The engine is made up of many different components that function together to convert gasoline into motion so that your car can move. Even though the importance of the engine can’t be understated, it is easy to get into the habit of not doing engine maintenance. Not doing any checkups on your car’s engine and just driving until something goes wrong can cost you a lot of money for service and repair. Here are 3 preventative maintenance tips for your car’s engine.
- Clean the engine. No matter how careful a driver you are, debris like dirt and leaves can get under your hood and into the engine components. This can have a negative impact on the functioning of the engine parts and clog the engine air filter. You can carefully remove debris stuck in the hood, grill, or vent openings with a brush, and replace the air filter if it is full of grime and dirt. A degreasing agent can be used to clean the exterior of your engine. Just spray the engine with the degreaser, being careful not to get any on the fenders. Wait 5 minutes and wash the engine off using a high-pressure hose. Let the engine drip dry for a few minutes, and then wipe it off with a towel.
- Check the engine belts. The belts in your car’s engine drive components like the alternator, water pump, AC compressor, and power steering pump. To perform a quick belt maintenance check, do the following:
- Inspect belts for signs of wear. Pinch the belts between your thumb and forefinger and look for any cracks or fraying. You will see a long, continuous belt that has small grooves in it. This is the serpentine drive belt, and you want to look for any missing grooves or places where the layers have separated. If you see any spots on the belt where the rubber has a glazed appearance, this could be causing slippage.
- Check tension levels in the belts. You want to first check the tension level in the serpentine drive belt. Just pinch the belt and gently twist it. The right amount of tension will allow you to twist the belt exactly one half of a turn. For the other smaller belts in the engine, just give them a gentle tug. These belts should have one half inch to one inch of give in them.
- Inspect the pulleys. For the belts to work properly, they have to be in proper alignment on the pulleys. Look to make sure that the belts are lining straight up in the center of the pulley. Check the pulleys for any worn or broken spots that could cause a belt to break.
- Get regular tune-ups. An engine tune-up is a necessary maintenance step to keep your car’s engine working at the level intended by the car manufacturer. A tune-up can include changing the spark plugs and air filter, and cleaning the engine throttle, PCV valve, and fuel injection system. Getting a tune-up is also an opportunity to have other checks done on your car like inspecting the braking system, AC system, and fluid levels. Some indications that your car needs a tune-up include trouble when starting, frequent stalling, and rough engine idling. You can consult your car’s manual for recommended tune-up intervals.
For all your auto service and repair needs in the Tucson, Arizona area, you can trust the auto experts at Accurate Service. Family owned since 1996, we take great pride in servicing your vehicle. Give us a call today at 520-620-9129 or schedule an appointment online at your convenience!