What Every Auto Mechanic Wishes You Knew About Vehicle Maintenance
Car maintenance can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Here at Castrol Express, we want to help you understand the basic gauges and functions so you can avoid spending thousands of dollars at the mechanic for problems you didn’t know anything about. Get ready to ride with us on a trip of basic car maintenance!
Vehicle Maintenance Tips
The Oil Gauge. We all see it on our dashboards, but what does it really mean? Contrary to popular belief, this gauge is not there to tell you how much oil is in the car, but rather, what the oil pressure is. When the oil pressure drops suddenly, it can be a sign of engine trouble or even wear and tear that could lead to a much bigger problem. You should still check your oil often with the dipstick method, and rely on your oil gauge to alert you of impending oil pressure-related issues.
Overheating Engine. This can be a terrifying problem to face if you’ve never dealt with it. All passenger cars need proper amounts of coolant for the radiator. Without it, you will see that check engine light come on, or perhaps you’ll have another gauge that will light up if your car’s engine is overheating. What’s critical to understand here is how and when to add radiator coolant back into the engine. If cold fluid is added to a hot engine that has been turned off, it can cause even more damage. It’s best to let a qualified Red Oak mechanic do this task, but in case you need to do it, never add coolant without leaving the engine running. It’s much better to allow the engine to either cool off before adding the fluid, or add the fluid to an engine that is already running.
Starting Your Car While the Engine is Cold. A cold engine starting causes the most wear and tear on it. A cold engine should be started and allowed to idle for just a few minutes in order to prevent damage from the oil that hasn’t had a chance to circulate around the engine yet. If you live in extremely cold climates, the longer you let your engine run before driving it, the better your chances are of avoiding damage from cold starts.
Changing the Oil Regularly. This is a big one! Perhaps one of the most important things you can do in basic car maintenance is to change your oil on a regular basis. Your engine needs to have the oil replaced at least every 3000 miles on older cars and 5000 miles on newer models. Every mechanic in Red Oak will tell you that it’s the Golden Rule of car maintenance! Don’t neglect changing your oil and your car will be with you for many years to come. Failing to do this can result in engine failure, which can cost thousands of dollars. Oil changes cost around $25 and can be done in 20-30 minutes.
Replacing the Timing Belt. The thing to know here is that timing belts don’t cost very much and are relatively easy to replace. But if they fail before they are replaced, it can cause major engine damage. You should plan to have your mechanic here at Castrol Express replace your timing belt every 60,000 miles. If your car has sat idle for more than a couple of months, it’s also a good idea to have this done. It’s a quick and easy job and can save you a huge amount of money.
These are just a few of the basic car maintenance tips that we know will help keep you safe and your car running smoothly for years to come. Castrol Express is a full-service car maintenance and mechanic shop and we’re here to help any time, so call us today and see why we’re among the most trusted mechanics in Red Oak!
Castrol Express Car Service
240 E. Ovilla Rd
Red Oak, TX 75154