3 Types of Preventive Maintenance Every Automotive Maintenance Technician Should Know
Preventive maintenance is a big part of your job as a technician and it has the obvious benefit of saving cars from serious problems down the road. Plus, your customers will appreciate anything you can catch before it gets worse, like transmission issues, wear and tear or engine failure. These are all problems that can often be avoided with a regular checkup.
When you conduct preventive maintenance, you keep people safe and save them from financial headaches in the future. Fuel efficiency is also improved and the longevity of the vehicle is extended. Read on for a few types of preventive maintenance you’ll need to know in your auto career!
1. Oil Changes and Why They Matter in Auto Mechanic Careers
You may already know as an auto student that engine oil lubricates the engine and absorbs heat. By preventing corrosion, keeping parts cool and facilitating movement, it keeps a combustion engine up and running.
Over time, oil will break down and fail to do its job. This can result in an overheated engine that runs less efficiently. Eventually, parts will warp and wear out, causing engine failure. The goal of oil changes is to switch out the oil completely for new oil, before it has a chance to break down and stop working.
Any automotive maintenance technician should know that to accurately determine how often to change the oil, you should consult the vehicle’s manual. While many people use rules of thumb or guidelines for oil changes, the truth is that each make and model of a vehicle is different and the manual is your best resource. Oil breakdown can be affected by factors such as driving often at high speeds, vehicle age, dust or temperature.
2. What an Automotive Maintenance Technician Should Know About Spark Plugs
A spark plug is a small device that creates an electric current and sends it into the combustion chamber of an engine. This electricity creates a spark, which ignites the engine. In general, a car will have the same number of spark plugs as cylinders.
A spark plug can pack anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 volts of energy. Older, more worn out spark plugs will have a harder time creating the current and spark they need, so sometimes engine stalls are due to old spark plugs.
Once again, a manual will indicate how often spark plugs should be replaced. Often, it’s close to every 48,000 km. These devices used to be very easy for drivers to check, as they were accessible under the hood. Today, many vehicles have spark plugs that are harder to reach and drivers will likely require your help to access and inspect them.
3. Why Cabin Air Filter Changes Are an Easy Way to Improve Passenger Comfort
People pursuing auto mechanic careers will already know that engine air filters are essential to keep clean air running to the engine. Similarly, cabin air filters keep clean air running to passengers. Dust, pollen, bacteria and exhaust are all threats to air quality and respiratory health. A clean cabin air filter ensures that a car’s ventilation system isn’t circulating polluted air to those inside.
If customers approach you with poor climate control performance, reduced circulation or a musty scent in their car, the filter may be the issue. Once again, a car’s manual is the place to look for how often to change the filter, but in general this should be replaced as often as a spark plug.
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