Car Care Tips


Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre will provide a thorough inspection of your vehicle ensuring you fully understand the work that requires completion.


Our team takes a diagnostic approach with our clients. We will diagnose any issues with your vehicle and detail any work that needs to be completed to get you back on the road.


Our team at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre will repair and/or service your vehicle in a timely manner. We provide quality service at an affordable price.

Customer Satisfaction

We will ensure you are 100% satisfied with your repairs and/or servicing. We take pride in our customer service and provide a 1 Full Year or 20,000 km Warranty on all parts & labour.

Cooling System Check

A car’s engine generates enough heat to destroy itself. The cooling system protects against damage, keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range. Regular checks and maintenance help assure long life of vulnerable engine parts. Here’s what’s involved in proper cooling system maintenance:

  • Check condition of water pump.
  • Inspect radiator for leaks and corrosion. Computer controlled vehicles require high engine temperatures. Today’s smaller radiators require more frequent care.
  • Be sure you have plenty of coolant.

CAUTION: Never open or remove pressure cap when engine is hot. Never add pure anti-freeze to the radiator. Always dilute it to half-strength with water.

  • Look for leaking hoses and connections*. Tighten loose clamps.
  • Check condition of the radiator pressure cap*. Replace if rubber gasket is damaged.
  • If the engine runs too cool, the thermostat is probably at fault and should be replaced.
  • Inspect condition of hoses. Cracked, mushy or otherwise deteriorated hoses should be replaced. To be sure, it is recommended that all belts and hoses be changed at least once every 3 years, if not sooner.
  • Heater hoses demand attention too. Look for leaks, cracks and rotted rubber. Replace faulty clamps.
  • Check belts for wear and tension. Replace when cracked or frayed. Usual life is about 3 years.

*Note: Pressure testing of radiator and pressure cap assures the most accurate test. All Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres are equipped with these testers.

If you require repair, service or replacement on your vehicles cooling system, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.


Whether you’re doing the work yourself or having your tune-up done professionally, it’s wise to know what’s involved.

Periodic checking, inspection and maintenance of ignition, carburetion and emission components help ensure efficient engine performance. Let’s make the rounds with Car-Care Sam as he points out 16 components that should get attention as part of a tune-up:

  • Inspect the distributor cap for cracks and for erosion of the terminals. Cap and rotor should be replaced if necessary.
  • Pitted breaker points and/or worn rubbing block hinder performance and may cause starting trouble. (Not applicable on cars with electronic ignition.)
  • Loose or corroded connections at the coil can cause starting trouble. “Weatherpack” seals must always be installed on all appropriate connections to avoid corrosion and rapid failure.
  • H.T. wires on distributorless systems often fail earlier than expected. Ignition wires and boots deteriorate with age, causing the spark to short-circuit. Wiring is usually replaced with every second or third tune-up.
  • The spark plug firing tip gives clues on engine condition. Look for worn or burned electrodes, sooty or oily deposits when inspecting spark plugs. Plugs should be replaced as part of a tune-up. Look for carbon-tracking on installation; causes rough idle and stalling.
  • Incorrect timing can causes “pinging” or poor engine performance. Timing adjustment is an essential part of a tune-up.
  • Cars with timing belts: All manufacturers recommend changing the timing belt every 80,000 km. to avoid expensive repairs when they break.
  • Even maintenance-free batteries can accumulate corrosion on terminals. Corroded connections cut current flow, causing hard starting and/or prevent the battery from fully charging. Keep the battery terminals and the top surfaces clean and dry to prevent current leakage.
  • Rough idling or hard starting may be due to sticking choke mechanism or broken vacuum lines.
  • Fuel filters trap dirt before it reaches the carburetor. A clogged filter starves the engine of gas. The fuel filter should be replaced as part of a tune-up. Filters on fuel-injected engines are often under the vehicle. They should be replaced at least yearly, before they plug and damage the in-tank electric fuel pump.
  • The air filter is usually replaced as part of the tune-up. If you cannot see light through a used air filter, change it.
  • Tune-up should include idle speed adjustment. This may be too complex for the do-it-yourselfer on fuel-injected systems.
  • The “stove pipe” preheats air to the carburetor. It should be closed when cold, open when engine warms up. The door may move between open and closed depending on the sensor in the air cleaner housing.
  • The PCV valve is another replacement item. When it sticks, engine performance is impaired.
  • It is advisable to clean the fuel injection system at least once a year to avoid clogging.
  • A first-class tune-up includes a thorough diagnostic check by a qualified technician, including a 4-gas analysis and report to confirm proper engine condition. Many of today’s vehicles are equipped with fuel injection systems in place of carburetors. Servicing is best left to professional technicians.

If you require a vehicle tune-up, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.

Brake Check

Brake Failure Symptoms:

  • NOISES: Your brake system may be crying for help if you’re hearing strange noises when you depress the brake. Two of the most common are squeaks and grinding.
  • SQUEAKS: Friction from the brake lining causes heat. Under extreme conditions, this can damage the pads and/or lining, brake drums and rotors.
  • GRINDING: A metallic grinding sound indicates your pads are worn through. Metal-to-metal contact will damage drums or rotors.
  • LOW OR FADING BRAKE PEDAL: Do your brakes require pumping to stop the car? Does the pedal sink to the floorboard when you’re stopped at a light? There may be a leak in the brake system, air in the brake lines or the need for brake adjustment.
  • PULLING TO ONE SIDE OR BRAKE DRAG: Worn or uneven brake linings or a damaged brake line can cause your vehicle to pull to one side. Brakes that are out of adjustment or have contaminated fluids can cause brakes to drag.

Think of your car’s brake system as an extension of your body. If you push on the pedal and the car doesn’t respond as you expect it to, you may be in trouble. When your brakes feel good, you’ll feel better about driving.There are no short cuts on brake work. Invest in the best service you can get.

If you require brake repair, brake servicing or need the brakes replaced, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.

Preventative Maintenance

A quick and easy guide to preventative maintenance for the self-serve customer…and anyone else who drives.

Under the Hood:

  • Check the anti-freeze/coolant level weekly. Newer cars have see-through reservoirs with level markings. Top off with 50/50 solution of permanent anti-freeze and water. CAUTION: Do not remove the pressure cap when engine is hot.
  • Inspect belts monthly. Replace worn, glazed or frayed belts; tighten them when they have more than 1/2″ of slack when depressed between pulleys. Replace bulging or rotten hoses and tighten clamps. To be safe, belts and hoses should be replaced at least once every 4 years.
  • Check engine fluid with engine warm and running, parking brake on; shift to drive, then to park. Remove dipstick, wipe dry, insert and pull out again. Add fluid if needed. DO NOT OVERFILL!
  • Check oil every other fill up. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, insert it and remove it again. If it’s low, add oil.
  • Check the air filter every month or two. Replace it when it’s dirty or as part of tune-up. It’s easy to reach, right under the big metal “lid”.
  • Check brake fluid monthly. First wipe dirt from the brake master cylinder reservoir lid. Pry off the retainer clip and remove the lid. If you need fluid, add the approved type and check for possible leaks.
  • Keep windshield washer reservoir full. When topping off, use some solvent on a rag to clean off the wiper blades. Keep an extra jug of fluid handy for those quick top-ups during inclement weather.
  • Check the battery often. Make sure the cables are attached securely and free of corrosion. Check fluid level. If yours has filler holes, add water as needed. Note: Do not smoke or light a match near a battery.
  • Power steering fluid: Check level once a month. Simply remove the reservoir dipstick. If the level is down, add fluid.

Around the Car:

  • Inspect windshield wiper blades whenever you clean your windshield. Do not wait until rubber is worn or brittle to replace them. Wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year, more often if smearing or chattering occurs. Regular replacement of wiper blades is recommended.
  • Be sure all your lights are working, including brake lights, turn signals and emergency flashers. Keep them clean too.
  • Check tires carefully (at least once a month). Look for bald spots, cracks, bulges or bubbles. Uneven tread wear could mean improper inflation pressure, misalignment, improper balance or suspension neglect. Improperly inflated tires are unsafe and cause increased wear and reduced fuel economy. Be sure to keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s suggested pressure.
  • Look for signs of oil seepage on shock absorbers. Test shock action by bouncing car up and down. The car should stop bouncing when you step back. Worn or leaking shocks should be replaced. Always replace in pairs.
  • A thorough exhaust system inspection in the spring and fall should ensure safe—and quiet—motoring. Many good mufflers fall off cars because the supports, or hangers, break. Inspecting and, if necessary, replacing these inexpensive brackets can save time and money. Be sure to check the catalytic converter. It looks like a small muffler but is designed to turn poisonous exhaust gas into harmless carbon dioxide and water. With proper maintenance, exhaust system life can be significantly extended. This includes tune-up and emission parts such as EGR valves, PCV valve, heat riser valve, air pump and catalytic converter.

If you require maintenance on your vehicle, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.

Vehicle Interior and Exterior Care

To keep your vehicle looking good for as long as possible, follow these steps:

  • Wash the vehicle often with an approved cleaning agent to keep it clean. Ensure that waxes are compatible with the modern clear coat finishes. (If you’re not sure – ask!)
  • Check the vehicle’s underbody and floor. If any mud, dirt or salt has accumulated, wash it off as soon as possible. In cold climate areas where rock salt is used to de-ice the roads, wash away any salt residue that sticks to the vehicle body.
  • Keep drain hoses at the bottom of doors and side sills from getting plugged. A plugged drain hole means water accumulates and that means rust.

But, as the saying goes “rust never sleeps”. Sooner or later, some corrosion is bound to occur. If you plan to keep your vehicle for a long time – and if you’ve seen the prices of new cars and trucks you will probably want to—you should get that rust taken care of immediately. The longer you put it off, the more corrosion spreads, and that means extra cost.

Professional body shops have the time, the space, the expertise, the equipment and the products to do the job right the first time. That includes repainting the area(s) to match the colour of the rest of the vehicle. And most body shops offer a guarantee on their workmanship.

Is Your Interior Inferior?

Keeping your car looking good includes the interior. That means:

  • Cleaning All Surfaces and Applying a Protective Coating
  • Repairing Worn or Damaged Fabric, Such as Sun Visors
  • Repairing or Replacing Damaged Headlining
  • Cleaning Carpeting
  • Repairing Worn or Damaged Seats
  • Replacing Worn Floor Mats

If you require repair, service or replacement for your vehicles interior or body, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.

Vehicle Filters

Proper fluid levels and clean filters are vital. In addition to the grit, dirt and other foreign matter which enter the engine and transmission from outside air and other sources, your car also creates its own contaminants through condensation, chemical reactions and wear. Some components would self-destruct if they were not protected by filters. Plugged filters can cause severe internal pressure changes, leading to oil leaks, loss of oil pressure and, ultimately, engine failure.

  • CRANKCASE VENT FILTER – prevents dirt from entering crankcase.
  • AIR FILTER – keeps abrasive dust, dirt, bugs and foreign matter out of the carburetor and intake.
  • ENGINE OIL FILTER – traps metal filings and sludge, allowing only filtered oil to circulate through the engine.
  • TRANSMISSION FILTER – collects dirt and metal filings, protecting finely machined parts.
  • FUEL FILTER – traps rust, sediment, dirt and other particles which may enter carburetor and clog tiny jets.
  • VAPOR CANISTER – collects gasoline vapors from the fuel system and returns them to the carburetor.

Most car owners in Canada qualify as “Severe Service” drivers if:

  • Your average trip is 15 kilometers or less
  • You do a lot of driving in temperature extremes
  • You do a lot of stop-and-go driving

This type of operation demands more frequent maintenance intervals on some components. Check your owner’s manual for car manufacturer’s recommendations or follow service intervals shown here. Regular maintenance should include changing all filters at least once a year.

If you require repair, service or replacement on your vehicles filters, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.

Drive Train

Drive Train:

All power-transmitting components between the engine and the wheels, including the clutch, torque converter, transmission, transaxle, u-joints, c.v. joints, drive shaft, differential and axles.

Most of us don’t think much about our vehicles drive train until something goes wrong; strange noises, leaks or shifting problems. That’s when we begin worrying about a big repair job.

The more you know about your car and the shop that repairs it, the less reason you’ll have for concern. With regular checking and maintenance, you can expect fewer and smaller repair bills. NOTE: In most cases, a maximum cost can be given by the repair shop – always request it.

Is your car front wheel drive or rear? Front wheel drive incorporates engine, transmission and driving axle in one compact unit.

Rear drive delivers front engine power to the rear wheels through a transmission and drive shaft.

  • CLUTCH OR TORQUE CONVERTER – Clutch with manual transmission or torque converter with automatic permits smooth transfer of power from the engine to the transmission.
  • TRANSAXLE – is the combined transmission and driving axles in a compact unit, saving weight and space inside the passenger compartment.
  • CV (CONSTANT VELOCITY) JOINTS – deliver power to the wheels, twisting and flexing like a wrist joint as the steering wheels turn and the suspension moves or bumps. They are packed with grease and covered with rubber boots.
  • TRANSMISSION – Whether front drive or rear, this is the gear shifting mechanism that matches engine speed to road speed and load.
  • UNIVERSAL JOINTS – provide flexibility on a rear drive vehicle between the transmission and the rear axle, allowing the axle to move with the irregularities in the road.
  • DRIVE SHAFT – is the tubular component connecting the transmission to the rear axle.
  • DIFFERENTIAL – is the round housing at the centre of the rear axle. It directs power to the driving wheels and, through its gearing mechanism, permits wheels to turn at different speeds in turns.

If you require repair, service or replacement on your vehicles drive train, visit the page below to get more information and have on of Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre’s experienced technicians help get you back on the road.

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