Car Repair: Tips for Keeping Your Car on the Road

woman smiling in her car after a car repair service

For drivers in and around Dallas, car repair is a fact of life. As you might expect, vehicles that don’t get the attention they need can’t stay on the road for long. But while your car’s manual includes information on the services you need and when you should get this work taken care of, it can’t tell you where to go for auto repair and maintenance.

As a result, drivers in this region must consider their auto repair needs if they want to avoid problems down the line. To make things easier for you, here’s our in-depth guide to the world of car repair and maintenance.

Why Dallas Car Repair and Maintenance Matter

If your car seems to be having trouble operating like it should, don’t disregard these red flags — instead, set up an appointment for car repair immediately. By taking good care of your vehicle, you’ll be able to:

  • Extend its life span. When motorists take care of automotive problems ASAP, these issues won’t have a chance to develop into something bigger.
  • Boost its fuel efficiency. Cars that run like they’re supposed to can get away with using less fuel, which can help you save on gas.
  • Lower your overall service costs. Fixing a relatively small-scale problem won’t cost nearly as much as fixing a more significant issue would.
  • Protect yourself — and everyone else. Since car trouble can get in the way of driving safely, resolving these issues will reduce your risk of accidents and injuries.

Auto Shops vs. Dealerships: Where To Go for Auto Repair

Before you can truly give your vehicle the attention it deserves, you’ll need to decide whether to bring it to a dealership or an auto repair shop. Dealerships have some noteworthy advantages, such as their access to OEM parts. But while these businesses offer brand-name services, they often use their status as an opportunity to hike up their prices.

The good news is that dealerships can’t adjust warranties based on where car buyers get service, meaning you’re free to look elsewhere for maintenance and repair work. Local auto repair shops can deliver service comparable to that offered at dealerships at a fraction of the cost, making them the clear choice for the vast majority of Dallas drivers.

Caring for Specific Vehicles

While a genuinely skilled Dallas auto mechanic can fix problems in just about any vehicle, some cars have unique service needs that must be considered. Here’s what drivers in Dallas should know about maintaining their vehicle:

Honda Vehicles

Few brands in the automotive world have a better reputation for reliability than Honda. But like any other car, a Honda needs regular maintenance to provide the level of performance you’re looking for and to extend its life span. If you take good care of your Honda, it could last for 200,000 miles or more.

The key to caring for your Honda is the “Maintenance Minder” — a chart in your car’s manual. Here’s an overview of what you can expect to find in this chart:

  • Every 5,000 miles: Get oil/filter changes, a fluid level check, tire rotation, and inspection of your brakes, suspension, and other components.
  • Every 30,000 miles: Schedule spark plug replacement, air cleaner element replacement, and drive belt inspection.
  • Every 45,000 miles: Have your brake fluid and engine coolant flushed/replaced.
  • Every 60,000 miles: Replace your spark plugs and inspect your drive belts.
  • At 90,000 miles: Get your brake fluid/engine coolant flushed and replaced, replace your air cleaner element and spark plugs, inspect your drive belts, and change your transmission fluid.
  • At 100,000 miles: Have your idle speed inspected and replace your water pump.

High-Mileage Vehicles

When your vehicle has been on the road for a while, it needs extra attention — and specialized maintenance — to continue running smoothly. As part of this, you’ll need to consider when you get oil changes and what type of oil you want to use.

As vehicles age, their engines start using oil less efficiently than they once did; because of that, you’ll need to start setting up oil changes more frequently than you might expect. You might also want to change the type of oil you use. High-mileage synthetic motor oil is formulated to meet the needs of vehicles that have been driven for more than 75,000 miles, making it a must for cars like yours.

Of course, oil changes are far from the only maintenance task high mileage vehicles need. Along with getting regular oil changes, you should:

  • Replace engine coolant and bleed your brake system annually
  • Clean your car’s exterior as needed
  • Create a schedule for large-scale maintenance services with help from your mechanic

Ford F-150 Trucks

The Ford F-150 isn’t just a good-looking truck — it’s one of the most reliable trucks on the market. To keep your Ford F-150 in tip-top shape, you’ll need to follow Ford’s recommended maintenance schedule. Here’s when you should handle vital maintenance services like the following:

  • Washer fluid inspection: During gas station visits (top off if low)
  • Power steering fluid inspection: Once a month (top off if low)
  • Oil changes: Every 5,000 miles
  • Tire maintenance: Check tread/rotate tires during oil changes; get tire alignment every 10,000 miles
  • General maintenance and inspection: Every 10,000 miles
  • Brake fluid inspection: Every 30,000 miles
  • Transmission fluid replacement: Every 60,000 miles
  • Engine coolant replacement: Every 75,000 miles
couple hugging and sitting together on pickup truck in forest

Mercedes-Benz Vehicles

The name Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with luxury, and your Mercedes will be able to provide a deluxe driving experience for years with regular maintenance. Vehicles manufactured by this brand don’t just follow a single schedule for their service needs — instead, they follow schedules for multiple service intervals.

Mercedes-Benz Service A takes place on odd-numbered years, starting at the end of your first year of ownership (or after 10,000 miles). Some of the tasks mechanics will handle during Service A visits include:

  • Changing oil
  • Replacing the oil filter
  • Checking fluid levels
  • Inspecting and correcting tire inflation
  • Inspecting brake components
  • Resetting the maintenance counter

Mercedes-Benz Service B occurs at the end of even-numbered years (or after 20,000 miles). In addition to the services handled during Service A, technicians will replace your cabin and climate control dust filters, replace your wiper blades, check your suspension, and complete a brake fluid exchange.

Depending on the Mercedes-Benz model you own, you may need to follow additional service schedules beyond those described here. Fortunately, your car can keep track of these schedules and let you know when to schedule a maintenance appointment.

Car Repair and Maintenance Services: A Closer Look

To keep your vehicle up and running, you’ll need to keep up with various repair and maintenance services. Here, you’ll have a chance to learn more about your car’s service needs.

The Importance of Oil Changes

Though no maintenance or repair service is truly the most important type of automotive work, there’s still a case to be made for giving oil changes this honor. Motor oil handles all kinds of jobs in the typical vehicle; it’s responsible for cleaning, lubricating, and cooling your engine.

That said, motor oil won’t last indefinitely. When this fluid starts collecting contaminants such as dirt, it slowly becomes less effective. Eventually, you’ll need to schedule an oil change to keep your car up and running.

Brake Repairs and Safety: What You Need To Know

Few car components have a more prominent role in keeping you safe on the road than brakes. Without a fully functional brake system, your vehicle won’t be able to stop like you’d expect — and you could find yourself in an accident as a result.

If you’ve noticed unusual noises or vibrations in your brake system, bring your vehicle in for service ASAP. You might be due for a brake fluid flush, brake pad replacement, or another type of brake service. And even if this system seems to be doing fine, it’s best to get your brakes inspected every six months or 6,000 miles.

How to Keep Cool With AC Repair

As a Dallas resident, you know how hot this area can get during the summer. To help you beat the heat, your vehicle needs an air conditioning system ready to handle these conditions. However, your AC system’s performance can gradually decline due to issues like refrigerant leaks.

When your air conditioning system isn’t blowing cold air or is suffering from other problems, you’ll need to schedule an auto AC repair to resolve the situation. Our mechanics can inspect and fix your AC system, helping you stay comfortable in the face of another brutal Texas summer.

Understanding Your Vehicle’s Battery

Without a fully functional electrical system, your vehicle’s headlights, stereo, power windows, and blinkers wouldn’t be able to function. As you might expect, the heart of this system is your car battery — after all, this component provides power to the systems that need it. Your starting system is responsible for starting the vehicle, and your charging system recharges your battery (and powers your electrical system) while your vehicle runs.


If your car’s battery is reaching the end of its life span, your electrical system won’t be able to operate correctly for much longer. At that point, you’ll need to schedule a car battery replacement service.

Where Can You Check Your Check Engine Light?

The moment your car’s computer notices an issue in your vehicle, it will let you know — sort of. As any driver knows, an active check engine light is a telltale sign that something has gone wrong. The catch is that this light can’t give you a full understanding of what you’re dealing with.

Your vehicle’s check engine light can be triggered by anything from internal engine issues to a loose gas cap. Since you won’t be able to determine the exact problem you’re dealing with by yourself, visit an auto shop offering diagnostics testing whenever you’re in this situation.

Preventative Maintenance: Services You Can’t Afford To Ignore

It’s easy to understand why car care is essential when you’re dealing with serious performance issues. Still, that’s not the only time you’ll need to bring your vehicle in for service. Take preventative maintenance, for example. It’s all about working on your car when it seems like nothing’s wrong.

Because of that, preventative maintenance might seem unimportant — but nothing could be further from the truth. Oil changes, fluid level checks, filter replacement, tune-ups, and other services that fall under this umbrella are indispensable when it comes to protecting your vehicle’s condition over the long haul. That means you’ll need to take preventative maintenance seriously and follow your manufacturer’s schedule for these tasks.

Know the Signs of Transmission Trouble

Now, let’s shift gears a bit — literally. Under normal circumstances, your transmission shouldn’t call too much attention to itself. Of course, that isn’t always the case: symptoms such as noises during a gear shift, red puddles of fluid under your car, and trouble shifting gears smoothly can indicate transmission trouble.

You might need anything from a straightforward transmission flush to an in-depth transmission overhaul when you notice warning signs like these. In any case, your vehicle’s transmission is incredibly complicated, so a truly qualified auto mechanic should handle any type of transmission service.

How To Find a Reputable Dallas Auto Repair Shop

Some auto shops are more qualified than others, and choosing the wrong business for repair and maintenance work could have serious consequences. If you’re looking for a high-quality auto shop in Dallas to handle the services you need, keep an eye out for shops that offer the following:

Skilled Mechanics

If an auto shop’s mechanics aren’t sufficiently qualified, they won’t be able to deliver the level of service you deserve. Luckily, finding an exceptional shop is as simple as looking for businesses that hire ASE-certified mechanics.

An Impressive Service Lineup

No one knows what problem their vehicle will encounter next. That means you’ll need to prepare for anything by choosing an auto shop that can do it all.

Accessible Locations

Since car trouble is so unpredictable, you could have problems anywhere in Dallas or Fort Worth. That’s why the best local auto shops offer convenient locations across the region.

Chances To Save

Even affordably-priced car repair services can get expensive. But if you pick the right Dallas auto mechanic, they’ll make an effort to help you save as much as possible by providing online coupons.

At Driver’s Edge Complete Tire & Auto Service, we offer all of these advantages and many others. To get car repair and maintenance service that you can count on from a shop that’s served people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for over a decade, schedule an appointment online today!

auto mechanic fixing a car

Car Repair FAQs

What do I need to know before going to a mechanic?

Before choosing an auto shop to work on your car, it’s in your best interest to do some research. Specifically, you’ll want to know what services your shop of choice can handle, how qualified their mechanics are, and what people in and around Dallas/Fort Worth think of their work.

Additionally, it’s wise to have a rough idea of how much your repair or maintenance visit will cost in advance. Reputable auto shops make this easy for their customers by providing service quotes.

Does it matter where I get my car serviced?

Auto maintenance and repair are vital to ensuring your vehicle’s continued well-being, but not every Dallas car repair shop can provide top-notch service. If you choose the wrong business to handle this crucial work, you could end up paying exorbitant rates for slapdash workmanship.

On the other hand, if you make an effort to find a fantastic shop in the area, you’ll take an essential step toward protecting your vehicle’s longevity and performance.

How much does it cost to diagnose a car?

While car diagnostic tests aren’t free, this service is definitely worth it. Diagnostic scans are a vital part of automotive care — if the check engine light on your car’s dashboard activates, you’ll need a quick scan to determine exactly what the problem is.

Car diagnostic tests are a highly affordable form of auto service. To find a specific cost estimate for this service, simply request a quote for this work.

Will a tune-up make my car run better?

Regular tune-ups are an excellent way to keep your vehicle in full working order. When you prioritize this work, you’ll benefit from enhanced fuel efficiency, a longer vehicle life span, and optimal performance. Because of this, Dallas drivers should check and follow the maintenance schedule included in their vehicle’s manual.

What happens if I don’t service my car?

If you’re tempted to skip one or more maintenance appointments, you should know that this is never truly in your best interest. Though you might save a bit of money in the short term, your car’s fuel economy will decline, and it will suffer from wear and tear as a direct result of this decision.

Continuing to neglect your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs at this point will result in even worse consequences. Eventually, ignoring these services could render your car’s warranty null and void. Beyond that, your vehicle could completely break down in this situation — and fixing that would cost much more than keeping up on routine maintenance would.