When many think of preventative maintenance, they think of Tune-up. Years ago, a tune-up would entail the following items. Technicians would adjust points, gap spark plugs, adjust timing, adjust valves, adjust the fuel mixture, and adjust the idle. We no longer do these things because all the above components or systems are designed to be self-adjusting or much longer lasting. We used to replace spark plugs after 7,500-15,000 miles. Current spark plugs are made of hi-tech metals and go for 60,000-120,000 miles.
In older cars, points wore out, and the engine’s ignition timing suffered. Modern vehicles have an engine control module for regulating ignition and fuel timing. Since OBD ll was implemented, we have sensors to communicate with the engine control module (ECM). The ECM receives signals from the crank sensor for spark timing and the cam sensor for fuel injector timing. We replace these sensors when they become defective. Oxygen sensors (O2 sensors) live before and after the catalytic converter in the exhaust stream. Our state-of-the-art diagnostic computer allows us to monitor the O2 sensors in real-time. This feature tells us the state of many components and detects which ones to replace. You can buy a code reader from Amazon for less than $100, but it won’t have these aspects that give us insight into your engine. These qualities allow us to quickly find the malfunctioning part rather than replacing one after another until the bad piece is found.
Older cars needed frequent valve adjustments. With a few exceptions, modern vehicles use hydraulic valve lifters, and the engine valves automatically keep perfect adjustment.
Fuel filters have changed with the times as well. Fuel filters used to be small, constructed of plastic and needed repeated replacement. Modern-day fuel filters are larger, and many never need replacement. We will follow Ford’s recommended fuel filter service interval.
Air filters are some of the only things that haven’t changed. The engine air filter is suitable for 15,000-30,000 miles, depending on where you drive. If your driving includes dirt roads, we should change this filter more often. The cabin air filter has the same replacement schedule. We can install a HEPA cabin air filter that will trap particles as small as pollen. This can be important to those with allergies.
These days we perform computer-controlled tests not to make manual adjustments as in the olden days but to find malfunctioning components. With the complexity of the modern engine, it is a requirement to have the latest diagnostic equipment. Ours is the same as the dealer service department; our mechanics are all ASE-certified and committed to excellence.