3 Maintenance Tips for Auto Mechanic School Grads Looking to Get the Most Out of an Engine

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Today is Valentine’s Day, which if you’re a car enthusiast means it’s time to show your engine some love. There’s no better way to do that than to give your engine some routine maintenance that will help it last longer and drive further. Even the most basic maintenance tips can add years to an engine’s life so long as they are performed on a regular basis.
Knowing how to take care of an engine will benefit not just your own car, it’ll also help you become a better auto service technician once you graduate from auto mechanic school. To help you become the best auto mechanic you can be, check out these three tips for maintaining a vehicle’s engine.

1. Auto Mechanics Know Regular Oil Changes Are Key to Engine Health

The single best way to keep an engine running longer is to stay on top of oil changes. Engine oil degrades over time, which makes it less effective at lubricating the engine’s many moving parts. In turn, that means those parts are more likely to wear out and need replacing.

Regular oil changes are the best way to keep an engine running for longer
Regular oil changes are the best way to keep an engine running for longer

The question of how often oil should be changed has long been a hot topic of conversation, but a good rule of thumb is to change it either twice a year or every 7,500 km (whichever comes first). Of course, this varies depending on the type of oil used, the vehicle specifications, and driving conditions. For example, a car that is mostly driven in extreme cold or hot weather will require more frequent oil changes.

2. Engine Air Filters Ensure the Engine Has a Steady Supply of Clean Oxygen

Engines need a supply of oxygen to run properly, which is why the engine air filter is so important. It keeps dirt and dust out of the engine which can otherwise make the engine run less efficiently and even wear down its parts faster.
As with oil changes, when an air filter needs to be replaced varies quite a bit. Some manufacturers recommend changing the air filter after just 5,000 km, while others recommend doing so closer to 50,000 km. Given that replacing an air filter is fairly cheap, there’s no harm in erring on the side of caution and replacing the filter more often than not. For cars that frequently drive on gravel and dirt roads, air filters will need to be checked and replaced fairly frequently. You can use your auto mechanic school skills to check for yourself when a filter needs changing. If the filter is black and grimy, it needs to be replaced.

3. Use the Skills Learned in Auto Mechanic School to Check the Engine Cooling System

Overheating puts a lot of stress on an engine and it can cause serious damage if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to maintain the engine’s cooling system so that the temperature gauge doesn’t reach those dangerously high levels. Once you finish your auto mechanic program and become an auto service technician, performing checkups of vehicles’ cooling systems may be a big part of your job.

To maintain an engine’s cooling system, coolant levels should be topped up
To maintain an engine’s cooling system, coolant levels should be topped up

During these checkups, coolant/antifreeze levels should be topped up and the radiators should be cleaned. It’s also important to check for any coolant leaks, especially as hoses and rubber seals are vulnerable to cracking over time. About once a year, the entire radiator should be flushed and cleaned in order to help keep the engine functioning at its very best.
Are you ready to pursue an exciting career in the auto industry?
Contact CATI to learn about our automotive mechanic courses!

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