Routine Engine Maintenance isn’t Just Important — It’s Required
With all of the engine repair shops out there, it shouldn’t be surprising that proper engine maintenance is important to your vehicle’s health. Actually, it’s more than just important — it’s required. Without the engine, your car would just be a piece of scrap metal uselessly sitting in your yard. If the engine isn’t working properly the power can’t be transferred to the transmission, which means there would be no power going to the front or rear axle, and the wheels wouldn’t turn. What’s the best way to make sure your engine is at peak performance? By following the suggested routine maintenance schedule provided by the dealership, or the one found in the owner’s manual, which is distributed by the manufacturer, so it’s safe to follow that if you didn’t buy your vehicle from a dealership. But, the smart choice is to buy your vehicle from a certified brand dealership like DePaula. Why? Because DePaula has a service department that knows your particular vehicle inside and out, so they have gleaned unique insight over the years that the other guy doesn’t have when it comes to working on your vehicle.
Finally, there’s a few things you can do at home to help keep your engine happy and healthy — including your driving habits.
Follow the Suggested Routine Maintenance Schedule
When it comes to proper engine maintenance, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep up with routine maintenance. Whether you’re doing it, the dealership’s service department is doing it, or a trusted buddy at your favorite corner garage is doing it. But, things change a little bit when it comes to whichever scenario resonates the most with you.
At the Dealership
If you buy your vehicle from a certified dealership (which is always the preferable choice), then they will most likely give you a preferred maintenance schedule they’d like you to follow. No, this isn’t so they can scam you out of more money. Even if it might contradict the suggested service schedule in the owner’s manual — which is provided to you via the auto manufacturer — trust in the dealership’s service department. Why? Because, they know your vehicle inside and out. Which gives you an edge when it comes to getting it from them. We’ll elaborate on that later.
If You’re Doing it
If you’re doing it, you’ll want to follow the suggested maintenance schedule found in the owner’s manual. Typically, this will have guidelines for checking and maintaining important parts of your engine and powertrain, along with other parts of the vehicle. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to change out your vehicle’s engine oil every three months or 3,000 miles. Transmission fluid is a whole different story, and it varies from vehicle to vehicle. It’s also important to note that the type of engine oil will change depending on the type of vehicle you have. If it’s new you’ll most likely be using synthetic engine oil. If it’s used, you’ll be using conventional engine oil (depending on how old the vehicle is).
There are also varying factors depending on what type of engine you have. Diesel, petroleum, and electric all have different service intervals listed in your manual. Therefore, it’s imperative you follow the suggestions found in your owner’s manual. Since so much can go wrong, it’s highly suggested that you get a trained professional to work on your engine when it comes time. Because unless you’re an expert, you could unknowingly cause some serious problems.
A Third Party
Again, if a third party is doing it, make sure they follow the suggested maintenance schedule for your engine found in the owner’s manual, unless you trust the garage or friend you are going to for your engine maintenance. Then, it’s okay to take their advice — just like from a trusted dealership’s service department.
Only Go to Reputable Service Departments
If you don’t know enough to routinely maintain your own engine, or have a trusted mechanic on speed dial, then your best bet is to get it serviced at a certified dealership that you bought the vehicle from. Which is only one of the many benefits that buying a vehicle from a dealership from a certified dealer has. This is a part of proper engine maintenance (and proper vehicle service in general) that’s often overlooked. As a car owner, it’s important that you make sure your car is not only taken care of, but taken care of by the right set of hands and tools.
Like I said before, getting your vehicle serviced at the dealership you bought it from is the suggested route. The technicians there are often factory trained, and know your vehicle like the back of their hand. This gives them an advantage over a third party who might take a look at your vehicle. How? Because, the technicians will know any quirks or unique problems that might not be widely spread information.
Plus, they always work in a state-of-the-art service department, which means they will have the right tools and knowledge required to work on your vehicle. For example, engines in new high-performance cars are just as much computer as they are mechanical now. If you are looking for a tune-up or to get it calibrated back to peak performance, it often involves an even split of working with the computer found inside the car, along with using wrenches and sockets to work on the actual mechanical parts. A corner garage that isn’t up to date might not have that knowledge.
Regardless of whether you bought your car from a dealership or the internet, it’s always a good idea to avoid the quick-lube chains like Jiffy Lube. The amount of horror stories online — or that I’ve heard from friends who’ve gone there — are staggering. Simple things like forgetting to tighten an oil filter down all the way, or not putting the proper amount of oil in your engine can cause you major issues later on – issues that they are able to wash their hands of, but can easily be avoided if you go to a surefire trusted source.
Things to Do at Home
You don’t just need to wait for your regularly scheduled maintenance to make sure your car’s engine is happy and healthy. There are plenty of things to do at home in between service intervals.
You can never check your engine oil or transmission fluid enough. A vehicle could spring an oil or transmission leak any day, especially if it’s old. Typically, checking your oil once or twice a month is highly recommended. While you check your oil, make sure to take a look at you transmission fluid as well. When driving, pay attention to any weird sounds coming from under the hood. Any type of clunking or grinding typically indicates an issue, and means you need to get your car looked at immediately. Also, don’t drive with a lead foot. Nothing reduces the your engine’s lifespan faster than driving like a maniac.
Making sure your engine is properly maintained is a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end. Proper maintenance (combined with good build-quality) is a surefire way to ensure that your vehicle will last you a lifetime.