Engine Replacement Costs | Labor Costs – Bridwell

Engine Replacement Cost 2018

If you are searching for “Engine Replacement Cost”, “Engine Replacement Labor Cost”, “Engine Rebuild Cost”, “Average Cost Of Engine Swap” or “How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Car Engine”, this post should help! If your vehicle is showing blown engine signs you know a repair bill is coming. Learn about how much engine replacement or rebuild costs.

More than other failures on a car, there is nothing that is like a blown engine. You can smash the front end, set it on fire, blow a gasket, but it is still a broken car. Once the engine is gone, then it will stop being a car and it becomes more like an abandoned and echoing home.

However, better times are on their way because there is very little around that is as joyful as the moment when the empty shell becomes whole again and better than it was before through quality engine replacement. How much engine replacement will cost depends on the type of vehicle, brand, and other factors that will be discussed below.

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Engine Replacement Cost 2018-2019

  • Short Block Engine Replacement: $1550 to $2500
  • Long Block Engine Replacement: $600 to $1000

Complete engines will often include everything that it needs to run and sometimes include every sensor, electronic part and accessory. It is these types of replacements that are rare unless it is under warranty. Long block engines are the whole engine without the electrical equipment, manifolds, and accessories. Normally, engine replacements will include just the long block. A short block is just the long block without the heads or cylinder head. Then after 2014, an average American or Japanese V-6 or 4-cylinder long block will cost about $1550 to $2500 from a quality manufacturer. A short block will normally go for $600 to $1000 and the complete bolt in style engines will be double the price for a long block. You should expect to double everything for a European engine, especially if they are performance oriented or rare. You can cut the costs often by over half just by purchasing a junkyard engine, but then there isn’t a guarantee that it will be in better shape then the one that you removed.

Engine Replacement Cost Factors

There are many factors that need to be considered when you are deciding engine replacement, one of which is how you define an engine. First you have to decide if you need a new long or short block or a whole engine. Next you have to find what type of make and type of engine that you are dealing with and where you will get the new one. A brand-new engine that comes from a warehouse is going to cost much more than one that you get in a junkyard or a re-manufactured four-cylinder engine. Next, you have to think about age. Normally, engine replacements for Japanese and domestic cars will become more expensive as automobiles become newer simply because a newer engine will be much more expensive to start with and they can be harder to get if it is used. Lastly, you have to think about where you will have it replaced at and just how quickly that it needs to be done.

Luxury, Performance and Diesel Engine Replacement Cost

  • Diesel engine replacement: $5500 to $11000

Just to give you some perspective: Replacing a 16.4-liter long block for a Bugatti Veyron will be around $360,000 and a Ferrari Enzo long block is about the same. That does not even include shipping, but it does have a 30-day guarantee. Then for a complete LS7 crate Engine for a Corvette Z06 from GM is a bit of a bargain at $15,000. Then for a 6.3-liter LS3 crate engine for the newer Chevrolet Camaro SS is about $6500. This is going to be around the cost for many domestic V-8 cars. For between $5500 to $11000, you can purchase rebuilt Diesel engines and for between $3000 to $4500 you can get a Ford long block. Around $8500 will get you V-8 long block for an old Rolls Royce while the more current and updated engines that come from Rolls Royce will cost over $45,000.

Engine Replacement Labor Costs

  • Engine Replacement Labor Cost: $60 to $80 an hour

Labor may easily cost you just as much as purchasing an engine especially if you go to a specialist or dealer. A basic garage may cost you between $60 to $80 per hour, while a specialist or dealer can cost you between $200 or more. A normal engine replacement for an older car such as one from the 1980s could be about 10 hours of work, although it may be more like 15. You should expect between 15 to 25 hours of labor for an average engine replacement on a new vehicle.

A big part of that will come down to just how much work that the shop will have to do to put old engine parts on the new block, which is where you could end up losing money by purchasing a long block or short block. It actually pays to spend some money upfront, especially if the time of the mechanic is going to cost you. These are the factors that you will have to think about. You may end up spending around a minimum of $1500 for labor for the replacement of a complete engine by a local garage to more than $5000 if you pay a specialist to take apart your old engine and assemble the new engine from a short block and then install it in your car.

Total Engine Replacement Cost

  • Used Engine Replacement: $950
  • New Engine Replacement (Dealership): $7500
  • New Engine Replacement (Auto Repair Shop): $3000 to $4000

After everything above, it is clear just how huge of a gap in price that the replacement can be, even on the same car. Doing a DIY replacement of a 1998 Camaro Engine may cost you less than $950, if you purchased a remanufactured short block and do all the work on your own. Or it could cost around $7500 if you purchase a complete crate engine and pay a dealer to install it. That is a big gap in price just with one car with a common engine.

The average engine replacement – corner garage, average, long block, 10-year-old car should cost between $3000 to $4000. You should expect to spend extra 50% to almost double for a luxury or European car. You should keep in mind that the rarer that the engine and car are, the more expensive a replacement will cost. A fully loaded Porsche Cayenne and Cadillac Escalade are not that far apart when it comes to price when it is new, but the LS engine for the Escalade is very common in the U.S. The engine for the Porsche is not that common, but you have to remember a bolt is a bolt and an engine is just an engine.

At your local garage it may be around $80 per hour and they should not have a hard time replacing the engine for the Porsche as they would with a Cadillac. Be sure to shop around for labor rates and the guarantees before you decide to pay a specialist.

Engine Rebuild Cost

Rebuilt engines costs between $2,500 to $4,000 dollars in labor and the cost of parts. In addition to removing and reinstalling your engine common repairs will include replacing seals and bearings. More involved engine rebuilds cost more when cylinder heads cannot be be saved or if the crankshaft has been damaged. The pistons can also be damaged if your car gets too hot or a part of your engine fails.

The more involved and time consuming the rebuild the higher the cost will be. If your engine block is cracked or badly damaged rebuild isn’t really an option and you’ll need engine replacement instead. In the case your engine has seized replacement is the only option for repairing your vehicle. When an engine seizes it means that the metal pistons and cylinder walls got far too hot and have melted together.

Engine Replacement Warning Signs

There is a fine line when it comes to cost when an engine rebuild isn’t the best repair plan for your vehicle. Engine replacement is many times a less costly option than completely rebuilding a heavily damaged engine. Here are 3 blow engine signs to help you make a decision or trust the advice of your repair mechanic.

1. Catastrophic Engine Failure

Clearly this is one of the easiest signs that your engine is blown. If there’s a massive puddle of your engine’s oil with chunks of your engine in it, you’ve got a problem. If your vehicle stopped suddenly and there’s pieces of your engine in a pool of oil on the road, you’re going to need to replace your engine.

2. Engine Stops Suddenly & Loudly

If you hear a loud noise and your engine suddenly stops you have likely seized it. This happens if the oil has ran out or you have likely overheated. Excessive heat can melt your cylinder walls and pistons which can fuse them together. Once the engine fuses together replacement is the only option.

3. Neglecting Engine Maintenance & Repairs

Some engine problems are ones that drivers choose to ignore. If you’re check engine light has been on for months or even years or you’ve been ignoring a rough running engine damage has probably progressed. If the damage is severe enough an engine rebuild may be more costly than simply replacing the engine.

Professional Engine Replacement Services in Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona

If you need engine replacement in Scottsdale/Phoenix, Bridwell Automotive Center can help! Bridwell can help with engine repair, engine replacement, rebuilt engines and more. Our ASE Certified Technicians are trained, qualified, and well equipped to perform engine replacements on virtually any type of vehicle. Bring it to Bridwell to get affordable, reliable, and timely engine replacement in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Road Trip Checklist

Best Road Trip Checklist For Cars

Road Trip Checklist

If you are searching for “road trip checklist for car“, “is my car ready for a road trip“, “road trip inspection“, “car checklist before road trip“, “road trip high mileage car” or “how to prepare my car for a long road trip“, this road trip checklist should help!

Road Trip Inspection & Preparation Services

$79 Road Trip Inspection

Get your car ready for your next road trip with our road trip inspection and preparation services.

Our road trip inspection and preparation services include:

  • Inspecting battery, fuses & relays
  • Inspecting tires and spare tire
  • Inspecting belts and hoses for durability, leaks or cracks
  • Inspecting brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid etc
  • We also finish the inspection by test driving the vehicle

The cost for the inspection is $79. Receive 15% off by showing us this coupon or by printing it out. Click here for Road Trip Inspection Discount. Good until 8/30/18. *Coupon can be used for road trip inspection only.

Road Trip Checklist For Cars

Here’s a list of the items you should check on your vehicle before a road trip.  Each of them are important to your safety and to make the trip trouble free and fun!

Battery Check

BATTERY CHECKThe battery isn’t something you always think about when getting ready for a road trip, but they can go out without much notice.  In Arizona we all know that car batteries don’t typically last longer than about 3 years at the most.  Also check the posts or terminals on top of the battery for signs of corrosion.  The connection the wires make to the battery needs to be secure to the positive and negative leads on the battery.  Use a wrench to ensure these connections are tight. Watch carefully for signs that you’re vehicle’s starting sluggishly, get it tested, and replace it if necessary.

Engine Oil Check

ENGINE OIL CHECKRoad trips pack on the miles and most people don’t want to interrupt the fun to get an oil change while on the road.  Get your oil changed before you set off on your road trip to keep your engine healthy.  Your oil and it’s condition play a big role in how your vehicle’s engine wears and how many miles it will be good for.  If the mileage on your trip is going to even get close to needing an oil change considering getting it done before you head off.  It will help cut down on wear on your vehicle’s engine and avoid needing to get it done while on your vacation.

Transmission & Differential Fluid Check

TRANSMISSION & DIFFERENTIAL FLUID CHECKEngine oil isn’t the only place lubricant is used to keep the parts of your vehicle moving properly as your transmission and differential also use it.  Check your owner’s manual to find out when it’s due for your vehicle.  These are typically a little harder to get to for your DIY oil changer and are best handled by a lube and oil shop.  While they are down there consider having the U-joints a touch of grease to help your suspension operate smoothly.

Hose Checks

HOSE CHECKSThe heat inside your engine bay causes rubber hoses to degrade faster than it would if it simply sat in a parts house.  Because of the extreme heat your hoses should be check for being too hard and ready to crack.  Look for any areas that attach to the radiator to the engine.  Check near the connection points as the clamps tend to cause strain along with keeping an eye out for blisters and bulges in the hoses.  Checking before you go helps you avoid that “side of the road” nightmare of steam pouring our of your engine and you calling for a tow truck instead of cruising the highway.


BELT CHECKSBelts in your vehicle transfer power from your engine to accessories like your alternator, water pump, ac compressor, power steering, and other critical systems.  You should look for any signs of wear such as fibers cords showing, cracks, tears, if they are torn or ragged.  Modern vehicles typically have a single belt called the serpentine belt.  Most serpentine belts are good for up to about 50,000 miles.  So if you’re under that, you should be just fine.  You should check as many belts as your  vehicle uses by pressing on them while the vehicle is off.  If it moves more than  half an inch the belt is probably stretched.

Engine Coolant

ENGINE COOLANTEngines run at about 212 degrees no matter what season it is.  When it gets hot outside the engine coolant has to work harder to keep your vehicle’s engine cool enough.  Make sure your engine coolant is in good condition before you set off on your trip.  Modern vehicles are sent out from the factory with coolant that’s good up to between 100k and 150k miles.  If you find that your coolant level is low do not mix water or the wrong type of coolant into your vehicle’s system.  GM uses Dex-Cool (orange in color) while other vehicles typically use the green coolant that’s ethylene glycol-based.  If the coolant is dirty or looks like it is rust colored you need to change it before you leave on your road trip.

Window Washer Fluid

WINDOW WASHER FLUIDDust, dirt, insects, and rain are just a few of the reasons you might need to rinse your windshield while you’re cruising down the highway.  Even mud or dirty water getting splashed up by other cars will make it impossible to see out of your car safely.  Make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full so you can spray as much as you need to while driving down the road.  Most vehicles have the window water fluid reservoir marked with an icon that looks like your windshield and a line of spray.  The reservoir will have a fill line so you’ll know if it is low or not.

Power Steering Fluid

POWER STEERING FLUIDModern vehicles feature power steering that makes it easy to control your vehicle.  If the fluid is low you’ll notice it gets harder to steer or you might notice a shrieking noise during turning.  Many times this is caused simply by low power steering fluid.  It is something that owners can choose to do but does require a number of steps such as warming up the car, finding power steering tank, and checking the fluid level.  If you can find the power steering cap you should be able to check the level and add some where necessary.  Ensure the tank cap is secured back in place if you do remove it.

Tire Pressure & Tread

TIRE PRESSURE & TREADTires are the only part of your car that actually contacts the road, and is what keeps you safely on it.  To find the right tire pressure for your vehicle’s tires look on the inside of the driver’s side door, on the fuel door, or in the glove box.  Never just fill tires to the pressure listed on the tire as that number is generally the maximum pressure and not always exactly what your vehicle needs.  Low tire pressure causes undue heat, tire wear, and wastes gas as there’s increased friction with the road.  Before you set off know the pressure you need and check it with tire pressure gauge that you can buy at your local auto parts store.

Brake System

BRAKE SYSTEMMost vehicles brake systems use what’s called DOT3 or DOT4 brake fluid which is known to attract and absorb moisture.  When it gets water laden the color will change to a rust color and begin to damage your vehicle’s braking system.  These repairs can be quite costly and frustrating for vehicle owners.   If it’s been longer than about 3 years since you’ve had your brake system flushed and refilled with new fluid you should get it done before you leave.  As the water level in the fluid rises the boiling point goes down and you can find yourself with less effective braking.  It’s better to find the rust colored brake fluid than find out as your coming down a steep canyon and have ineffective brakes.

Air Filters

AIR FILTERSYour vehicle is likely equipped with 2 air filters.  One for the engine and one is called the cabin air filter.  If there’s too much dirt, dust, or debris in your air filter your vehicle has to work much harder to run and keep you cool.  Take the strain off your ac compressor and motor by changing your air filters if they look dirty.  The engine air filter is located under your hood and cabin air filters vary, check your owner’s manual for more information one where to find it and which filter you need to replace them with.

Spare Tire

First off you should check to make sure your vehicle is equipped with one.  Some models of newer vehicle’s include an inflator where the spare tire should be and older vehicles might have had their’s used and not put back.  Make sure your spare is where it should be and ready for use if you need it.  You should check the tire pressure to make sure it’s up the the job  and fill it when necessary.  Checking before you go means you’ll be safer on the road in case you run over a nail in the heart of Death Valley.

Road Test

Before you start your road trip prep and after you’ve performed it make sure you take your vehicle on a test drive on the road.  This will help you listen for unusual shaking, noises, and signs of trouble in your vehicle’s gauges.  Pay attention to how the car behaves and sounds during the road test.  If you feel it pulling, vibrating, or hear unusual moaning or grinding from the wheels.   Grinding noises are a sign of bad hub bearings while a car that pulls one way or another means bad alignment. If your car squeals or shimmies under braking your pads or rotors may be worn or warped.  Pay close attention to catch problems now so you don’t ruin your fun later!

Road Trip Checklist for High Mileage Cars

Higher mileage cars have a higher risk of having a problem. Depending on how high your mileage is and weather you get regularly scheduled maintenance done at regular intervals will determine what you parts of your car your should inspect and what other issues could come about.

  • Check all items in the car checklist above, plus
  • Check Thermostat & Water Pump
  • Check Alternator
  • Check Radiator
  • Check Rotors
  • Spark Plugs & Wires
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • Freon Check

Car Maintenance After A Long Road TripCar Maintenance After A Long Road Trip

It is also wise to get your car inspected and maintenance after a road trip to ensure that your fluids are still filled properly, tires are still within normal wear etc and that there are no new issues since the long trip.

Live In The Scottsdale Area? Get Your Inspection Done At Bridwell Automotive Center!

5 Star Review: Bridwell did an excellent job on my road trip inspection. We just got back from Lake Havasu and my high mileage car had no problems whatsoever. Highly recommend getting the road trip inspection done before any long road trip! Erick C

Get your road trip inspection and preparation service done at Bridwell Automotive Center, located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or call (480) 948-4781 for more information.

How To Replace Transmission Fluid

How To Replace Transmission Fluid

How To Replace Transmission Fluid

If you’re replacing transmission fluid in your vehicle you’re likely searching for a guide on how to replace transmission fluid.  For motorists that have the time, tools, and desire to do the work themselves, this guide will help.  It is a general guide for most automobiles but will not cover every mark or model.

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Why Change Transmission Fluid

All vehicles use fluids to either clean or lubricate vital functions.  Over time the fluids unavoidably collect metal shavings and dirt.  If you’re lucky this debris settles at the bottom of the pan instead of circulating through the entire system.  For this reason, many auto repair shops choose to flush transmissions under pressure to remove as much of the metal shavings and dirt from your vehicle’s transmission.

Regular fluid changes extends the life of your vehicle.  Transmissions need to have the fluid changed every 30 months or 30,000 miles.  The exact interval or mileage will differ from vehicle to vehicle so ensure that you read your owner’s manual for information specific to your care, truck, suv, or van.  If you check your transmission fluid and it has a burnt smell or dark appearance you should change it sooner.

Changing Transmission Fluid Yourself

While some motorists don’t mind changing their oil, those same people typically avoid changing their own transmission fluid.  This is because changing transmission fluid can cause a huge mess as you will need to remove the pan.  Even if your vehicle has a transmission pan drain plug, you’ll have to remove the pan to change the transmission fluid filter.  As fluid changes go, transmission fluid is one of the messiest.

Signs You Need To Change Transmission Fluid

Unless you’re a master technician you likely don’t know the symptoms of worn out transmission fluid.  If your automatic transmission has any of the following symptoms it may well be time to change your transmission fluid.

  • Vehicle will not engage a gear in forward or reverse
  • The transmission shift roughly from gear to gear
  • Your transmission slips as you drive
  • The transmission has unusual or louder noises

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms you should consider changing your transmission fluid, or have your transmission fluid changed by an automotive service shop.

Transmission Fluid Change Steps

If you’ve got the space, tools, desire and want to spend the time to change your transmission fluid, you can do it yourself by following these steps.

Step 1 – Warm Up Your Vehicle

Your transmission fluid is designed to work at high temperatures and will change better if it is warmed up.  To do this just let your vehicle idle for a few minutes.  Once it’s warmed up shut it off, raise, and then secure your vehicle.

Step 2 – Protect Your Work Space

You likely are working in your garage or driveway and don’t want transmission fluid all over the place.  Lay down a tarp, newspaper, or cardboard under the vehicle.  Place a minimum of a 2 gallon catch pan to collect the transmission fluid as you drain it.

Step 3 – Unbolt Transmission Pan

Start by removing the bolts on one side of your transmission pan.  Be very careful not to burn yourself on the hot fluid or the high temperature sections of the exhaust system.   Next loosen the bolts which should start to lean the pan and start the fluid to drain.  After you have removed all of the bolts carefully lower the pan and drain the rest of the transmission fluid into the pan.  You may need to gently break the seal with a flathead screwdriver.

Step 4 – Clean & Inspect

This is a great chance to check your transmission for excessive wear by looking for signs of damage or metal shavings.  Once you’ve inspected the pan for shavings clean it with solvent.  You also will need to clean the gasket surfaces on the pan and housing of the transmission.

Step 5 – Remove Old Filter

Next you’ll need to remove the old transmission filter.  It is likely filled with dirt, metal shavings, and debris from your transmission.  Chances are it will still be holding some transmission fluid, so your catch pan should be handy so you can dispose of it properly.  This is also a good chance to remove the old o-ring that goes around the perimeter of the pan and housing.

Step 6 – Install New Gasket

With the surfaces on the pan and the housing cleaned you should install your new transmission fluid gasket with oil soluble grease.  Avoid using adhesive or gasket sealer for this area of your vehicle.  An easy way to do this is carefully attach the gasket onto the pan so gravity holds it in place as you gently reattach the pan by loosely replacing the bolts.

It’s important to check your owner’s manual to see if you need thread sealer on some or all of the bolts for your transmission pan.  Finger tighten the bolts to hold the pan securely in place.

Step 7 – Tighten Transmission Pan Bolts

Most vehicle manufacturers state the torque or pounds of pressure you should tighten your bolts to for most parts of your car, the transmission pan is no different. Not having enough pressure will cause it to leak, while too much could damage the bolts, housing, or pan.  Consult your owner’s manual to find out what that bolt torque should be. This should be done in a spiral pattern one bolt after another.  Double check all bolts after the pan is securely in place for correct torque.

Step 8 – Replace Transmission Fluid

Finally the exciting step of putting new transmission fluid into your vehicle.  Start by lowering your vehicle back down and fill it to the recommended amount for your make and model.

Step 9 – Test Your Vehicle

You’ll want to run your vehicle in your driveway to check for leaks before taking it for a spin.  Let it idle for a few minutes and then check for leaks.  If there aren’t any you can bring the vehicle up to operating temperature, shift through all of your gears, place it back into park, and then check for leaks.  It’s also a good idea to check the dipstick for your transmission fluid at this stage while the engine is just idling.

Transmission Fluid Change Service

If you live in Scottsdale and need to get your transmission fluid changed, Bridwell Automotive Center is here to help!  Our Master ASE Technicians understand all of the systems in your vehicle including your transmission and what it takes for it to work correctly.  We will happily and affordably replace transmission fluid in whichever vehicle you need.  To schedule transmissions fluid change please call (480) 948-4781

Car Maintenance Guide

Car Maintenance Guide

Car Maintenance Guide

All car, truck, and suv owners want to get as many miles out of their vehicles as they can or best trade-in value.  This car maintenance guide will help you care for your vehicle to ensure you maintain as much value and keep it going as long as possible!

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Maintaining Your Car, Truck, or SUV

As the saying, prevention is better than cure’ suggests, the simplest thing that can be done to prevent unnecessary failures and break downs is to regularly maintain your vehicle; regular maintenance will not only save you a lot of money on major repairs but also undue hassle at inopportune times. Every car owners knows preventive maintenance is necessary, but not everyone knows or agrees on what counts as preventive maintenance and how frequently it should be done. This is what we’re going to outline here, as well as share some handy tips to keep your vehicle happy and running smoothly.

If you’re a new car owner it’s understandable if you don’t appreciate the importance of preventive maintenance yet, but as any mechanic, seasoned car owner or someone unfortunate enough to have spent a fortune on repairs would tell you, ignore it at your own risk. Basic maintenance, like regular oil change, and tire pressure and other inspections don’t cost a lot of time and money but is as important as going to the doctor for regular checkup; it allows auto mechanics to diagnose serious issues before they escalate and damage your vehicle. Replacing damaged parts costs significantly more than regular maintenance would.

Don’t Skip the Owner’s Manual

Owner’s Manuals are meant to be ignored, right? You buy something, and you’d rather mess around with it, open it up and figure it out yourself than spend valuable time sifting through a boring manual. This isn’t always a good idea, especially when the health of your vehicle may be as stake by you not knowing everything there is to know about it. Going through the owner’s manual is important as that’s where you’ll find your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Reading what the manufacturer has to say about the car’s maintenance will also help you avoid common circulating myths like ‘cars need oil change every 3000 miles’. If the owner’s manual says your car needs an oil change every 300 miles then it does need it, otherwise the manual will suggest when exactly you should be changing it, based on your car’s make and model, and the filters being used inside it. The owner’s manual will also suggest what kind of gas you should be filling and what oil will be best suited for use with your car. If you’ve misplaced your car’s user manual, you might be able to find a soft-copy online.

It’s very very important to go through the manual and that stands true for any machinery or household appliance, especially those that could end up costing you a lot of money if not properly used. Car lovers know the importance of this, but a car’s manual isn’t only for those with an interest of knowing how their car works, but for everyone that’s using the car on a regular basis. For instance, if you use a different oil than what the manual suggests or fill in low quality fuel in a car that demands high quality fuel you may end up voiding your car’s warranty or cause major damage that may cost you more than what you saved using the cheaper fuel.

What Classifies as Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance may feel like you’re spending money that you don’t need to on a regular basis when your car is perfectly fine, but experts and car lovers agree that it is worthwhile in the long-term and is the best way of saving significant amount of money. Investing time and money to carry out these simple tasks will save you from spending a lot of money if the car is left unchecked:

Inspect the car yourself to see if anything seems wrong. If you’re a new car owner, this may seem like a daunting task, but your owner’s manual should be enough to walk you through it. This will include checking your car’s lights, both front and back, checking air pressure in the tires at least once a month, listening for sounds that seems alarming or out of the ordinary, and making sure the tires have sufficient tread. Insufficient air pressure in tires will take away from your car’s mileage, costing you more in fuel, so it’s a good idea to purchase an air pressure gauge for tire air pressure. The tread can be tested by using a penny, or by looking out for wear indicators on tire treads. If your checks highlight any issues, even those that may seem small and insignificant right now, act on fixing them rather than putting them off for later.

Fluid Levels

Check the car’s fluids learn if you don’t know how as checking brake fluid, antifreeze, coolant, and wiper fluid levels is simple to do in most cars. Even replacing these fluids is simple and you shouldn’t have to pay someone to do it if you know how. Some fluid levels like that of the brake fluid and the coolant are easily visible from outside the container while others will have a dipstick you can lift up to check the quality and quantity of the fluid inside. Most cars will have these containers marked with their respective symbols and it isn’t difficult to figure out which is which even if your car’s user manual fails to point them out. There are also a number of video tutorials and step-by-step guides on how to check fluid levels and refill fluid containers when fluids are below the required level. Keep an eye out for unnecessary drips to ensure there are no leaks in any of the containers.

Timing Belt

Regularly examine or have the car’s timing belt and serpentine belt examined and have them replaced when required. Some auto mechanics will advise you to have the time belt changed every 60,000 miles and have the serpentine belt changed every 40,000 miles; these are rough estimates that don’t work for every car, the user’s manual will guide you better as to when these belts should be replaced. Looking around online for your car-specific recommendation may also be a good idea in case the user manual is unavailable. Doing a quick check on the belts every now and then doesn’t cost anything, have them replaced if the check reveals they’re worn out as your car will break down if they break. Broken belts may also damage other components increasing the cost of repairs.

Change Car Oil

Regularly check and replace engine oil as it is an essential part of preventive maintenance and is fairly easy to do. Most cars have dipstick that can be taken out to check the quality of the oil and the level. Some modern cars have an electronic gauge for this purpose which makes checking the oil level even easier. You will still need to manually assess the quality of oil, whether it’s clean, or murky. Determining when the oil is muddy enough to require a replacement will save you from having it changed when it could go on a bit longer. Checking the quality of oil will also highlight if there are any problems in the engine; if you just had the oil replaced and it looks terrible, for instance, there’s something wrong with the engine that require the mechanic’s attention. The user manual will give your car-specific recommendations on what mileage to change the engine oil on.

Check The Battery

Check battery and clean battery contacts, if required. Modern car batteries don’t need much maintenance but it’s still important to know where they are and check them now and again for leaks and mineral buildups on contacts. Any buildups should be scraped off with a battery cleaning brush which shouldn’t cost you more than a few dollars to purchase at any auto parts store. It’s also a good idea to keep an inexpensive battery tester and jump starter kit handy in case the battery dies at the wrong time, leaving you stranded on the side of the road waiting on AAA to come and jumpstart your car.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers need replacing too, especially if they’re falling short of doing what they’re supposed to do. If you notice the wipers aren’t leaving the view clear for you, have them replaced, as they’re fairly inexpensive and shouldn’t be allowed to compensate your visibility. If the visibility isn’t optimal, clean the windshield inside and out, don’t wait for the visibility to deteriorate further before you pick up a cleaning wipe.

Cabin Air Filter

Regularly clean the cabin air filter, replace when required. A clean filter will ensure the airflow in your car is comfortable and free of dust particles, and accessing it is as simple as opening a box. Most cars have it under the dashboard on the passenger-side. If you clean the air filter regularly it won’t need changing as often as it would if left uncleaned for a long period of time. An unclean air filter won’t affect the running of your car, but it may affect your health as you’re breathing in unclean air. Air filters can be easily purchased from any auto parts store and tutorials can be found online on how to easily access the air filter compartment in your car.

Engine Air Filter

Regularly clean the engine air filter, replaced when required. This will be under the hood and may be difficult to reach in some older vehicles if you don’t know where to look, but having it cleaned regularly and replaced when necessary is important. Like with other things, the car’s user manual is the place to check at what mileage you should replace the engine air filter. This will be an estimate as how quickly or slowly the engine air filter gets dirty will depend on the driving conditions and the condition of the area where you drive most. For instance, on longer drives or in dusty areas, the air filter will clog up quicker than normal.

Wheel Alignment & Balancing

Check tire alignment; rotate and balance as required. Balancing and rotating your car’s tires ensures that they wear evenly and give better mileage. Balancing and rotating the tires will also increase their lifespan, saving you money on frequent and costly tire replacements. Once again, refer to the user manual to see how often this needs to be done. Aligning the tires is equally important as aligned tires ensure it takes less effort to keep the car straight.

Spark Plugs & MPG

Replace worn out spark plugs or those caked with buildup as they hinder the engine’s efficiency, consuming more fuel and can also lead to breakdowns. It’s a fairly simple task to do in most vehicles while it may take more effort in some. Either way, checking the spark plugs and having them replaced if required is important. Refer to the user manual to see how often they need to be replaced.

These are the primary checks each preventive maintenance must involve and almost all of them can be carried out with little effort without the help of an auto mechanic. Video tutorials are available online in abundance demonstrating how these simple checks and replacements can be carried out, and your car’s user manual will be able to give you car-specific recommendations on replacement intervals, what to use, and what to avoid. It’s very important that you go through the user manual and refer to it as often as you can for the best possible maintenance guideline for your vehicle. User manuals for common makes and models of cars are easily available online, the manufacturer’s website is the best place to find the user manual for your car. In case it isn’t available on the manufacturer’s website, many manuals for a number of vehicle makes and models are available online.

Use Technology to Track Your Maintenance

We are nearing the end of the second decade of the 21st century, after all, and technology has come a long way in the past 18 years. It’s changing the way we love our lives and carry out simple tasks and giving us conveniences, we didn’t even think we needed before we had them. Keep receipts of the work you’ve had done on your vehicle, so you know when the next maintenance visit is due. Scan the receipts and save them on the cloud for easy access wherever you are; you no longer need to keep hardcopies around and wrack your brains to remember where you kept them every time you need them.

There are also several smart monitors you can purchase that come with companion smartphone apps; these monitors can be plugged into vehicles (if your vehicle allows it) and give you real-time information on engine health, fluid levels, tire pressure, battery health and other vital readings. These smart monitors may be on the pricey end right now but there are other standalone smartphone apps that make an easy task of tracking and maintenance. Some of these apps are:

AutoCare (iOS/Android): Paid app to track mileage, maintenance and repair history, maintenance expenses and other information to help efficiently maintain your vehicle. It also allows you to set reminders to get specific things done so you don’t forget. The iOS version costs $4 on the Apple App Store and the Android version costs $2 on Google Play and the Amazon App Store.

Road Trip (iOS): Road Trip is well liked and has plenty of good reviews on the App Store. You can use it to track fuel refills, mileage, maintenance receipts and expenses, as well as set reminders for repairs and replacements you need to get done. There’s also an option to track tire wear during different seasons and supports multiple vehicle profiles at the same time. There are two versions available on the App Store, a free Lite version with limited functionality and a paid version costing $5. App ownership doesn’t carry over to other platforms so make sure you buy it on the iPad if you’re going to use it on the iPad and on the iPhone if you’re going to use it on the phone.

Car Minder Plus (iOS): Offers maintenance logs to track the work you’ve had done on the vehicle, and options for air and oil filters, oil changes and belt replacement. The App costs $3 on the App Store.

Car Maintenance Reminder (Android): Two versions of this app are available on Android. The free version tracks mileage, maintenance costs and schedules and other information for one vehicle while the Pro version costing $3 tracks all this information for multiple vehicles. Both apps allow settings reminders for upcoming maintenance works and repairs.

aCar (Android): aCar is very popular among Android users and comes as a free or paid app. Both apps offer basic tracking, maintenance and reminders with the Pro app adding multiple languages, widgets for the home screen, and connectivity features to link the app to other apps and websites. The Pro versions costs $6.

Scottsdale Vehicle Maintenance Service

If you want to ensure your car maintenance is done on time and done right, Bridwell Automotive Center’s Scottsdale location is convenient, affordable, and ASE Certified.  Although a lot of regular maintenance can be done on your own with help from the user manual and online tutorials, some maintenance needs to be carried out by the experts, and it’s this maintenance that you may often be tempted to put off. Don’t do that. Putting off preventive maintenance and failing to attend to small issues with inexpensive fixes can result in bigger issues that will cost you more time and money.

Call today to schedule car maintenance at (480) 948-4781