Tag Archives: car engine maintenance

Tips On How to Maintain Your Engine

Here, we review some tips for maintaining your car engine. Proper maintenance helps to keep the motor reliable and the car ready for daily use.

A man is cleaning his car engine with a rag.

Though clearly important all year round, extreme summer and winter temperatures both place extra stress on the cooling and antifreeze system. Overheating can be avoided by maintaining an adequate liquid level in the system reservoir, usually a medium-sized white plastic structure that is fitted with a black cap. The system is pressurised when hot, so the cap should be removed with care – and only when the system is cool. Checking that the level of antifreeze is correct (as observed between the limit marks) is straightforward and reduces the incidence of defects.

To prolong engine life and prevent problems, good lubrication is essential. Regular oil checks are advisable with tank fill ups – or at least once a month. The owner’s manual will explain where the dipstick is located; first, it must be removed and wiped clean, then reinserted and removed again to confirm the current level correctly.

The choice of mineral (i.e. standard) or synthetic oil has a marked effect on engine performance and service life. Advisable in newer cars, turbocharged engines or in cold countries, synthetic oil lasts longer and does not thicken at freezing temperatures. It also withstands higher temperatures. Conversely, in high mileage engines and older vehicles, mineral oil may be better as it tends to ward off oil leaks which might result from less viscous synthetic oil.

Regular oil changes ensure that the internal parts are kept well lubricated. In particular, the recommended service and oil change intervals should not be exceeded; as oil deteriorates, it can build up unseen sludge and cause excessive mechanical wear.

The secret of successful maintenance is not to spend as little money as possible, but to spend it wisely and when due. Modern cars require an engine tune up which includes air filter, spark plug and lead changes. To maintain performance, older cars may also require distributor cap and rotor changes, as well as fuel filter replacement and cleaning of the engine throttle body. If fitted, fuel injectors require flushing at high mileage intervals.

It is a false economy not to have the timing belt (or chain) changed at recommended intervals. If a belt fails while the engine is running, considerable damage is likely. The typical recommended interval for cam belt changes is every 60,000 to 100, 000 miles (or 100,000 to 160,000 kilometres) – or before if a belt is excessively worn or soaked in oil.

Most vehicle owners are well aware that it is essential to monitor warning lights and take prompt action, should they illuminate. Red lights such as the low oil pressure warning indicator require immediate attention.

In summary, making time for a regular user maintenance routine will help to keep an engine in best condition and extend its service life. In conjunction with vehicle servicing at regular intervals, reliability will be maximised and costs reduced over the long term.

Ensure Trouble-Free Driving with Proper Car Engine Maintenance

Car parts (2)

The engine is, quite literally, the driving force of a car. Although a full engine replacement is possible, in reality when an engine fails it’s usually time to consign the entire vehicle to the scrap heap. Even before things get to that stage, an engine that’s running poorly is not efficient, which not only costs more to drive, it makes for a more frustrating and uncomfortable journey. Bearing this in mind, keeping your car’s engine in good working order as you go with proper maintenance is vital if you want to enjoy years of happy driving.

Oil Issues

Without oil, your engine will soon collapse into a clanking, screeching mess of tortured metal before seizing up completely. Ensure your oil levels are kept high enough by checking them regularly, and don’t rely on your dashboard warning light to remind you to top up – by this time, damage may already have been done.

Over time, the quality and efficiency of your oil will start to degrade, and the oil will start to pick up dirt and debris which it will pass on to your engine parts. Prevent this by changing your oil regularly so that it stays clean and retains its lubricating power.

Finally, if you find you need to top up your oil levels more and more often, take this as a warning sign that there could be a fault somewhere causing leaks – get it checked out urgently, as a serious oil leak can cause fatal engine damage with little warning.

The Cooling System

An overheating engine is still the most common cause of a car breakdown, but it’s not just a nuisance when this happens: if your engine is regularly running too hot, its lifespan will be drastically reduced. It’s vitally important to ensure that the levels of liquid coolant in your engine’s reservoir are kept at the proper level, and that there are no leaks in the system. Also, keep an eye on the various belts, fans, and hoses which are visible within your engine compartment – if they look worn, cracked, or even overly dirty, then either replace them or have them checked out by your mechanic.

Keeping in Tune

Although having your car serviced may seem like an unnecessary expense, skipping it will be a false economy if your poorly-maintained engine suffers a catastrophic failure. Schedule regular major and interim services, during which the engine tuning will be checked and adjusted if necessary to keep it running smoothly, as well as the overall state of the engine being inspected for early signs of wear and tear.

Today’s car engines are highly engineered marvels of power and reliability – help yours to stay that way by looking after it properly!