Most people do not spend a lot of time thinking about their engines. They just hop into the car, turn the key, and make their way to wherever they are going (hopefully they get there!). When they do notice the engine, it is usually when it starts making unusual sounds or when the car feels a little different than it normally does.
Your car’s engine is its heart and needs to be maintained well to ensure that it lasts long without problems. To keep it in good running condition, you need to make sure it gets regular maintenance and a check-up every now and then.
There are many ways that you can proactively take proper care of your engine and prevent it from creating serious problems. You can make sure that your engine lasts longer, runs better, and avoid spending a fortune on repairs down the road.
Change the oil regularly – One of the most important things you can do for the engine is change the oil regularly. Oil keeps the vital parts of the engine well lubricated and clean so that they do not overheat. Without it, your engine cannot function. If you wait too long between oil changes, it can result in permanent damage over time.
Suggestions for when you need to change your oil will vary, but for modern cars, the most recent standard is to do an oil change every 5,000 miles (3,000 miles used to be the norm, it is not any more for many reasons) or more. To proactively take care of your engine, you should check your car manufacturer’s suggestion for your specific car’s oil change interval. If you cannot find the manual, you can go online and do a quick search to find out when you should get your oil changed.
Ensure the cooling system works – Apart from changing the oil, keeping the engine cool is important, meaning that you need to ensure that the cooling system works properly at all times. This system includes the thermostat, radiator, coolant (radiator fluid) and water pump. The easiest way to keep your engine from overheating is to make sure that the proper amount of coolant is always circulating throughout your engine.
Check the coolant level by lifting your hood and checking your coolant tank. It is a clear tank which will have a green or orange colored liquid in it. You should make sure that the coolant is below the maximum mark, but above the minimum mark. If you notice that your engine is overheating, but you know that it has enough coolant, you should take your car to a mechanic and get them to check the cooling system. The money you pay to find and repair a cooling system ahead of time will far outweigh the damage on your engine if it overheats.
Check for leaks – Spotting a leak is easy; you do not have to be a mechanic to do it. You just have to pay attention a little. Sometimes, you do not even have to see the leak – you can just smell it. Antifreeze and oil are the two main fluids you want to make sure are not leaking out of your engine. You do not want a messy driveway or garage but you need a working car most of all.
Intense pressure and heat will eventually result in failure of engine hoses. Old and cracked rubber hoses can cause antifreeze and other liquids that your engine needs to leak out. Other parts that often leak are where two parts are joined with silicon or a rubber seal. These seals can break down over time and cause oil and other fluids to leak out of the engine or leak into the wrong areas of the engine.
Check under your hood to see if you can smell or see any fluid leaking out from the engine. You should also occasionally check under your car to see if anything is leaking on the pavement when you park your car. Taking care of a minor leak as early as possible will prevent it from becoming a major problem later on.
Replace the fuel filter – The fuel filter can protect your engine from particles and sediment in the gas that can do a lot of harm. It catches any debris or particles and traps it in a canister, much like your oil filter does.
If you have not changed your filter in a while, you should change it to ensure that the engine runs smoothly. It will not be difficult to do it if your engine is easily accessible. If you cannot access it yourself, take it to a mechanic to get it replaced. If you can make an appointment ahead of time that could save you some stress since you do not have to wait for the/a mechanic in the waiting room – well at least not that long.
A new fuel filter will ensure that the gas flowing into your engine is clean. There will be less buildup in your engine and it will last longer.
Taking care of your engine is a vital part of car maintenance. To make sure that your car gives you many years of service, you should make sure that your engine is well maintained at all times. Taking care of your engine will ensure that you do not have to worry about expensive repairs in the future. And you cannot beat that! Not during a recession as well!