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The car’s engine is like the heart of the vehicle – it simply can’t run without a properly functioning engine. In the same way, the engine is complex with many different parts which all need to work together in order for the engine to function.
While life can get busy and it can feel appropriate to only need to replace parts when there are major problems, this shouldn’t be the case. This will result in you needing to replace the entire engine, costing you hundreds – if not thousands – of unnecessary dollars.
Taking care of your engine will extend how long it will last. If you do care for your engine properly, the average lifetime is in fact 8 years. Most engines will make it to 200k miles without any serious problems if taken care of properly.
We have put together basic car engine maintenance tips here.
Regularly change vehicle fluids
The first point to touch on, and one of the most vital, is the regular maintenance of changing engine oil and coolant.
The engine oil refers to the lubricant which stops engine parts from grinding against one another and wearing parts down until they stop working. The coolant is essentially anti-freeze, which maintains the temperature of the radiator, avoiding overheating and freezing.
You should change engine oil every 5,000-7,500 miles, however if you opt for the full-synthetic oil, this will extend the period up to 15,000 miles. It is recommended to still undertake regular oil checks, especially before long trips.
When it comes to coolant, the period between changes is longer – you should replace the coolant every 2 years if you use silicate coolants and every 5 years if you use drain coolant. If your coolant hasn’t been changed for a very long time – flush your radiator before adding new coolant.
Make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing when changing the fluids as it will stain. There are many protective clothing options available out there.
Change filters before they clog
Air filters should be alternated after driving 12,000-15,000 miles, while fuel filters should be replaced after 30,000 miles. These filters both need to be changed in order to protect the engine.
Avoiding the maintenance of changing air filters will directly cause the engine to overheat. This is due to the fact when air filters become clogged, the car burns more gas to compensate for less oxygen in the gas. This is one element you simply can’t ignore.
An additional filter to keep an eye on is the fuel filter. This filter stops damaging pollutants in the fuel from entering your engine, however, when it becomes clogged, the fuel can’t enter the engine. Your car will not be able to function in this scenario.
Allow the engine to warm up before driving
During those colder months, it’s important to let the engine warm up for approximately one minute before you put the pedal to the medal. This is because warmer oil actually protects the engine parts, so without this heat, the engine block can be damaged.
Bear in mind that if the temperature is significantly less than 0 degrees celsius, you should wait even five minutes. If you can, it may save more time by storing your car inside the garage, and utilizing a block heater. Replacing your oil with top quality synthetic oil like Mobil 1 is also very helpful during the colder months, as it will lubricate your engine better than conventional oils.
Another quick note to touch on is to avoid regularly driving on an empty tank. Instead, ensure there is consistently a quarter full, to avoid dirt particles being pumped into the engine. With these tips, you should be able to ensure your engine lasts longer!
Mechanic with over two decades of experience working on vehicles. Started out at a tire shop, moved to a dealership and now running my own repair shop. I love working on cars and helping others by writing about my experiences.