Are You Getting Your Engine Serviced Enough?
May 11th, 2016 by Eli P
Ongoing maintenance is critical for keeping your car’s engine in top running condition. The key is to have your engine serviced on a timely basis, so that worn parts are replaced before they break and cause damage to the entire engine. Delaying or skipping any of the following service procedures could lead to engine damage and more costly repairs.
Check your fluids.
Checking engine fluid is a simple process, so everyone should do it on a regular basis. This includes checking your oil as well as your antifreeze, power steering and coolant fluids. Depending on the fluid, this can be as simple as unscrewing a cap and looking at the fluid level. Others have dipsticks or gauges that show the level of fluid when you remove them. Any time a fluid is low, add more so it doesn’t run out. Also check for leaks every time you do a fluid inspection.
Replace the timing and serpentine belts.
These are two of the most important components of an engine. The timing belt ensures that the engine’s valves open and close at the right time for smooth, efficient operation. The serpentine belt drives the alternator, water pump, power steering pump and other essential devices. If these break while driving your car, it can cause serious damage to the engine and other parts, so it’s important to check them on a regular basis and replace when needed.
Change the oil.
Oil provides the lubrication that keeps your engine working efficiently. Thick, dirty oil can reduce the performance of your engine and your gas mileage, so changing your oil a regular basis is good for your engine and your wallet. Service shops will often tell you to change your oil every 3,000 miles. However, many cars can go 6,000 miles or more before needing a change. The best approach is to consult your car owner’s manual and check your oil on a regular basis.
Change the spark plugs.
Spark plugs often get overlooked when it comes to servicing car engines, partly because they don’t need to be changed very often. But if they get too old and worn, it can affect engine performance and gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual for recommended replacement dates. Unless you have some experience working on cars, this replacement is better to left to trained technicians.
Replace the air filter.
Although easier to access on some cars than others, the air filter should also be checked on a regular basis. Your owner’s manual will recommend mileage milestones for replacement, but if you drive in a lot of stop-and-go traffic or dirty air, you may want to replace it more frequently. The best way to check is simply to remove the filter and see how dirty it looks.
Of course, there’s nothing like taking your car into the shop for a full tune-up to keep your engine in top condition. A tune-up will involve all of the above maintenance procedures, as well as checking other areas of the engine that might need servicing. Most car manufacturers recommend tune-ups at 30,000-mile intervals. You can go longer without damaging the engine, but it will lower the performance and cost you more in gas.
Fix Auto USA
We are the premier independent body shop network delivering world-class customer service and high-quality collision repairs across the U.S.
Learn About Us