Neglect Any Of These 7 Vital Automotive Systems At Your Own Risk


It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We at Horsepower for an Hour modify that axiom to be an ounce of maintenance is worth a pound of repair.

It’s a simple fact, automotive systems wear out and breakdown over time despite the automotive industry’s best efforts to make cars more reliable.

Sometimes these failures are far too premature because car owners neglect vital systems from ignorance. Let’s look at a seven systems and offer a few tips to get the most out of your ride.

Brake system:
Most folks know to have pad and shoe thickness checked from time to time, but many overlook the importance of keeping the hydraulic brake fluid serviced.

As moisture in the brake fluid increases, the boiling point decreases. The incredible heat generated at the brake rotors is transferred into the brake lines and heats the brake fluid. When brake fluid boils, it causes catastrophic failures. If the fluid boils in the lines, it results in brake fade. if it boils in the master cylinder, it results in brake failure. Do yourself a favor and have the fluid inspected annually, we promise you’ll be glad you did.

The Engine:
Engine leaks are typically the result of dirty engine oil. Hydrocarbon deposits, environmental dust and dirt and normal internal wear all contribute to contamination being suspended within the engine oil. The dirtier the oil, the more likely it will leak. Since none of us can possibly know how much contamination is being dispersed in the oil, it’s best to change your oil at regular, routine intervals.

More and more, car manufacturers are suggesting we can go longer between changes…don’t believe it. It’s mind numbing to consider how many of us are penny wise and pound foolish. We try to protect a $5.00 quart of oil with a $10,000 engine.

Manufacturers recommend less frequent oil change intervals to lower the annual cost of maintenance thereby making the car seem more appealing to potential buyers. Automotive on board computers do a somewhat good job of reminding us when enough time has lapsed to change the oil. But, what a computer cannot ultimately determine is if the car is being driven in dusty areas or if fuel is being atomized efficiently. Those two factors alone have enormous effect on engine oil life. Play it safe. Adhere to the 3,000-mile oil change rule or, if you’re more mindful, change the oil every 2,500 miles.

Regularly changing the oil is a great habit to develop. Engine repair or replacement often cost thousands of dollars. Don’t tumble the dice. Change that oil!!

Check back soon for more of the seven vital automotive systems tips…

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About Author

Donny is a Southern California specialty shop owner with primary emphasis on transmission and differential systems. He is an automotive technology graduate with over 30 years of experience. He and his wife own DMC Transmission outside of Los Angeles and were awarded “Shop of the Year” honors in 2010 and 2011.

Email Donny

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