Can you name the parts of an exhaust system?
Exhaust systems in vehicles consists of headers, an exhaust pipe, a catalytic converter, a muffler and a tail pipe. Now, can you find all of those on your car?!
How important is your car air filter?
Very! The car air filter cleans the intake process for your vehicle by allowing clean air access to the engine. Replacement every 15,000 miles is considered a good idea for all car types.
What does it mean when your engine light is on?
The engine light doesn't mean that your entire engine needs to be replaced. (Not that you immediately leaped to that conclusion!) Rather, it's cluing you in that something in the car needs attention. You should check your gauges and lights for low oil pressure or possible overheating. If your light comes on while driving, it's a good idea to pull over and assess the situation.
Do brake pads need to be replaced?
Your car's braking system won't run perfectly forever. They last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If you hear a high-pitched screeching sound when you hit your brakes, it's a sign that your pads likely need to be replaced.
Are spark plugs optional?
Spark plugs are NOT optional and you can't add more to your car to make it drive faster. Spark plugs ignite the gas and air mixture, which pretty much runs the car. It's a good idea to remove old spark plugs and reinstall new ones at least every 30,000 miles.
What is antifreeze?
Antifreeze is a chemical that pretty much saves your engine and radiator. It prevents rust, corrosion and overheating by making the freezing point lower and the boiling point higher.
What does RPM stand for?
RPM stands for revolutions per minute, which is a measure of the frequency of rotation. However many rotations around a fixed axis occur in one minute — that's the RPM.
What is the primary function of an alternator?
The main function of a car's alternator is to generate electricity. The alternator charges the car battery which serves as a power source for vehicle electrical loads.
What does an automobile radiator do?
Automobile radiators are essentially heat exchangers. They circulate coolant around the engine block to keep the engine cool while you're driving. Otherwise, your car would heat up way too fast!
Do you HAVE to get an oil change every 3,000 miles?
No! The frequency with which you get oil changes will vary based on your vehicle. Newer models of cars can actually go for much longer than 3,000 miles. As a general rule, if your car is older than 10 years old, you might want to adhere to the 3,000 rule (but even then, that's probably a conservative estimate).
Do tires wear at the same rate?
No. All four tires roll differently when driving, thus causing them to wear unevenly. This is why having your tires rotated on a regular basis is so important.
Should you idle your car to warm it up before you start driving?
For newer cars, idling isn't really necessary unless you are waiting for warm air to come out or need to defrost your windshield. The best way to warm up your engine in cold weather is to start driving gently. Simply idling generally yields nothing but lower fuel economy and dollars down the drain.
How often do you need to check your tire pressure?
It's important to check your tire pressures regularly. It's easy to do by keeping a gauge in your glovebox. Ideally, you'd check your tire pressure every time you fill up on gas. That way, if any of your tires need air, you're already at the gas station and can remedy the situation right away.