Saturday, July 14, 2012

What does car maintenance mean?

There are many Asian and Indian schmucks out there, think that changing oils is same as maintaining cars. Even BMW with 50,000 miles basic warranty get away with minimal maintenance: change oils + fixing/clearing CELs + fixing recalls. That's how BMW screws you.



Engine oil and filter: every 5k to 10k (check the manual)
Transmission fluid (every 60k). For automatics, change transmission filter as well
Break fluid flush every 2 years or 30k. This fluid is used  for the clutch for manuals.
Power steering flush:
Coolant/antifreeze flush
Window washer refills
Don't recharge AC. If it requires a recharge, fix the leaks
Fuel filter. This is different from engine oil filter and automatic transmission filter. Do it every 20k
Air filter: every 12-15k
Cabin air filter (pollen filter) every year
Use Chevron with techron gas so that you don't need to add fuel injection cleaning additives like lucas/techron.


Timing belt, tensioner, water pump
V-belt (Serpentine belt)
Serpentine belt tensioner pulley (bearing)
AC compressor bearing
crankshaft harmonic balancer
alternator pulley

All rotating ones have some sort of bearings/pulleys. So, you need to localize the noise origin

Ignition system:
Spark plugs every 40K (check your manual)
Fuel injection cleaning (use chevron with techron or lucas)

Break system:
Break pads and/or rotors
master cylinder
break fluid flush

Suspension system:
struts/shocks; springs
lower control arm bushings
tie-rod (alignment)

Exhaust system:
O2 sensors

ECU inputs:
fix up whenever you get CEL light on. Don't use generic OBD 2 scanner. If you use the scanner that dealer uses, you will get more information.

Mostly sensors/switches:

crankshaft position sensor
camshaft position sensor
vehicle speed sensor
coolant temp sensor
mass airflow sensor
intake airflow sensor, which could be part of mass airflow sensor
boost pressure sensor or manifold pressure sensor. Sometimes, it could be MAP (manifold absolute pressure)
knock sensors (number of knock sensors depends on your engine)
O2 sensors (both pre-cat and post-cat). If you have a V-engine, you have two pre-cat O2 sensors.
break light switch
clutch pedal switch (for manuals)
Throttle valve control module with position sensors (sometimes this can be realigned with a tool)

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