Engine maintenance is one of the most important aspects of car care. Not only does a well-maintained engine run more efficiently, but it also helps to prevent costly repairs in the future.
When we think about car maintenance, we often think about oil changes, tune-ups, and checking engine lights. While these things are important, they don’t make our cars go any faster or more efficiently than they did before we started driving them.
In fact, those three items may do quite the opposite by making it harder for us to drive safely and may even cause problems down the road. Here are 10 engine maintenance tips that will help keep your car running at its best.
1. Check Your Air Filter
Did you know that an air filter is one of the first places something goes wrong if not maintained properly? If your vehicle has been sitting idle for a while, your air filter could get clogged with dirt. When the air filter gets dirty, it cannot remove harmful particles like carbon dioxide (CO2) and unburned fuel from the intake manifold.
CO2 helps maintain proper engine functioning; without it, oxygen levels drop and combustion becomes inefficient. As the oxygen level drops, less power output results. Unburnt fuel creates black smoke that comes out of the tailpipe and reduces the performance of your engine. You should replace your air filter at least once per year, based on manufacturer recommendations.
2. Change Your Oil
Oil changes are important for many reasons, including safety. When your oil levels fall below recommended levels, you run the risk of having issues like poor gas mileage, noisy engines, and damaged internal parts. Additionally, changing your oil may help prevent future engine damage. To perform a proper oil change, follow the instructions provided by your vehicle owner’s manual. Most vehicles require special tools. The procedure will vary depending on the size of your vehicle, however, the general steps remain the same.
3. Clean Up Excess Fuel From the Undercarriage
Excess fuel in the car can lead to several problems. First, it causes the engine to burn clean fuel instead of regular gasoline. Second, the excess fuel creates a fire hazard around your vehicle. Third, fuel leaks can cause structural damage to your car if they aren’t caught immediately. It is important to wipe up spills as soon as possible.
4. Service Brakes
Brakes fail due to wear and tear age, or improper installation. The brakes on your vehicle need to be regularly inspected to ensure they function properly. If you notice unusual noises coming from the vehicle or feel excessive vibration, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic right away.
5. Perform Regular Tune-Ups
Tune-ups keep your vehicle running smoothly, helping you save money on repairs. An annual tune-up ensures that your vehicle runs well. It also prevents potential breakdowns caused by mechanical failures. Many mechanics offer “lifetime tune-ups” that cover the cost of repairs throughout the lifetime of the vehicle.
6. Replace Filters On Oscillating Fans
If you have an oscillating fan installed in your vehicle, you should inspect it frequently. Oscillating fans turn on and off automatically to circulate fresh air inside your vehicle. If you notice the fan isn’t working correctly or is producing loud noise, contact a professional mechanic right away!
7. Inspect Engine Components
You should regularly inspect your engine’s various components, such as spark plugs, wires, and hoses. These parts can wear out over time and need to be replaced.
8. Get Regular Engine Checkups
It is important to get regular engine checkups to ensure that your vehicle is running properly. Engine checkups can identify potential problems before they cause major damage. Many mechanics offer discounts on engine checkups if you purchase them along with other services, such as an oil change or tune-up.
9. Keep Your Cooling System in Good Shape
Your cooling system helps keep your engine cool while you’re driving. It is important to maintain your cooling system to prevent overheating and engine damage. You should have your cooling system checked by a professional every two years.
10. Fix Any Engine Leaks Immediately
Engine leaks can be dangerous because they can lead to engine fires. If you notice any leaking fluids, take your vehicle to a mechanic right away. Engine fires can cause extensive damage to your vehicle and may even result in total loss.
By following these tips, you can help keep your engine in good shape and prevent costly repairs. Engine maintenance is an important part of car care, so make sure to add it to your regular routine.
How long can a car be used without any maintenance?
Assuming you perform the necessary maintenance on your car, you can expect it to last for many years. However, if you neglect to properly care for your vehicle, it will break down much sooner. Engine maintenance is essential to keeping your car running smoothly and preventing costly repairs. How often you need to service your car depends on a number of factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, how often you drive it, and what type of driving you do (city versus highway).
Most automakers recommend an oil change every 5,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. But this varies depending on the car. For example, newer cars with synthetic oil might be able to go longer between changes. It’s always best to consult your car’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations. You should also have your car’s engine tuned up every few years or so. This procedure involves cleaning the spark plugs and replacing the air filter. These simple steps can improve your car’s performance and fuel efficiency.
Why is routine auto maintenance so important?
Routine auto maintenance is important for many reasons. First, it helps to keep your car’s engine in good working order. Engine maintenance includes things like regularly checking and changing the oil, as well as checking the engine’s coolant levels.
Keeping your engine properly maintained will help to extend its life and prevent expensive repairs down the road. Additionally, routine auto maintenance can help to improve your car’s fuel efficiency. Regular tune-ups and tire rotations can help your car run more smoothly, which in turn can save you money on gasoline.
And speaking of saving money, routine auto maintenance can also help you avoid costly breakdowns and accidents. By keeping your car in good condition, you’ll be less likely to experience a mechanical problem.