When driving a vehicle, how can you tell if something's wrong with the tires? What's a common sign?
Vibrations in the steering wheel while driving could indicate uneven tire wear. This usually means that the tires have to be rebalanced. If re-balancing doesn't fix this issue, chances are, the tires are already damaged. There could be cupping or scalloping. Check for these unusual wear patterns. If you fail to have the tires rotated, then this could be the result. Take note of any irregularity with steering and suspension.
How often should tires be replaced? What's the average lifespan?
Some would recommend replacing the tires at least every 6 years. This is recommended by NHTSA as the minimum replacement time, while the maximum service life is 10 years. Refer to the vehicle's manual for the specs and other recommendations. Even before your tires reach the 6-year mark, check the tires for any sign of damage. Some tires can still be repaired; others would require replacement.
How can you tell if the fuel system needs to be flushed or the fuel injectors have to be cleaned professionally? What are the warning signs? Recently, I've noticed a drop in fuel economy and have tracked poor engine power on my International L110.
If your engine sputters or has become sluggish, consider having the fuel system flushed or the fuel injectors cleaned professionally. Rough idles, poor acceleration, hot start problems, and engine hesitation should also push you to have the service done right away, especially if fuel economy and engine performance are already suffering. Through the fuel system flush, varnish and deposits in the fuel injectors will be cleaned out. This will prevent blockage and ensure proper flow. With clean fuel injectors, the performance of the vehicle can be improved. You can see the big change through smooth acceleration and reduced emissions. This can also prevent fuel leakage and poor engine power.
What are the benefits of brake fluid flush?
Brake fluid absorbs moisture from air after some time. This makes the fluid much easier to boil. This may also cause rust and corrosion that may spread through different brake system parts. Brake fluid exchange should be done as preventive maintenance, especially if the rubber seals and metal plating begin to deteriorate. This should be done every few years. Have the condition of the brake fluid assessed. Using certain tools, the presence of moisture, copper content, and boiling point of the fluid can be determined. The system should be drained of its old brake fluid and should be refilled with all-new, clean fluid. For the specs, the vehicle manual should be used as a reference.
The electronic components of the vehicle don't work as well as they used to. I checked the battery and it seems fine. How can I tell if the alternator is malfunctioning or if the belt is the one at fault?
Before you even consider replacing the alternator, first have it checked and tested. The problem may not always lie with the alternator. Sometimes, the problem could be one of the belts attached to the alternator. Inspect the belt/s to see if it's too loose or tight. Also look for cracks or any sign of wear. Have your charging system tested and/or serviced to be sure.