Even so, today's tight budgets leave some motorists reluctant to spend on services or maintenance that they think can be delayed, at least for the short term.
However, compared to the cost of engine repair, spending a little today on the right maintenance routine performed by trusted service technicians using quality products makes sense. Mark Ferner, Pennzoil technical specialist and ASE-certified master mechanic, offers some simple, cost-effective tips for helping to protect the performance and longevity of your vehicle:
Replace Dirty Air Filters.
A dirty air filter will restrict airflow to the engine, which may reduce power output. If the filter fails, it will allow unfiltered air into the engine, which can be abrasive inside an engine. To avoid these issues and help promote long engine life, check your engine's air filter regularly and change it when it is dirty.
Use High-quality Fuel.
Several automotive manufacturers (BMW, GM, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi) have published technical service bulletins recommending the use of top-tier fuel. Top-tier fuel contains more additives than is required by the industry's Lowest Additive Content (LAC) treat rate. Regular use of fuel that only meets LAC requirements may cause deposits to form on engine intake valves and fuel injectors.
Change Your Oil.
Regular oil changes are one of the most important steps to maximize the life of a vehicle. Oil change intervals vary by vehicle and driving conditions, so follow the interval and oil specifications found in the owner's manual.
Also, be sure to use quality motor oils in your vehicle. Properly functioning motor oils help prevent sludge and neutralize and disperse harmful deposits, and using the recommended viscosity grade of motor oil may also help enhance fuel economy. If you are having the oil changed for you, ask for quality oils by name. Quality motor oil will maintain its effectiveness throughout the oil change interval, allowing it to help keep the engine clean.
As a bonus, some motor oil brands offer lubrication warranties at no additional cost. For example, the Pennzoil and Quaker State Lubrication Limited Warranty Programs protect qualified engines for 300,000 miles, whether their owners use conventional, synthetic-blend or full synthetic motor oils meeting their vehicles' requirements. Participants can enroll online, and maintaining eligibility is easy: simply get an oil change with the specified brand, change the filter, perform regular maintenance and keep the service receipts.
To learn more about the Pennzoil and Quaker State lubrication limited warranties, visit either www.Pennzoil.com or www.QuakerState.com, or speak with an automotive professional at a participating automotive dealership or oil change facility that features Pennzoil or Quaker State products.