While you may not often think about it, your car is made up of a variety of complex systems. Among the most important is undoubtedly the engine, which provides your vehicle with the mechanism needed to power itself down the highway. Modern engines are fairly sturdy and can last a very long time when appropriately cared for. However, many people overlook aspects of engine maintenance. Let’s take a look at what it means to best take care of your engine.
What Are the Benefits of Engine Maintenance?
You’ve heard of the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” In this case, a more appropriate one would be, “You should spend just a little money now to avoid spending a whole lot of money later.”
Taking care of your engine means it will experience fewer problems. While regular engine maintenance does have a cost, it saves you the much higher cost of frequent engine repair.
Increase the Longevity of Your Car
Properly maintained engines can often get 200,000 or more miles on them during their lifetime. This is a lot of value for your car. However, failing to take care of your engine can cause it to fail much earlier in its lifetime.
Higher Resale Value
A better performing engine will give your car a higher resale value than one clearly experiencing problems. Additionally, keeping records of engine maintenance can be used in a private sale to show the car has been well cared for.
No one likes the inconvenience of having your vehicle in the shop for major repairs. Avoiding normal engine maintenance can lead to the need for extensive engine repair that may leave your car in the shop for a while.
What Are the Components of Regular Engine Maintenance?
There are various things that you should do regularly to keep your engine in good working order. Here are some of the most important.
Regular Oil Changes
Most people realize the importance of oil regular oil changes. The oil serves the purpose of keeping the parts within your engine lubricated, which prevents wear and tear. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the types and levels of oil in your vehicle and change the oil according to these specifications. AAMCO is always happy to assist you with oil changes.
Pay Attention to Coolant Levels
Coolant is critical for keeping your engine from overheating. Doing a regular visual inspection of your coolant levels can help you identify potential problems such as small leaks. Additionally, if your engine begins to overheat, this is one of the first places you should check after shutting down your engine.
Replace the Air Filter
The air filter is important for keeping dirt and debris out of your engine but is an often overlooked aspect of proper engine maintenance. However, it will become dirty and clogged over time. Be sure to inspect your air filter and change it regularly or have a professional at AAMCO take a look at it during your next service.
Get a Tune-Up
It is important to have your vehicle inspected annually to determine if it would benefit from a tune-up. Tune-ups provide new spark plugs and various adjustments to ensure that your engine runs as efficiently as possible. This means you’ll use less gas and save money. AAMCO is pleased to offer tune-ups for your vehicle.
Don’t Ignore the Check Engine Light
A check engine light is something that many people dread seeing. The solution may be a simple fix or something fairly complex. However, the reality is that you don’t know until you get it checked out. Check engine lights should never be ignored. AAMCO is happy to diagnose the cause of the light and let you know any recommended service or engine repair.
Are There Other Things I Can Do to Protect My Engine?
While engine maintenance is important, there are other things that you can do to improve the longevity of your car’s engine as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Pay Attention to Leaks
Keep an eye out for potential signs of fluid leaks on your driveway. This could be a sign of a problem that needs to be diagnosed. Slow leaks are often difficult to notice aside from fluid residue but need to be addressed to prevent major engine repair down the road.
Don’t Run Your Tank on Empty
While it can be tempting when busy, running a tank until it is near empty will allow sediment from the bottom of the fuel tank to enter your fuel pump. This can cause problems with the pump and your fuel filter. In addition to not picking up sediment, the pump typically is submerged in fuel that keeps it running cool.
Operating with very low fuel does not let the pump run as cool as it could otherwise. Filling up your car when it reaches ¼ will help prevent this wear and tear.
Avoid Overly Revving Your Engine
Engines are designed to operate at consistent levels. Overworking your engine and transmission with heavy loads could put additional strain on your engine. Use a slow, steady foot to accelerate, helping prevent your engine from revving too much.
Got a Problem with Your Vehicle?
Come to an AAMCO Sarasota Transmission and Total Car Care. Our Total Car Care services include brake repair, check engine lights, exhaust systems, clutch service, fleet or commercial vehicle repairs, oil changes, engine tuneups, A/C unit cooling or heating repairs, battery checks or replacements, and belt or hose repair. We’ll help get you safely and confidently back on the road in no time. Keeping your car in its best condition is our top priority. Schedule your appointment with us today!