Scheduled, or preventative, maintenance is the regular schedule of services that vehicle manufacturers prescribe to keep a car running well and safely.
When do I need scheduled maintenance?
When it comes to maintenance advice, you are often confronted with numerous recommendations and opinions. If you are in doubt, have no fear — the truth is in the owner’s manual. Manufacturers define maintenance schedules for your specific car and take into account “normal” and “severe” driving conditions. You can also set up a free account at: https://www.mycarfax.com
Once your account is set up, you can manage vehicles from your dashboard. CARFAX can pull service records, maintenance schedules, open recalls and more. You can set up alerts when your car is due for service so you can stay on top of maintenance and keep your passengers safe.
Are you a “normal” or “severe” driver?
You probably don’t think the way you drive would fall under “severe” driving — most of us don’t. But you are more likely to fall into this category if you:
If the above conditions are severe, then what’s normal?
To make informed decisions about your car’s maintenance schedule, determine what your priorities are. A mother with small children may make decisions based on safety, while someone with a long commute may be concerned about fuel economy. Decide what’s best for you!
To find your owner’s manual visit http://repairpal.com/automobile-owners-manuals-online
The rubber timing belt connects the camshaft to the crankshaft of the engine. It helps the crankshaft drive the camshaft. The following issues are common:
• Symptoms of wear or failure
• Broken belt
• Worn or loose belt
Related Repair Advice
Why is it important to replace my vehicle’s belts and hoses?
• Leaking or ruptured coolant hose(s) can result in an overheated engine or a vehicle breakdown
• Power-steering hoses are critical to safe vehicle operation
• A broken or worn-out belt can leave your vehicle inoperable
• A thorough visual inspection of all belts and hoses for evidence of wear or damage
• Replacement of all worn belts and hoses as needed
• Adjusting the fit of installed belts, hoses, and related components
Is your “check engine” light on?
One of the most vital signals of an improperly functioning vehicle is the Check Engine light and when illuminated, it alerts the driver to a variety of existing potential problems.
When the Check Engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally.
A glowing Check Engine light doesn’t mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the warning light could result in costly repairs. At the very least, the light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.
If the light flashes, the condition is more critical and must be checked immediately to prevent severe damage.
Once the vehicle is in the automotive shop, a technician connects your vehicle’s computer system to a diagnostic scan tool. From here, the technician can look for codes, analyze data streams such as the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other key indicators.
Afterwards, the technician can advise if further testing is needed or make the recommended repairs.
How do I know when it’s time to replace my belts and/or hoses?
Belts and hoses are critical parts of your engine and cooling system. To avoid problems, your hoses should be checked at every oil change. Belts generally need to be replaced every 30,000 – 60,000 miles (50,000 km – 100,000 km).
• Cracks in the belt material
• Splitting, peeling or fraying belts
• Your engine sounds like it’s running rough or stalls out at a stop
• You hear knocking or pinging sounds when accelerating or after the ignition is turned off
• Your check-engine light remains on after your initial start
You should have your hoses checked if you notice any of the following:
• Bulging or inflated hoses
• Hardened or inflexible hose material
• Cracks along the hose
• Worn or corroded hose clamps
Signs that you should have your belts checked include:
Belt and hose service performed by the experts at Goodyear Tire & Service Network locations concludes:
Replacing belts and hoses at the first sign of wear helps avoid unexpected breakdowns and the engine damage that overheating can cause. More specifically:
• It is crucial that the timing belt be replaced at or before the interval recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Failure to do so can result in a broken timing belt, which can turn off your engine and leave you stranded. It could also lead to severe engine damage.
• Timing belts are used in lieu of timing chains in many engines. Since they are made out of rubber, they have a limited lifespan.
• It is often recommended that you replace items like the water pump, front engine seals, drive belts, idlers, and tensioner along with the timing belt.
• Belt may “jump time” (skipping a tooth or more, usually on the cam gear). This results in a loss of synchronization and engine performance.
• Trouble codes from the camshaft or crankshaft sensors, causing Check Engine Light to illuminate
• Slapping or scraping noises from engine
• Engine will stop running and internal engine damage can occur
• Trips of ten miles or more
• Sustained speeds of 50 to 75 miles an hour
• Driving in low-traffic situations with few stops and starts
• Ambient temperatures above freezing and below 95° F
• Take short trips of less than ten miles
• Drive in heavy traffic with many stops and starts
• Drive at high rates of speed
• Tow heavy loads or drive off-road
• Drive in dusty conditions
• Drive in extremely cold or extremely hot climates