Four Car Maintenance Tips That Can Prevent Big Repairs
Proper car maintenance is all about keeping your car on the road for as long as possible. Many simple maintenance tasks even the most inexperienced mechanic can do save thousands in repairs in the future. It’s also much safer to perform regular checks and basic maintenance on your car often to prevent small problems from turning into larger and much more expensive problems. Here are four car maintenance tasks you should perform or have performed for you to prevent expensive and debilitating problems down the road, so to speak:
1. Oil Changes
The most frequent and important maintenance task a car needs is oil changes. Engine oil does two very important things: It lubricates and it cleans the inside of the engine. When an engine runs during normal operation, the oil over time gets old and dirty and breaks down to become less effective and eventually become unable to lubricate properly. These are a few of the things that occur during normal engine operation that cause the oil to wear out. Combustion gases slip past the piston rings and get into the oil. Oil goes through heat cycles anywhere from -20 degrees to 260 degrees. Age and metal particles from engine wear are a few of the things that cause the oil to wear out. Changing the oil every 3000 miles for conventional oil and every 5000 miles for synthetic oil ensures that the engine will always be lubricated properly and the oil will be able to clean the engine. When the oil wears out, it will no longer clean and lubricate. This causes severe engine damage.
2. Air Filter Replacements
All the air that enters your engine must go through the air filter first. The air filter removes dirt and pollen and bugs and anything that is in the air so it doesn’t end up in the cylinders of your engine. A four-liter engine operating at 2500 RPM for one hour has approximately 300,000 liters of air move through it. That’s a lot of air and a lot of potential dirt. If dirt gets into the engine, because it is very abrasive, it causes irreparable damage in a short amount of time. When an air filter is neglected, it will eventually clog and cause poor engine performance and economy. If the engine continues to operate with a clogged filter, the filter can rip open and let all the dirt through to the engine. Air filters are very inexpensive and easy to replace.
3. Tire pressure
Making sure tires are kept at the proper pressure keeps treadwear at a minimum. If the tires have too much pressure they will prematurely wear out in the middle of the tread. If the tires don’t have enough pressure, the tires will prematurely wear out at the edges of the tread. Too much or too little pressure can cause the steering to pull to the left or right and can also cause low fuel economy due to drag.
4. Coolant Flushes
Coolant or antifreeze plays an important role by keeping the engine at a constant temperature. If coolant gets dirty it cannot flow through the passages in the radiator and engine. This will cause the engine to overheat and potentially blow a head gasket which is a big and expensive repair. When coolant gets old and worn out, it can become acidic which will lead to the radiator, gaskets, and other metals in the engine to become dissolved. Very expensive and unnecessary. Changing the coolant at the manufacturer’s interval will save a lot of money and prevent costly repairs.
These four simple maintenance tasks, if done properly, will save thousands of dollars during the life of your car and will help keep your vehicle on the road instead of in the repair shop.