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Maintenance of todays Vehicles

Old School vs New School

Do you remember when it was the smart thing to remove your thermostat in the summer to keep your engine running cool? I did it for many years. That was the old way where we did not have fuel injection and computer controls. If you are still practicing those habits it is time to stop! The engine computer controls the amount of fuel is let into your engine for optimum performance. It uses sensors to know what temperature the engine is as well as how cold the air that is coming into the engine. If the computer is programmed to run the engine most efficiently at 212 degrees and we remove the thermostat the engine will never hit 212 degrees. The colder the engine runs the more fuel it takes to keep it running. This is why it is so important to make sure your coolant system is up to par. I had a van with a 3.4 engine that had a thermostat stuck open. The temperature gauge hardly moved and the engine, while driving only got to 140 degrees. The gas mileage was around 14 mpg. I had my students change the thermostat and coolant. The temp gauge went up about half way and I was getting a lot better heat. After monitoring the gas mileage for three tankfuls, I found my mileage went from 14 mpg to 20.75 mpg. The point I am trying to get across is.... Cars of today are more complex and sensitive to things that did not matter before. It is most important to follow the manufacturer’s scheduled Maintenance procedures for today’s cars for this reason. Yes it costs money to properly maintain a vehicle, but it will cost you more in hidden costs over a period of time if you choose to ignore the schedule. You will also have to replace the car much sooner by ignoring the manufacturer’s schedule!

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