Low maintenance doesn't mean *no* maintenance. Feel free to ask us about anything related to your vehicle, it's our job to keep you on the road, running safely and efficiently!
Tune-ups. Engine misfire, poor fuel economy, reduced power or rough running are often indicators of the need for a tune-up. Since the 1996 model year, every production car sold in the United States is equipped with OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics Level 2). OBD-II is used to determine the health of the many sensors and systems that keep your car running smoothly. For the most part, these computer controlled vehicles are self tuning to maximize fuel economy and minimize emissions. They work great until a sensor fails, a condition that they are not programmed to handle occurs, or a part fails or wears excessively. Vehicles built prior to 1996 require other specialized tools (like our world-renowned gray matter) for the best tune up.
One thing that musn't be forgotten is the 'timely' replacement of your engine's timing belt. These belts are notorious for failing shortly after the manufacturer's replacement interval recommendation. A broken timing belt will cause your engine to stop running immediately (until it is replaced), and on interference engines will often cause a very expensive repair.
If your check engine light comes on (this is your OBD-II talking), stop in for a checkup, it might be time for maintenance, or replacement of one of the many sensors that your vehicle depends on. If your check engine light is flashing, come see us immediately, something is broken and requires immediate repair to avoid breaking something else or stranding you on the side of the road.
Sensor types that you may hear us mention are: Engine or air temperature, exhaust oxygen, camshaft or crankshaft position, oil or fuel pressure, voltage, engine or emissions vacuum. Consumable parts like your air filter, PCV valve, oxygen sensor, spark plugs, plug wires should be clean and in good working order, and will require replacement as they wear out or become fouled. Oxygen sensors are generally long lived in a properly maintained engine, but they do age and become less responsive over time, which will affect how 'crisp' throttle response is, and overall fuel economy.