Why it is important to have regular checks on your engine

September 12th, 2016 by

Engine checks

Why it is important to have regular checks on your engine

Your engine health goes beyond just the oil change

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, the general assumption is that as long as the fluids are checked in the vehicle and the oil is changed as it should be, then all is well. And while these things are important to a vehicle, they should not be exclusive to the maintenance and the service of the car. Overlooking tune ups on the engine can result in a number of problems. Here are a few common places which see issues.

Serpentine Belt

The Serpentine belt is vital to the functionality of your engine. It is the long rubber belt which runs alongside the (usually) left hand side of the engine in a snake-like fashion around various wheels. Each wheel is responsible for a specific function such as the Water Pump, Idle, Alternator, Main engine power, and AC. If the belt is not properly maintained, it can expand or become frayed. In the best case scenario, the belt would then start to rub against the metal and you would get smoke coming from the hood. Annoying but usually not immediately dangerous so long as you get the car immediately to a dealership. However, often the un-serviced serpentine belt will become loose or damaged and will then break. This results in a loss of power steering, an overheated engine, and the loss of the accelerator on the vehicle.

Recently, I talked with a young man who had not maintained the wheels underneath the serpentine belt. Although he had a new belt, the damaged wheel caused the belt to get frayed on the edges. This caused a ripple effect which eventually resulted in a broken belt whose threads wrapped around the interior turning components of the alternator. The alternator locked up and when it did the belt pulled the tension gear abruptly forward. Both must now be replaced and has cost the man over a thousand dollars in repairs (not to mention towing costs).

Hoses and gaskets

Perhaps one of the most overlooked features of a vehicle are the hoses that attach to the engine. Yes, we know that they are there, but until something goes wrong, we don’t really care what they do or how they lay. This is the wrong mindset to have. Each hose has a functionality that plays a critical role with the overall vehicle. An example of this would be the radiator hose. Where the radiator may be working well, if the hose has cracks or has become loose, the engine may not get cooled efficiently causing overheating and eventually a cracked head.

Gaskets are a bit harder to spot issues with, especially since the majority of them are located between or underneath components. If you have been having problems with the heating or cooling of the engine, or if your check engine light has come on, have the gaskets checked to ensure that that is not an issue. Additionally, if you can see any gasket or if any gasket moves freely around the engine, this is a sign that something is not right and that you should have your vehicle serviced immediately.

Do not neglect the check engine light

So many major problems can be avoided if a vehicle is serviced as soon as the check engine light comes on. Granted, many times the light is an indicator that the oil needs to be changed or that a sensor is becoming weak. Yet, unless the vehicle is serviced and proper inspection is given to the vehicle, you run the risk of increasing a minimal problem into a major disaster.

Do you need to have your vehicle’s engine checked? Come see Bill DeLord

If you are concerned with the state of your vehicle’s engine and would like to have a professional check the status of your engine, please come and see Bill DeLord. Our professionals will work hard to find any issues which you may have with your vehicle and bring those issues to your attention. Should you need regular service and maintenance such as oil changes, fluid level checks, or tire rotation and maintenance, we can help with that as well.


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