Engine MaintenanceCaring for the Heart of Your Car

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Auto repair service, Engine maintenance, Getting your car serviced

Engine maintenance

With more cars on the road today than ever before, this is a great time to talk to the public about engine maintenance. The average age of all the cars on the road nowadays is 11.4 years. This is said to be a record, and it is more than likely due to the fact that people are paying attention to the needs of their cars. Statistics show that by 2018, at the rate things are going now, there will probably be 260 million cars traveling on U.S. roads.

There are suggested points of time when certain maintenance needs to be done in order to keep a car in good running condition. For instance, a car’s cooling system should be flushed and the coolant changed about once a year. Windshield wipers should be replaced after between six months and a year of use. In order to keep a car healthy and running, it is important to keep on top of the fluids. This is an essential part of engine maintenance. It can be said that the fluids are to a car as blood is to a human being. Oil, for example, must be changed at intervals, before the existing oil is too dirty. The engine, being the very core, or heart, of a car, depends on proper maintenance for the life of the car.

The construction of an engine will say a lot about the duration of the car’s life and how well it runs during its years of use. If an engine is built well with quality parts, and is built by professionals who are well trained and proficient at their job, it stands to reason that the engine will service the car well for a long time. However, its excellent construction will not hold up unless regular and proper engine maintenance is kept up in every area.

There are benefits to car owners who keep up with the maintenance of their vehicles. A good tune up will improve a car’s gas mileage by approximately 4%, which will add up quickly with regular use of the car. What would totally surprise a customer would be a 40% increase in gas mileage after something major like an oxygen sensor is replaced. The customer may not even have realized over time that their gas mileage had decreased so much, but, after having maintenance or repairs done on the car, they will immediately see the difference.

Many people will hire a quality automotive service to work on their cars, recommended by a friend or family member, or perhaps by word of mouth. Usually, when a car owner finds an auto repair service that they are happy with, they will use that service for all their automotive needs. They feel that this particular mechanic has worked on their car before, and knows their car well. It gives the customer peace of mind to know that they have left their car in trusted hands.

Paying attention to gauges will tell a car owner much. The gauges are built to do just what their name says they do; gauge. They gauge oil, water, gas, and even air. When the gauges do not look right, or the owner hears a sound while the car is running that is different from what he or she knows to be normal for their car, they need to call or bring the car in to a good automotive repair service. Engine maintenance often depends on car owner’s paying attention to what the engine is communicating to them in its own way. Stopping to listen, people find out that their car does speak to them! An engine that heats up too fast is going to give a warning sign to its owner. An engine with a dirty air filter will do the same. With a dirty air filter, the engine is not able to breathe properly, which will, without a doubt, shorten the life of the car. In addition, spark plugs need to be cleaned at regular intervals.

The bottom line is that regular, proper maintenance done on a car will prolong the life of the car, and could, in the long run, save the car’s owner thousands of dollars over the number of years that the car runs well.

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