Seeing your engine light come on during a regular drive is always disconcerting, especially if there’s been no other indication that your engine and vehicle is in need of repairs. Don’t hear any knocking? No squealing? No other strange sounds? There’s no need to panic, but an engine light can still be an indicator of a serious issue.
Preventive maintenance is your best defense against the unwanted sight of an engine light or other issues that can cause significant damage to your vehicle. We suggest you schedule a time to bring your car, truck or van to a trusted auto repair and maintenance facility like Colony One Auto Center for an engine performance diagnosis. In the meantime, there are some simple steps you can take at home to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
Simple Engine Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
Check fluid levels. Learn where and how to check for your engine oil, power steering, brake, coolant and transmission fluids.
Be aware that older vehicles may require more frequent checks of fluid levels, and consistently low levels may indicate leaks that need to be repaired. Spreading some newspaper or cardboard beneath your vehicle after you park it for the night and checking in the morning for drip stains is a simple way to determine if you have a leak.
Replenishing your fluids often solves what you might otherwise diagnose as a major mechanical issue. For instance, symptoms of a transmission that is faulty and one that is just low on fluid are nearly identical. Be sure to check your fluids regularly when after you’ve parked and your engine has cooled off. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of fluids you need to buy for your specific vehicle. If your service manual does not provide this information consult your trusted automotive professional.
Generally speaking, most automakers suggest you change your oil every 3000-5000 miles unless your vehicle requires a full synthetic oil change. It’s also a good idea to change the oil and air filters when you change out the oil as well.
Don’t be lulled into the false sense of security just because you don’t have any oil leaks doesn’t mean you aren’t burning oil. Your engine can burn several quarts of oil in between oil changes without ever seeing any smoke from the tailpipe.
Changing the oil yourself is possible if you are comfortable with this sort of minor maintenance on your car (and don’t mind getting dirty!). However, most auto repair and maintenance facilities will do the job for a very low cost.
Check the engine belt. If you hear a squealing sound whenever you start up your car or turn on its air conditioning, that’s a good indication your engine belt, also known as serpentine belt, is wearing out and in need of replacement. The serpentine belt drives several devices in your engine, including the alternator, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor, which is why you might hear that squealing when you turn on your vehicle’s A/C. Although serpentine belts are designed to last a very long time, it’s a good idea to regularly check the belt for obvious wear and tear. Open up the hood of your vehicle and gently turn over the serpentine belt in different areas to check for damage or tears.
Sugar Land Engine Diagnostics
A complete diagnostic procedure will locate and suggest how to repair issues with your engine that may be difficult or completely impossible for the average car or truck owner to detect. During this procedure, Colony One’s ASE certified master technicians perform an onboard computer system analysis to retrieve data from your vehicle’s computers and then troubleshoot to diagnose any and all mechanical issues. Ready to give your car a thorough check up? Then contact us today to request an appointment.