AUTO MAINTENANCE FAQ

AUTO MAINTENANCE FAQ

Your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicle comes equipped with advanced technologies and parts, so when it comes to auto maintenance, your vehicle deserves the same level of expert care. Below you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions about caring for your vehicle.

certified service


    

Q: What makes Certified Service technicians different?

A: From oil changes to engine replacements, our automotive experts build upon their meticulous skill by undergoing annual training to care for your vehicle’s special and ever-evolving needs. Building upon that meticulous skill, our technicians leverage your vehicle’s advanced diagnostic data and connected technology capabilities to keep your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicle performing at its best to deliver the authentic expertise you and your vehicle deserve.

Q: When should I have vehicle maintenance performed?

A: Certified Service experts can recommend your vehicle’s optimum maintenance schedule. Also, your Owner’s Manual is a great tool to help understand your vehicle’s maintenance needs. You can visit the GM Account anytime to track your service history, view your Owner’s Manual, watch how-to videos, check your warranty status, and more!

oil change


OIL CHANGE QUESTIONS

Q: What do I need to do when my “Change Engine Oil Soon” message displays?

A: When the “Change Engine Oil Soon” message displays, oil change service is necessary for the vehicle as soon as possible, within the next 600 miles. 

 

If driving under the best conditions, the Engine Oil Life System might not indicate the need for vehicle service for more than a year. The motor oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and the Engine Oil Life System must be reset. Your dealer has trained service technicians who will perform this work and reset the system. Click here to schedule service

Q: How can I be sure to get the correct type of motor oil for my vehicle?

A: Choosing the proper grade of oil is a critical step in engine maintenance. From conventional to full synthetic, your Certified Service experts offer a range of oil types, including ACDelco Conventional Oil, ACDelco dexos1™ Full Synthetic, and Mobil 1™ Full Synthetic. Ask the experts which grade of oil you should use for your specific model. You can also check your Owner’s Manual for the correct grade.

Q: I’ve heard that I should change my oil every 3,000 miles. Is that still true?

A: The majority of today’s Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles are equipped with the Engine Oil Life System, which has made the 3,000-mile oil change obsolete. Depending on the age of the vehicle, driving habits, and road conditions, vehicles with today’s advanced engines can go much longer than 3,000 miles between oil changes. Always be sure to check your motor oil level regularly, even with an Engine Oil Life System.

tire


TIRE QUESTIONS

Q: I’ve heard that the first tire rotation on my new GM vehicle is the most important. Why is that?

A: Irregular tread wear occurs quickest when tires are new and at full tread depth, thus the first tire rotation has been found to be the most important.

Q: Is it OK to rotate my tires earlier than 7,500 miles on a 2011 model-year vehicle and newer?

A: Yes, particularly if you notice signs of tire wear.

Q: If I have an older GM vehicle–for example, model year 2000–does the 7,500-mile tire rotation recommendation still apply?

A: While the 2000 Owner’s Manual recommends a range of 5,000 to 8,000 miles, the 7,500-mile tire rotation interval is a good rule of thumb. However, any time you notice unusual wear, you should rotate your tires as soon as possible. You can also check to ensure that your vehicle’s chassis is properly aligned and that there are no suspension issues causing irregular tire wear.

Q: My GM vehicle has an Engine Oil Life System. Can I have my tires rotated when I get my oil changed?

A: Yes. For your convenience, you can have both the tire rotation and oil change service completed at the same time, as long as you are rotating the tires approximately every 7,500 miles.

Q: There are a lot of places that sell tires. Where should I go to get the right tires for my vehicle at the right price?

A: Certified Service expert technicians at your dealership can recommend tires that are right for your vehicle, your driving habits, and your budget. Also, participating dealers offer a tire price match guarantee, so if you find the same tires at a better price within 30 days of purchase, they’ll refund the difference. Learn about additional tire offers.

Q: I definitely need new tires. What now?

A: You can start searching for new tires right now with our Tire Finder Tool. It’s a quick and easy way to find tires for any vehicle. Once you’ve selected the right tires, our Certified Service expert technicians can handle all your tire needs at your scheduled appointment.

auto battery


AUTO BATTERY QUESTIONS

Q: Why won’t my vehicle start?

A: There are numerous reasons why a vehicle won’t start. If it’s related to the battery, the starter will generally not crank the engine. This is the telltale “click, click, click” sound when you turn the key. This could be an alternator not charging the battery properly, a loose battery or starter cable, or a battery that needs to be replaced.

Q: Do I need to charge my auto battery after I jump-start my vehicle?

A: In most instances, normal driving will recharge the battery unless there is an issue with the vehicle. If your vehicle does not start after driving it, it’s recommended that you take your vehicle to your nearest Certified Service experts to have diagnostics performed.

Q: What are the main causes of auto battery failure?

A: Batteries wear out over time, but there are also issues that impact battery failure, for example, unusual “parasitic drains” such as adding accessories but not properly grounding them, infrequent start-up, and discharged batteries freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: What kind of preventative maintenance can I perform for my auto battery?

A: The best thing that you can do to avoid battery problems is have your Certified Service technician perform a conductance test on your battery when you get your oil changed. This helps to monitor the status of the battery and helps prevent you from being in a situation where your vehicle won’t start.

wiper blade


WIPER BLADE QUESTIONS

Q: Even though one of my wiper blades is more worn than the other, should I replace both of my wiper blades?

A: Yes, it is recommended that you replace both at the same time. This can help keep your windshield clear, providing a clearer view when driving.

Q: Is there anything I can do to make my blades last longer?

A: The biggest enemy of wiper blades is exposure to sunlight and ozone. There is little that can be done to reduce ozone exposure, but limiting the amount of time your blades are exposed to direct sunlight will help prolong the life of the wiper blade. Clean your windshield and the rubber element of your wiper regularly. Use an ice scraper and defroster to clear ice from your windshield, not your wipers. Pull your wipers away from the windshield in winter to prevent them from sticking due to ice buildup.

Q: What can be used to clean wiper blades?

A: It is recommended to use hot, soapy water or another nonabrasive liquid.

Q: Why is my wiper blade streaking?

A: Streaking is caused by worn blades. A blade’s natural rubber deteriorates after about 6 months.

Q: How easy it is to replace wipers?

A: Wiper replacement is easy, and instructions are typically included with your wipers. If purchased at your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac dealer, the Certified Service experts will install them for you.

Q: Are all wipers designed the same way?

A: No, there are lots of different designs: beam, metal, and winter are the most common.

Q: What is the difference between metal and beam blades?

A: Beam blades feature a frameless design that helps them conform to the shape of the windshield and maintain uniform pressure to keep your view especially clear. They also feature a low-profile design that improves aerodynamics and enhances style. Metal blades feature a metal frame design. This design has fewer pressure points and does not have uniform pressure across the windshield.

brake


BRAKE QUESTIONS

Q: Must I always turn or replace my rotors when changing my pads?

A:  No. If there are no conditions such as pedal pulsation or steering-wheel vibration during braking, and the brake rotor is at least 1 mm thicker than the discard thickness, then it does not need to be turned or replaced.

Q: Which is better, cross-drilled or slotted rotors?

A: Both cross-drilled and slotted rotors have a similar effect on brake friction. Comparative testing by General Motors shows that friction levels of cross-drilled rotors are 5-10% lower at cold temperatures (relative to non-drilled or slotted rotors), but remain more stable with increasing temperatures (less fade) and end up with 5-10% higher friction at high temperatures (752 to 1112 degrees F). This is true for both slotted and drilled rotors.

 

General Motors uses predominantly slotted rotors on applications requiring it to maximize the service life of the rotor. Cross-drilled rotors have been used in the past, mainly on lighter vehicles where there is less risk of cracking.

Q: Why do my brakes squeal? How can I stop it?

A: Brake squeal is caused by the high-frequency vibration of brake components (rotor, calipers, and/or pads) in response to excitation from the brake-friction process. A significant amount of time and engineering goes into eliminating brake squeal from Original Equipment brake components.

 

Brake components are engineered as a complete system—factory-original performance can only be assured when using Original Equipment brake pads and rotors. When brake squeal occurs, there may be damage or excessive wear on one or more components affecting noise, including the brake pads, the noise-damping shim that is bonded to the brake pad, or the rotor friction surface. 

 

In addition, it should be recognized that high-performance and track-capable brake systems using high-performance pad materials will always be at higher risk for producing brake squeal noise, even when there is no damage to the components.

Q: How long will my pads last?

A: Pad life depends on driving habits, vehicle usage, and the operating environment. Brake systems are designed to provide 20,000 to 25,000 miles of pad life in very severe use (such as heavy-traffic urban areas) and will provide 40,000 to 60,000 miles of pad life in average use. Factors that will reduce pad life include frequent heavy braking, elevated temperatures (caused by high-speed braking, driving in mountainous areas), driving with the vehicle heavily loaded, and severe environments such as high-corrosion areas and areas with a lot of road debris and dust.

Q: Do metallic pads eat rotors?

A: Yes. Pads with higher metal content will tend to operate with more abrasive friction, where hard metal particles in the pad interact directly with the brake rotor surface. Use of metallic pads will create more brake dust and will shorten the rotor life. Non-asbestos organic pads (also known as ceramic pads) used on most GM vehicles in North America develop a transfer film, a layer of material on the pad and rotor surface that acts as a cushion (at a microscopic scale) between the pad and rotor, protecting both from abrasive interaction that causes wear.

Q: My brake pads are very dusty. Are all pads dusty?

A: Brake dust can occur to some extent on most brake systems, but it is significantly more noticeable with metallic pads and on high-performance brake systems. Brake dust is a mix of debris from the brake rotor, which is the most significant component, and debris from the brake pads. Pad materials that wear the rotor more aggressively will cause more dust.

Q: Are all brake rotors the same?

A: There are often significant differences between Original Equipment and aftermarket brake rotors. While brake rotors designed to fit the same vehicle will often be similar in appearance and dimensions, there can be differences in internal cooling vane design, thickness of the brake plates (against which the brake pad rubs), and the grade and material specification of the cast iron. For Original Equipment brake rotors, significant analysis and testing goes into determining the right geometry to minimize thermal distortion and squeal noise and to maximize cooling. Similar rigor is put into the material selection, which also affects the risk of squeal noise, as well as friction and wear properties.


SCHEDULE YOUR SERVICE

Scheduling service is quick and easy. Make your next appointment online by locating a Certified Service dealer near you.

SERVICE OFFERS AND REBATES

Whether it’s purchasing new tires or installing a transmission, make sure to explore our latest service offers and rebates.

  • Capabilities vary by model. Visit onstar.com for details and system limitations. Message and data rates may apply. Requires an active OnStar service, email address on file and enrollment in Advanced diagnostics.

  • Ad, written estimate, or Internet quote for identical tire(s) from a competing tire retailer/installer located within 100 miles of the dealer required during guarantee period for price match. Offer valid at participating U.S. dealers.