While I’m sure no one wants their engine to fail, many drivers neglect to take care of their cars. With some basic engine maintenance, you can avoid car accidents, costly repairs, and the general unease that comes with vehicle negligence. Our tips are easy, but they do require you to stay on top of your engine. You need to keep track of when you perform various engine maintenance and also plan ahead so that you don’t forget to change your oil or install new filters. With a little organization and effort, you can keep your engine running healthily and strongly for years and years to come.
Basic Engine Maintenance Tips
- Change your oil and check the oil level. You have to change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles (the exact mileage will depend on your make and model and can be found in your owner’s manual). This is not a recommendation; it is vital to your engine’s health. Over time, oil loses its lubricating properties and carbonizes, which causes dangerous friction and contamination. Changing your oil regularly is the most essential step for proper engine maintenance.
- Keep the oil at the proper level. The amount of oil in your engine will inevitably decrease over time, sometimes because of leaks, sometimes because the oil has been burnt in the combustion chamber. Without the proper level of oil, your engine will not be well-lubricated and could be damaged. Also, try to change your oil filter every 3,000 miles.
- Clean the air filter. If the air filter is clogged up, your engine will have to work a lot harder to breathe. Stress isn’t good for an engine (it could cause it to overheat), so be sure to keep the air filter clean. Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If it’s caked with dirt, you need to replace it. If you’re unsure (because some filters that appear to be dirty are fine in actuality), ask your mechanic. Generally, you should change the air filter every 15,000 miles.
- Beware of overheating. If you ever notice that your car is overheating, pull over immediately and turn the car off. This can be very dangerous, so it’s best if you call your mechanic straightaway. Although the problem could have been caused by a variety of things, one way to avoid overheating is to be sure that your coolant level is kept full and check for leaks.
- Do some additional checks. You should also check the engine’s thermostat occasionally to be sure it’s working properly. A faulty thermostat can cause the engine to stop heating up, making your car lose power. You could also check your spark plugs. Just removing a spark plug and looking at it carefully can help you assess your engine’s health.
A car is like a human body. You can’t expect it to perform at an optimum level if you don’t keep it healthy and take it to the mechanic for check-ups. But if you put in some work and stay on top of your engine maintenance, it can last a very long time.