How Important Is Your Car Engine? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

How Important Is Your Car Engine?

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An overhead view of a car engine.

Many people know that the car engine is what makes a car work, but how much is it truly needed? There are over 90,000 parts in many cars, which are all important to help your car move and work for years. What role does the car engine play? Does it ever need replacement? How do you keep it healthy? Learn why many automotive professional call your car engine the “heart of your car” and what it actually does to keep you moving on the road!


What Does Your Car Engine Do?

You car engine is made up of a bunch of parts working together to create energy and to make your car go. Some of the main parts of a car engine are the cylinders, pistons, valves, the spark plug, and the screws that connect them. Essentially, you have a thick rotating metal part that connects to different cylinders in your car engine. As the rotation of that engine part happens, pistons will move up and down in the cylinder areas of the car.


When they do, valves will open and close that are the intake and exhaust valves. When those valves open, they are either letting fuel and air into the combustion chambers to be used as energy, or they are letting out exhaust. This system and various others will provide the energy your car needs to move.


A car professional that is making notes on a clipboard as he is working on it.

Why Would Your Check Engine Light Be On?

If you are driving and suddenly see a “check engine” light come on, you might get nervous to drive with your car. There are common reasons why this engine light would be on, and not all of them are reasons you need to be nervous about. Common reasons include:

  • Gas Cap Issues: Always makes sure you secure your gas cap. Autozone reports that this simple cap is what “seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure within the fuel tank”. If you brake or lose this gas cap someone, you can easily lose your gasoline through evaporation, even when you’re not driving the car. That means frequent trips to the gas station and lots of smelly fumes.
  • Sensors: Dash lights come on all the time for sensors that are faulty or broken. When it comes to your car engine, you may need to replace your MAF, which is your Mass Airflow Sensor. This little sensor is so important, as it measures the air that goes into your engine and regulates how much fuel your engine uses. Not replacing it promptly can result in damage to other parts of your car such as your 02 Sensors and spark plugs.
  • Oxygen Sensor: If your oxygen sensor isn’t working properly, it can’t measure the oxygen in your car’s exhaust system. You could burn fuel like crazy and damage other sensors or car parts.
  • Hoses/Wires: If you have any leaking hoses or wires that are faulty or frayed, your check engine light will come on.
  • Spark Plugs: Every car engine needs the spark plug, as it is a converter to make the engine run. This spark plug delivers electrical currents to your engine’s combustion chamber to start the car. When it’s faulty, your car may jolt somewhat and not run well.
  • Catalytic Converter: This converter changes carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If you don’t get your car maintenance done, it can become damaged over time.


Keeping Your Car Working

You will likely not ever need to replace your car engine. Once it goes out, it can be quite expensive to replace all the parts that make up your car engine. That is why many drivers simply invest in a new car so they can start out with a brand new, working engine. However, you may need small parts here and there replaced over time, especially if you are actively using your car every single day. Parts simply break down over time, just like appliances and other tech do. You never want major breakdowns in your engine, however, especially if you live in areas where people are few and far between.


It’s very important as a driver to have your car maintenance often to avoid any large, expensive issues with the car. The amount of time you should wait between maintenance checks will depend on the type of car you have. However, you should have your car checked at least every year by a quality auto place, if not every 6 months. If you drive every single day or for a living, aim for the 6-month maintenance checks instead of longer waits between them. AAA reports that most cars will need maintenance checks about every 12 months.


A 3D depiction of a car that shows the interior structure of the car with the car engine and other parts that make the car run.

Maintenance Services

At our auto shop, we provide services, maintenance and replacements for car parts in areas such as:

  • Air conditioning and heating systems
  • Alignment check and repair
  • Alternators and starters
  • Belts and hoses
  • Car batteries
  • Complete engine diagnostics and repair
  • Cooling system repair and service
  • Electrical systems
  • Emissions repair
  • Fuel pumps and lines
  • Fuel system injector cleaning
  • Oil change, filters and lube
  • Radiator repair and service
  • Timing belts and chains
  • Transmission service and repair
  • Tune ups

All of these services are ones that focus on what’s under your hood in or near your car engine. When you keep up on maintenance, we can inexpensively switch out parts that are no longer working. If you haven’t had your car maintenance in some time, you can schedule yours today by calling Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202!


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