As an ASE-certified technician and garage owner with over 25 years in the automotive industry, I can tell ya I've seen my fair share of costly repairs in the garage.
You can avoid that with these simple tips.
Let me show you how.
From time to time you've been told your engine oil and your coolant needs to be flushed.
Is that the case? Do you really need that? You want to make sure you check your owner's manual to find out where the location of that dipstick is, I like to pull it out once, wipe it down, and then dip it in again, check it twice to make sure the level is good to go and more importantly if you've got dirty, old grainy engine oil, it's time for replacement.
Now with your engine coolant, keep it simple.
Don't get complicated.
Make sure that the engine is cooled down as you're pulling the cap off, you want to check the cap.
Make sure that the rubber bushing on that cap – that O-ring – is not hard and brittle and that it's sealing up.
If it's not, replace it.
It's an easy measure.
The second thing is to actually check the coolant.
Now you can use a test strip to actually test the coolant.
But it's best to always go with the owner's manual and its dictated replacement interval.
If that coolant is grainy, and it looks like this, it's time for replacement.
Now if your engine is running rough and it feels like it's dancing the macarena, no good.
You may have an issue with those vital spark plugs.
These guys fire up millions of times and they need to be changed out periodically.
You're on your way to pick up the kids or you're headed to work and you have a no start.
That's a terrible situation.
You want to make sure that you check your battery typically every two to three years is the shelf life of a battery so if you're at that range it probably needs to be replaced.
As good measure, check it at every oil service.
8 to 14.
2 volts with the engine running is what that alternator should be charging You also want to make sure the terminals don't have any battery acid, cuz that's the sign of a click waiting to happen.
And here's an important tip.
If you're under the hood and you smell rotten eggs, stay far away.
You may have a sulfating battery and that can be an explosive nightmare.
Now those coolant radiator hoses are vital to how the coolant system is being distributed from the radiator to the engine.
If you look at a radiator hose it doesn't look bad, make sure you're checking the full circumference, because that's where you've got the bloatation and a blow out waiting to happen.
Number 2, again, hose may look good but what's the inside of that radiator hose all about? It can be breaking down and that's a nightmare waiting to happen.
Now typically every 60 to 80 thousand miles is when you really want to pay close attention to those radiator hoses.
That's about the shelf life.
So make sure you inspect them.
If you want your engine to perform at its best, especially that fuel system, you've got to keep the injectors intake valves, and combustion chamber clean.
Because of impurities in gasoline, carbon deposits build up in these critical engine components and if left unchecked over time can create hesitation, knocking, rough idle and other performance issues.
Not to mention, negatively impact your fuel economy.
That's why I recommend a high quality additive like Techron's Complete Fuel System Cleaner from Chevron.
All you need to do pour one full bottle of Techron into your gas tank when it's nearly empty every 3, 000 miles.
When you fill up and run your engine the fluid will work its way into the farthest reaches of your fuel system to remove all those carbon deposits and give your engine a deep clean.
You want to keep an eye on fuel economy because you're likely to see better performance there, as well.
Don't just take it from me.
Techron won the 2019 AutoWeek Reader's Choice Award for Top Fuel Additive.
There's a reason why, because it works.
So there you have it – a couple of little things you can do real simple things to avoid those costly repairs.