by Pat Goss
Every time you put off preventive maintenance or repair you may be setting yourself up for unwanted circumstances farther down the road. In other words, you may create a more expensive problem by not taking care of an inexpensive problem now. Case and point ABS brakes.
Here we have an ABS controller; these things have fluid in them like down in here this is all full of fluid all the time and unless the brakes are bled properly or flushed properly you will wind up with this brake fluid in here going bad. Turns into something that looks like grey Jello, and the end result of that is usually either a rebuild or replacement of the ABS pump, so at least every 2 years flush the brake system and make sure the shop flushes the ABS pump when they're flushing the rest of the brakes. That'll prevent these expensive repairs.
Here we have what's called a dual length intake runner. Now the way this thing works is there are butterfly valves in here. There's an electric motor that is controlled by the car's computer, and at certain points through the performance range by changing these butterfly valves you’ll smooth out the performance, give much better power and make the car just in general run better. Well without intake service what happens is that the rods that these butterflies are mounted on ceases into the aluminum housing and the system doesn't work. The car lacks performance, powers way down, may idle rough, do all kinds of crazy things.
Problem is that if this has never been serviced it may not be cleanable, you may have to replace the whole unit like we did on this car. Very expensive, so routine intake service is a recommended thing to do.
Over here we have a harmonic balancer. This smooths out the engine. It balances the engine in other words. Now many of these and some of them are going away now, but many of them they're made out of three pieces… an outer ring and inner hub and a rubber piece that holds the two of them together. Say you have an oil leak and the oil gets down here on this rubber, it causes the rubber to deteriorate. The two pieces come apart. The engine vibrates badly and you're looking at a relatively expensive repair that would have been completely unnecessary had you taken care of the oil leak.
And if you have a question or comment drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.