4 Essential Car Engine Maintenance Guidelines
Emily Sperry November 20, 2019
Have you recently purchased a new vehicle? If so, you’ve probably invested a significant amount of money. Since buying a new car or truck can be expensive, you need to do everything possible to ensure the engine of your vehicle is properly maintained. In order to have a healthy vehicle that runs smoothly, you need a healthy engine. Here are four basic car engine maintenance tips, along with some considerations and warnings.
1. Change the Engine Oils Regularly
Think of your car’s engine as the heart of your vehicle and the fluids of the engine as its blood. Your kidneys and liver keep your blood clean, but the engine of your car is unable to clean its own fluids, other than the oil filter. This is why you must change your engine’s oil on a regular basis to prevent the oil from getting too dirty. Consider how dirty engine oil can shorten the lifespan of an engine. Eventually, even tiny oil buildups can impact an engine.
2. Get Regular Tune-Ups
If your car’s engine seems sluggish or lacks power, it can be a sign that it needs a tune-up. Tune-ups entail services, such as changing an air filter, changing spark plugs and cleaning out the throttle body of the engine. A tune-up may also include cleaning or replacing the fuel injection system or the PCV valves.
3. Change the Air Filter
Your air filter protects your engine by preventing debris and dust that can cause your engine to clog. When an air filter is dirty, there isn’t enough air supply to the engine. This can lead to an engine performing sluggishly. What’s more, old air filters can rip, which allows dust and debris to invade the engine, resulting in wear and tear.
Therefore, it’s critical that you regularly replace air filters, as instructed by the manufacturer. To know when to do so, check your user’s manual. If you do a lot of driving, replace the air filter about every 15,000 to 30,000 miles or every three years, whichever comes first. Do you often drive on unpaved or dusty roads? If so, then you need to change your air filter even more frequently
4. Inspect the Timing Belt
The job of the timing belt is to make sure the camshaft of your engine opens and closes in time with the car’s pistons. Damaged or old timing belts can lead to a timing belt snapping when the engine is running, which can cause considerable damage to the engine. That’s why you need to check your timing belt on a regular basis to see if there’s any wear and tear, besides if the belt has been saturated in engine oil. Check your car manufacturer’s manual to know when to replace a timing belt, which is usually from 50,000 to 70,000 miles, depending on the model of the car.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- Don’t let your engine overheat. If the gauges on your car indicate that your engine is becoming too hot, take it to a trustworthy mechanic as soon as possible.
- Don’t hesitate to take your car to an auto care center if the engine light comes, or if your oil pressure is low. You should always be aware of what your engine is trying to tell you.
- Don’t ignore any unusual noises coming from your vehicle, such as grinding, knocking and other unusual sounds.
- Your engine oil shouldn’t have an opaque or brownish color, and it shouldn’t look like it contains water.
- If you see moisture inside the engine, it can indicate a leak.
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