The most important step in maintaining your car is changing the oil. It’s the single most important task you can do for your car to make your engine last.
An oil change consists of removing the old oil from a vehicle’s engine and replacing it with new, fresh oil. The engine oil filter is changed at the same time. Automobile manufacturers might suggest an extended oil change interval, such as 5,000 miles. If that is the case, you should replace the filter that is rated to go the distance.
Why should you change the oil?
- Maintains Engine Lubrication
- Cools Engine Components
- Removes Engine Wear Particles & Sludge
- Improves Gas Mileage
- Promotes Vehicle Longevity
A tune-up is regular maintenance performed on an automobile. Most automobile manufacturers recommend a tune-up be performed at an interval of 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or two years, whichever comes first.
Any tune-up today should start with a battery of performance checks to baseline or confirm the engine’s overall condition:
- Battery voltage; Charging voltage.
- Engine vacuum (to detect air leaks as well as exhaust restrictions). Operation of the fuel feedback control loop (to confirm that the system goes into closed loop operation when the engine warms up)
- Scan for fault codes (to verify no fault codes are present, or to retrieve any codes that may be present so they can be diagnosed and eliminated). Check exhaust emissions (this should be a must in any area that has an emissions testing program to confirm the vehicle’s ability to meet the applicable clean air standards, and to detect gross fuel, ignition or emission problems that require attention)
- Verify idle speed (should be checked even if computer-controlled to detect possible ISC motor problems); Idle mixture (older carbureted engines only, but injector dwell can be checked on newer vehicles to confirm proper feedback fuel control)
- Check ignition timing — if possible (should be checked even if it is not adjustable to detect possible computer or sensor problems). Operation of the EGR valve.
If the tune-up checks find no major faults, the following items should be replaced for preventive maintenance:
- Spark plugs. Consider long life plugs on applications where plug accessibility is difficult or where longer service life may be beneficial
- Rotor and/or distributor cap (if required)
- Fuel filter; Air filter; PCV valve and breather filter, and other parts on an “as needed” basis (things like spark plug wires, belts, hoses, fluids, etc.
- Check and adjust (if required on older vehicles) ignition timing, idle speed, and idle mixture; O2 sensor(s).
To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, Weaver Auto Service also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle from every aspect. Study the owner’s manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.