Useful Car Engine Maintenance Tips From the Pros

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Last Updated on June 28, 2022 by John Robinson

Keeping your car’s engine in top condition is vital for its lifespan and performance. Taking care of the engine will prevent unpleasant incidents or accidents while driving. The car may break down on the road or stop working in traffic, putting you in a dreadful situation. Some car engine repairs need professionals to fix while other maintenance routines can be performed by you every now and then. If you are not sure what to do to maintain your car’s engine, here are some useful maintenance tips that keep the engine running properly and efficiently.

Change Engine Oil Regularly

This is the basic step of engine maintenance but one of the most important steps. The engine oil is responsible for making your engine work well as it acts as a lubricant for the mechanical parts in your engine to minimize wear and tear. Ignoring or forgetting about changing your engine oil may result in very expensive repairs that a simple $25 oil change can avoid. Depending on your manufacturer’s recommendation, you should change the engine oil after an average of 5,000 miles. After changing the oil, check the oil level once a month and top it up if it dropped.

Check Engine Belts

The rubber belts are responsible for keeping different engine parts running properly. Similar to every part of the engine, they are prone to wear and tear, which can cause lower engine performance or car breakdowns. Hearing squeals from under the hood signifies that your belts need replacement. Whenever you change engine oil, look at the belts for cracks or any signs of wear to prevent breakdowns. If the belts break while the engine is running, it might sustain heavy damage to crucial engine components, which can cost a lot to replace or fix.

Don’t Forget Engine Filters

Fuel filters clean the fuel before it’s injected into the engine. They are extremely important as they protect the engine from harmful elements in the fuel and prevent substance build-up that can be damaging to the engine. Cleaning or changing the fuel filter will prevent the possibility of a clogged fuel injector can lower the car’s performance and increase fuel consumption. Perform a regular check-up on your fuel filter and change it if it looks unclean. 

Air filters purify the air coming inside the engine from pollutants and other particles that can affect the engine’s performance. However, if the filter hasn’t been changed for a while, it can block the air from entering the engine, increasing fuel consumption and reducing performance. Check your air filter and it is recommended to change it every 12,000 miles.

Keep Your Engine’s Exterior Clean

Aside from the aesthetic appeal, keeping your engine’s exterior clean will prevent debris from getting in the wrong places and causing a problem. While cleaning or replacing different parts in the engine, such as filters or oil, debris can fall in these places and cause a serious engine malfunction. You can use a blower to get rid of the dust that can be in places hard to reach, then clean the exterior as usual. 

Keep an Eye on the Cooling System

The cooling system is essential to keep the engine’s temperature in check. It helps the engine to maintain its heat while disposing of excessive heat. There are different cooling system parts, including the radiator, coolant, water pump, and thermostat. The first thing to check is if there is enough coolant in the system, if not, fill the tank with more coolant liquid but keep it under maximum level. 

If the coolant’s color changes to orange or red, flush out the radiator and refill the tank. While you are driving, keep an eye on the temperature gauge to ensure that the engine’s temperature is within limits, as overheating can damage it.

Replace Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are responsible for starting the fire in your engine by igniting the mixture of gas and air. Typically, they don’t need much maintenance, but they should be replaced every 30,000 miles. In some cases, the spark plugs need some cleaning to perform as before, so check them and clean them before replacement if you feel the engine’s efficiency is declining.

Performing regular engine maintenance will ensure that your engine is working at its best for the longest time. Pamper your engine by changing its oil when needed and make sure the filters are clean. Take a look at various parts in the engine such as belts and spark plugs to make sure they don’t fail while driving and cause engine damage.

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