturers to car owners). Trust the experts at Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. to keep you on schedule, and help you preserve the condition of the vehicle, optimize its performance, and increase its resale value. The 30/60/90K service includes the following:
- Fluid replacements
- Oil and Filter changes
- Tire rotation, spin balance, and pressure adjustments
- Inspection of parts and systems - gears, tires, brake pads, belts, hoses, etc.
- With higher mileage: spark plugs, belts, timing belts when applicable
A fan belt, also known as a drive belt, is a belt connecting your car's engine to the front mounted accessories. The fan belt rotates the water pump and engine fan, which maintains a cool environment for the engine and its components. Sooner or later, your vehicle's fan belts will dry out and crack. When you are ready for a replacement you can count on Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. for all your vehicle's repair needs.
You not only have to get the belts replaced with quality ones but you should have the work done by experts. To have the belts replaced by auto cooling and heating experts - and get your car driving right - visit Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. today. The mechanics at Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. will thoroughly inspect your car's belts; replace all worn belts; and adjust the installed belts.
Check Engine Light
No one likes to see their car's "Check Engine" light come on. The light could mean a costly problem, like a bad catalytic converter, or it could be something minor, like a loose gas cap. At Tom's Alignment Center, Inc., we can pull the code and diagnose the problem for you. Give us a call at 406-587-1011 or stop by the shop for our expert assistance.
Factory Recommended Service/Maintenance
Automotive and auto parts come with a factory recommended service and maintenance schedule. The manufacturer will tell you how often to service or replace an auto part. At Tom's Alignment Center, Inc., we offer factory recommended service/maintenance. Our highly skilled auto mechanics offer comprehensive knowledge and experience. At Tom's Alignment Center, Inc., all your factory recommended service/maintenance needs are handled with the latest diagnostic equipment. Remember, we work on all American and imported vehicles (either diesel or gas engines).
Headlight and Bulb Replacement
To maintain maximum visibility (and keep you safe), you should always make sure that your vehicle's headlight bulbs are in good working condition. Although replacing faulty headlight bulbs is a simple and quick process (takes very little time), you need to rely on an experienced auto mechanic to handle your headlight and bulb replacement. This way, you will have quality bulbs installed by experts. Remember, it is a critical part of your car's maintenance and your safety. For all your headlight and bulb replacement needs, call or visit Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. today.
Hoses transfer coolant and antifreeze throughout the engine's cooling system (including the radiator). Sooner or later, your vehicle's hoses will dry out and crack. When you are ready for a replacement you can count on Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. for all your vehicle's repair needs.
You not only have to get the hoses replaced with quality ones but you should have the work done by experts. To have the hoses replaced by auto cooling and heating experts - and get your car driving right - visit Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. today. The mechanics at Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. will thoroughly inspect your car's hoses; replace all worn hoses; and adjust the installed hoses.
Oil, Lube, and Filter
To keep running smoothly, your car highly relies on oil, lube, and oil filters. Oil helps in lubricating, cooling, and cleaning the internal engine components. With time, motor oil becomes contaminated. Your car needs an oil, lube, and filter change every three months (or 3,000 miles). When it is time for a lube, oil, or filter change, take your vehicle to Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. in Bozeman, MT 59715.
Wiper Blade Replacement
Visibility is very important to safe driving. Having properly functioning wipers can help keep you safer on the road. If your car's wipers are not wiping well or are leaving lines, have them replaced immediately. To have wiper blades fitted on your vehicle, call 406-587-1011 or visit Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. today. We will fit your car with high quality and effective wiper blades.
Motor Oil Questions and Answers
Q: What are the steps for performing an oil change?A:
- Remove the plug and drain the old engine oil.
- Remove the old oil filter.
- Replace it with a new oil filter.
- Replace the plug and fill with new oil.
- Check to ensure that oil levels are correct.
Q: What are the 4 types of engine motor oil?A: There are four basic classes of engine oil used in car maintenance today. Your owner's manual will explain which type of motor oil your vehicle needs. It is important to always use the correct type of motor oil. The four types of motor oil are:
- Conventional petroleum-based motor oil - This is the most common type of motor oil used in vehicles.
- Synthetic motor oil - a lubricant made up of artificial chemical compounds derived by breaking down and rebuilding petroleum molecules.
- Synthetic blend motor oil - a combination of common petroleum motor oil and synthetic motor oil.
- High mileage oil - This type of motor oil is most commonly used in commercial vehicles and contains additives and seal enhancers that reduce leaks.
Oil Filters Questions and Answers
Q: How often should oil filters be changed?A: Consult your owner's manual to determine the maintenance interval for your vehicle's oil filter. Some manufacturers recommend that the oil filter be replaced every time you get your oil changed while others recommend every other time.
Q: What are the three types of oil filters?A:
- Cellulose media filter - This is the most common type of disposable oil filter found in cars today.
- Synthetic media filter - Made from high quality synthetic fibers, also catch and remove the smallest particulates and withstand complex chemical reactions better.
- Micro glass media filters - High-end oil filters that include an extremely fine metal media or micro glass material.
Leaking Fluid Questions and Answers
Q: What should I do if my car creates a small oil leak on my driveway?A: If the spill is still wet, cover the stain with clay cat litter, sand, cornmeal, cornstarch or baking soda. This will help absorb the oil before it soaks into the cement. Once the spill has dried, sweep up the absorbent material. Then, wash away the remaining stain with water and soap. A small oil leak on your driveway is an indication that something is wrong with your car. Bring your car to Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. to get the problem diagnosed. Do not ignore an oil leak as it can seriously affect your car's engine.
Q: Why is water leaking on my foot on the driver's side?A: The most common cause is a blocked air conditioning drain hose. This is a simple repair at Tom's Alignment Center, Inc.. There are other possible causes of water dripping on your foot on the driver's side of the car including a broken door seal or leaking heat exchanger.
Q: Why is my car leaking a sweet-smelling fluid?A: If there is a sweet-smelling fluid leaking from your car, the most likely culprit is leaking coolant or antifreeze. A coolant leak can become a serious problem. If your vehicle gets too low on coolant or antifreeze, it will overheat and may cause engine damage.
Windshield Wipers Questions and Answers
Q: How much does it cost to replace windshield wipers?A: The average cost for a windshield wiper blade replacement is between $40 and $80 including parts and labor. Come by Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. in Bozeman and we can replace your windshield wipers quickly and affordably.
Q: Why are my windshield wipers not working?A: If your windshield wiper won't turn on the most common reason is a blown fuse. Come by Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. and we can replace the fuse quickly and affordably. Other reasons windshield wipers may fail are electrical faults in the control arm, or wiper motor. If your windshield wipers are failing to wipe away water the most likely cause is torn or worn-out wiper blades. Wiper blades are made of rubber and need to be replaced frequently.
Q: Can I replace both windshield wiper blades or just one?A: If one windshield wiper blade is worn out and failing the other is like to fail soon too. Windshield wiper blades are usually sold as a pair. It is usually more cost effective to replace both at the same time. If you have front and rear wiper blades on your vehicle, replace them at the same time as well.
Automobile Squeaks, Squeals and Rattles Questions and Answers
Q: Why are my wheels making a chirping sound when I accelerate?A: The most common reason why your car's wheels make a chirping or squealing sound, especially during acceleration is a bad wheel bearing. If you notice a grinding or grating noise coming from your wheel this can also be the sound of a wheel bearing beginning to fail. If you are in Bozeman, Four Corners, Belgrade, Three Forks or the surrounding area, come by Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. and we can diagnose the problem quickly.
Q: Why does my car squeal when I start it in the morning?A: A worn out cambelt (also known as a timing belt) will create a loud noise when you start your car's engine. The noise could range from squealing to hissing or rumbling. This is the sound of a cambelt that is about to break. If a cambelt breaks it can ruin your car's engine. Come to Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. and get it replaced right away.
Q: Why does my car make a noise when I turn the steering wheel?A: If your car makes strange sounds or clicks when you turn the steering wheel the most common cause is a low steering fluid. Over time the steering fluid decreases and air enters the steering mechanism causing unwanted noises. Come to Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. to top off your fluid reservoir with power steering fluid. The noises should start to go away immediately. If the sound returns quickly your car could be leaking steering fluid. Our professionals in Bozeman can help you diagnose and repair leaks quickly and affordably.
Q: Can engine rattling be fixed?A: Yes. Many engine rattles can be fixed quickly and affordably. The most common reason for engine rattling is a collapsed valve lifter. This needs to be repaired quickly or it can cause misfires. Other common causes that need immediate attention are a failing tensioner belt, drive belt or low oil pressure. If the rattle is intermittent, it may be a poor connection between the rod and the crankshaft. If the noise is loud, it may be a cracked flex plate or rusted heat shield. Higher mileage vehicles may have an engine rattle resulting from an engine hotspot ping, piston slap or degrading sound dampening features such as engine insulation. Sometime what sounds like an engine rattle is not the engine at all but a cracked catalytic converter.
Q: Why is my car making a squealing noise?A: It may be a slipping fan belt. Listen for a few warning signs such as a squeaking or chirping noise. Those noises are usually caused by misalignment of the belt and the pulley. If you come by Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. in Bozeman our professional auto repair technicians can realign it to stop the noise and fix it before your fan belt completely breaks.
Q: Why do my brakes squeak?A: The most common reason brakes squeak is that they are worn out. The squeak is the sound of the metal wear indicator on the brake pad coming in contact with the metal rotor. Your brakes are the top safety feature on your vehicle, so come by Tom's Alignment Center, Inc. and get them replaced right away. If you hear a squeaking only when you press the brake pedal the first 2-3 times when you first start driving in the morning it is the result of overnight moisture build up and likely nothing to worry about.
Car & Truck Care, near Bozeman, MT
TJ and his crew are the best in town! Locally owned and operated for decades, offering great rates and excellent work. Never been disappointed with them. Do yourself (and your vehicle) a favor by letting Tom's Alignment take care of your needs.