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Car Care Guide: Engine Performance

It’s Car Care 101.

Your vehicle won’t perform the way you want it to if your engine isn’t well-maintained. The best way to do this is to have your car tuned up on a regular basis.

There are three big benefits:

  1. The engine will remain working at its fullest power.
  2. You’ll get the best fuel economy.
  3. Your vehicle will give off the lowest level of emissions
Here’s what a tune-up involves, including the specific systems that your mechanic will focus on, and some warning signs to watch out for.

Ignition

Your vehicle’s ignition system consists of:

  • Spark plugs.
  • Plug wires.
  • Coils.
Symptoms of ignition trouble:
  • Car doesn’t start.
  • Key won’t turn.
  • Vehicle stalls.
  • Dashboard lights flicker.
  • Starter motor doesn’t make any noise.

Filters

Your vehicle has several filters that keep contaminants from invading the vital components that keep your engine running smoothly.

  • Oil filter.
  • Fuel filter.
  • Air filter.
  • Cabin air filter.
Symptoms of filter failure:
  • Oil filter
    • Sputtering.
    • Performance is suffering.
    • Metallic sounds.
    • Dirty exhaust.
  • Fuel filter
    • Reduced engine power.
    • Engine stalling.
    • Random engine misfire.
  • Air filter
    • Filter looks dirty.
    • Check engine indicator light is on.
    • Unusual noises.
    • Reduced fuel economy.
  • Cabin air filter
    • Unusual odor.
    • Poor airflow.

Belts and hoses

The belts and hoses in your car have a big job to do and they’re a crucial part of a tune-up.

    During a vehicle check-up, your mechanic will be looking at the belts and hoses that work together with your:
  • Alternator.
  • Water pump.
  • Power steering pump.
Symptoms of belt and hose failure:
  • Squealing noise when accelerating.
  • Rattling.
  • High-pitched shriek – especially when the engine starts.

Fluids

Just like your body needs hydration, your car needs fluids to stay healthy.

Your vehicle owner’s manual will provide the change intervals for each type of fluid, including:
  • Engine oil.
  • Coolant.
  • Brake fluid.
  • Transmission fluid.
  • Power steering fluid.

Your vehicle has several filters that keep contaminants from invading the vital components that keep your engine running smoothly.

  • Oil filter.
  • Fuel filter.
  • Air filter.
  • Cabin air filter.
Symptoms of filter failure:
  • Engine oil
    • Overheated engine.
    • Grinding noise.
  • Coolant
    • Reduced engine power.
    • Engine stalling.
    • Random engine misfire.
  • Brake fluid
    • Brake light dashboard indicator is on.
    • Squealing, squeaking, or grinding noises.
    • Soft and spongy brake pedal.
    • Burning smell.
  • Transmission fluid
    • Overheating.
    • Car doesn’t shift gears smoothly.
    • Transmission failure.
  • Power steering fluid
    • Whining or squealing noise when the wheels turn.
    • Stiff steering.
    • Steering slow to respond.

Keep your engine humming

Your trusted auto care provider will focus on your important engine systems – ignition, belts and hoses, filters, and fluids – when he gives your car a tune-up. When you stay on top of vehicle maintenance, you can be sure that you’re doing everything you can to protect your investment and keep your car running at peak performance.

Conrad’s is happy to help. Just give us a call!


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