One of the items dearest to everyone is their automobile. The desire to have the newest, coolest, hottest, most envied cars is rampant. Many consumers wait anxiously for the new models of cars to be available. Then it is a race to the dealer to be the first on the block, at work, or among a circle of friends to have it. Why is it then that a lot of people do not take care of their vehicle once they get it? In the owner’s manual there is an outline of required and recommended services to the vehicle, but few people bother to pull it out of their glove box unless they just need to get it out to make room for more important personal items; hair brushes, CD’s, tissues, sunglasses. However, none of these items are as important as the owner’s manual.
The owner’s manual is the guide for all things related to your car. It tells you what type of oil to use, and pressure to place in the tires, as well as the grade of fuel you should use. When you first get your car home, you should take the time to read the manual. Then hopefully, you can avoid one or all of these three things that will ruin your engine: overheating, no or low oil, and flooding.
Motor oil is crucial to your car’s overall performance, and is vital to your engine. It is possibly the most important fluid your car needs. Oil lubes all of the moving parts in the engine. Without oil, the valves, and other moving parts would sustain friction, which would cause all of the rubbing parts to get hot, and eventually burn up. Low oil can have the same effects as no oil. Your auto requires a certain amount of oil to properly coat all of the parts. If your oil is low, it may only coat a few parts, or not provide the correct amount of oil to each component.
Overheating can also ruin or damage your engine. Overheating is more common in the summer months and is usually related to not having antifreeze or water in the radiator. Rocks or other debris can fly up and put small holes in the radiator or hoses, and cause sudden or gradual loss of fluids. These fluids are essential in cooling down areas of the engine that work the hardest. The opposite of overheating , freezing, occurs when the antifreeze is not to the correct strength or missing. The water then freezes when temperatures dip. Running the engine in either of these conditions would do damage to the engine.
Flooding is would be the presence of an overly rich air-fuel mixture that cannot be ignited. This can happen by pushing on the gas pedal when the car is not running, releasing fuel to the engine but with nothing to ignite it. This can kill the engine, and do harmful or permanent damage to it.
If your car does not come with an owner’s manual, you should be able to do an online search of the manufacturer, and have one sent to you for free or minimal cost. Most used car dealers will get one for you. If you cannot locate an owner’s manual, discuss service options with your mechanic. Set up a schedule for routine maintenance and be sure to have the oil and radiator checked each visit.