The 5 Worst Things You Can Do To Your Car – Do This/Not That

Learn how to take better care of your vehicle. A well-serviced Audi or Volkswagen, will be safer, cheaper, more reliable, and have a better resale value. Please consider these few tips for the future of your vehicle.


1. The Dealership is not always the best option, even when your car is newer

Most people are under the assumption they MUST go to the dealership, especially when their car is still under factory warranty. This is simply not true. The Magusen-Moss Act states that the consumer may go to outside sources for service and repairs while under a factory warranty. This will not affect your factory warranty. It is recommended to keep all paperwork for any services you have done. Finding an independent repair facility that specializes in your vehicle is the way to go. You will get better service and repairs from a smaller team that will personally get to know you and your car.


Quick Lube Oil

2. Skip The Quick Lube

Having your oil changed at a quick lube franchise such as Jiffy Lube, Valvoline, Midas, Meineke, etc. is the worse place to bring your car for service. There are many reasons for this.

Your vehicle is not getting a thorough multipoint inspection to ensure the car is safe. Having the car looked at during an oil service not only will make sure your car is reliable, but will also give you notice of when repairs or additional service is coming due. Knowing when you may need brakes or tires before it is an emergency, can help you better plan financially as well as work it into your schedule. At Reflex Tuning we do an extremely thorough digital multi-point inspection every time we see your vehicle.

Your vehicle always needs more than “just” an oil change. Your tires should be rotated every oil change. There are additional maintenance services that are due every 20k, 25k, 30k, 35k, 40k, and 50k. Not addressing these recommended services will ensure future issues.

Incorrect oil and inferior filtration. Most new vehicles require very specific oil. The days of one-size-fits-all, are long gone. Each makes and model has a very specific oil that the engine is designed to run on. Countless times we continually see the incorrect oil being used in Audi and VW vehicles. In addition to the incorrect oil being used, the quality of the filter that is being used at the franchises is inferior to the factory-recommended filter.

Check out our blog post if you are wondering how often should your oil be changed.

Tire Alignment

3. Skip the Tire/Alignment specific shops

Audi and Volkswagens are notorious for wearing tires rather quickly. This can be caused by poor alignment, worn suspension, tires that have not been rotated every 5k miles, bent wheels, out-of-balance tires, and driving habits are some of the most common reasons. The biggest issue we see with tire and alignment shops is that the alignments are rarely done properly. When the car is set up on the alignment rack, there are red and green bars for each adjustment on the vehicle. The green section has a large degree of adjustability before going into the red. There are typically 7 areas of adjustment on the cars we work on. Most of the time when other shops or even the dealership perform an alignment, if the adjustments are in the green, it may not get moved. This not only will produce a poor alignment but as a result that adjustment may become stuck/seized over time from not being moved/exercised. If the adjustment can no longer be moved then the component (tie rod or control arm), along with the hardware will need to be replaced. This becomes costly considering how many adjustments there are.

Warning Lights

4. Ignoring Warning Lights

We have all driven a vehicle that has encountered a warning light or two. Audi and VW vehicles have many computers that control and monitor everything in the car. There are warning lights for the engine (check engine light), an Anti-Lock braking system (ABS), Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPMS), airbags, light bulbs, traction control, lane assist, air suspension, and much more.

The biggest mistake we see, are customers not taking warning lights seriously.  These warning lights come on for a reason. Depending on which warning lights are on, it may be best to bring your car in right away or have it towed depending on what warning is on. If the warning light(s) go away on their own, it is still important to have the car looked at and diagnosed. Doing so may prevent further issues or a breakdown.

5. Following the Factory Recommended Maintenance Schedule & Purchasing a Pre-Paid Service Plan

This may sound odd, but following the recommended maintenance schedule for your Audi or VW is one of the worse things you can do for the car. This is why it is so important to find an independent dealership alternative that can recommend what the vehicle really needs.

Car manufacturers are concerned about getting the car out of warranty and making it appear on paper that the car is affordable and comparable to other vehicle brands.

Purchasing a pre-paid service plan when your purchase the vehicle yields no savings. It actually costs more than it would if you paid for those services out of pocket.

Here are some examples of what is recommended by the manufacturer and really what intervals it should be.

Audi / VW IntervalWhat's Best for the Car
Oil Change10,000 Miles5,000 Miles
Tire RotationNEVER5,000 Miles
Tire RebalanceNEVER15,000 Miles / 12 Months
AlignmentNEVER15,000 Miles / 12 Months
Engine Air Filter60,000 Miles20,000 Miles / 18 Months
Cabin Air Filter20,000 Miles20,000 Miles / 18 Months
Brake Fluid2 Years2 Years
Spark Plugs 40,000 Miles / 72 Months35,000 Miles / 48 Months
TransmissionDSG / S Tronic Only @ 40,00040,000-75,000 depending on transmission type
AWD FluidsElectric AWD Only40,000-60,000 Miles on all AWD Cars
AntifreezeNEVER50,000 Miles / 50 Months
BatteryNEVER5 Years
Fuel FilterNEVER unless TDI20,000 Miles TDI
50,000 Miles Gas
Power Steering FluidNEVER50,000 Miles / 50 Months