The Importance of Preventive Maintenance Explained for Those in Auto Mechanic Courses
Cars are some of the most complex and expensive pieces of technology we regularly encounter in our lives. For a lot of people, they’re also essential, and many of us would be completely adrift without our cars.
With this in mind, it’s important that mechanics do what they can to limit to amount of time drivers have to do without their vehicles, and the best way to do this is to catch problems before they really become problems.
Read on to learn why preventative maintenance is so important in auto repair.
What is Preventive Maintenance and How Does it Work?
Preventive maintenance essentially means that instead of performing repairs when problems arise, a car is regularly maintained in order to guard against future problems. By regularly examining and ‘tuning up’ a car, the risk of a part suddenly and unexpectedly breaking down is lessened.
Preventive maintenance can also help to extend the lifespan and effectiveness of a vehicle and its parts. No one likes to be stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery or coughing engine, and preventive maintenance can help ensure that this doesn’t happen.
Preventive Maintenance for Batteries
Batteries can be finicky parts of a car. As you may learn in automotive school, they are impacted by the temperature, easily drained by forgetfulness, and need to be maintained at a certain voltage at all times. Without them, cars are effectively useless, so it’s important to practice regular preventive maintenance on them.
Batteries need to be replaced every 3-5 years, and a weak battery can damage healthy car parts, so it’s important that they be assessed for functionality regularly, especially after the 3-year mark. Periodically checking that the connectors are securely attached and that sulfate buildup isn’t occurring is also necessary.
Maintaining Wheels & Tires
Tires wear down over time, but what’s not commonly known is that different tires wear down at different rates. The front tires will wear down quicker than the back tires, for instance. To ensure that they all wear down at an equal rate, the tires should be rotated every 6 months, or every 6-8,000 miles.
A car’s wheels also need to be maintained. Every 6 months, the wheels should be balanced and aligned to ensure that car rides are smooth and safe. Balancing helps keep weight distributed equally around the axle, and alignment ensures the wheels are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. After your auto mechanic training, these are all tasks you’ll be able to perform yourself.
Other Preventive Maintenance Tasks Students in Automotive School Should Practice
There are many other areas where preventive maintenance can keep cars functional and effective. Most accidents occur because of faulty brakes, and this is easily preventable with periodic brake inspection. Engine belts need to be changed regularly in order for the car to run properly, and doing so before they break down helps avoid other mechanical troubles. Regular checks and oil flushes on the transmission system helps keep vehicles properly working. Spark plugs, windshield wipers, air filters, and oil filters all need to be regularly maintained or changed.
Owning a car can be complicated, and practicing preventive maintenance may sound like a lot of work. But by regularly assessing and maintaining a vehicle, further costs and issues are avoided. As an auto mechanic, practicing and preaching preventive care will be central to your career.
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