Owning a car in the recent times has totally become a trend to catch up with. Gone are the days when owning an automobile was a reserve for the affluent who’s and who’s of the society. People are buying cars for different reasons. For many, it is an important aspect of their business where a lot of traveling is involved, hence rendering public transport totally out of the question. For others it may be simply for convenience of mobility, maybe to work, school or church. Others may buy a car simply to enjoy the finer things that life has to offer.
Whatever the reason, its lifespan is a very important aspect of your machine. Below is a compiled list of engine maintenance tips to ensure you get all the benefits you could possibly enjoy while it lasts.
- Have your vehicle inspected on a regular basis: Car inspection is a procedure mandated by national or subnational governments. In this procedure, the vehicle is inspected to check ensure that it conforms to safety and emission regulations.
- Check drive belts: The function of the engine isn’t only to produce power to your wheels, but also to other parts and accessories as well. This is where the drive belt comes in. They transfer power from to the car’s alternator, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, air pump, water pump and other devices that run on mechanical power. These belts are usually made of rubber or other polymers, hence they wear out a lot. They lose their integrity with time.
- Check oil levels: Your machine’s engine contains a lot of mechanical moving parts that create friction as they brush against each other. Friction generates heat and this can cause significant reduction in engine’s performance. Checking engine oil level is an integral part of basic car maintenance. If not done, results could be loud noises of knocking from your engine and even substantial reduction in fuel economy. This is an easy activity. Always make sure your car is parked on level ground. Locate the dip stick and pull it out. Wipe it with a clean rag to remove oil that may obscure the level indicators on the dip stick. Reinsert the dip stick all the way in and pull it out. Now the level of oil should be seen accurately.
- Check engine coolant level: All moving things generate heat. While there is oil in the engine to help reduce the friction between the moving parts, your engine will also need a system that will help it get rid of this generated heat. That’s the function of your radiator and the fluid supplied to it is your engine coolant. If there’s no coolant in the reservoir or it is running low, your engine will overheat. You’ll need to occasionally check your engine coolant level. Checking it is quite easy since most cars today come with translucent coolant reservoirs that have appropriate level markings on the panel.
- Take note of fuel economy: The idea of this is that an efficiently running engine will burn fuel at a more steadier, more constant rate. If it works too hard, then it burns more fuel. If it burns more fuel, then you will definitely feel the pinch in your wallet. You’ll find yourself going to the petrol station to refuel a lot more often than you used to. This is an indication that your engine is working too hard than it should be, hence it’s already burning more fuel. One of the most common reasons you may have a sudden change in fuel economy is you tire pressure. If the tore is under-inflated or is not aligned properly, your engine will have to increase its power output to propel your vehicle down the road. Adding extra weight on your car also affects fuel economy. Sudden acceleration and braking can also negatively impact your fuel economy.
- Replace engine air filter: The excellent mixture of air and fuel is a huge factor on the efficient operation of your engine. It is therefore very important to make sure that the air being sucked into your car’s engine does not contain any debris, particulate matter or any other contaminant that can undermine efficient engine operation. If not, its effects include mediocre fuel mileage, reduced horsepower and unusual sounds emanating from the engine. The engine could also misfire in some cases. The recommended remedy to this is gaining access to the air filter and carefully assessing its condition and integrity. If it’s already too dirty yet you haven’t meant the mileage recommendation for replacement by the manufacturer, it’s best to replace it.
- Replace spark plugs: If your engine has a rather rough idle or misfires from time to time, maybe you should consider replacing your spark plugs. Other symptoms of a malfunctioning spark plug can include lack of acceleration, trouble starting your vehicle, unusually high fuel consumption or even engine surging.