How to Properly Maintain Your Car’s Engine
An engine is a complex machine that needs regular attention for optimal functioning. Making the time to perform some routine maintenance can save money while keeping your car in excellent shape.
For best results, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended service intervals and adhere as closely as possible to them if you want your car running efficiently for years.
Check the Oil
Motor oil is essential to ensuring a healthy engine. It lubricates moving parts, helps prevent metal fragments from clogging the engine, reduces friction and helps prevent overheating.
Checking the oil in your engine takes only minutes, making it an essential task before each fuel-up.
As part of your inspection of your vehicle, locate the dipstick. It should have a loop or T-shaped handle and is typically yellow or marked with yellow text to help make its location easy.
Once you’ve located it, take care to remove and clean off your dipstick before reinserting it – you should see two lines or a crosshatch that indicate the appropriate level of oil in your vehicle.
If the dipstick indicates that oil levels are low, add some new oil using either a funnel or any suitable method (not mixing different grades together as this could damage the engine). This is especially important with older vehicles with high mileage.
Change the Air Filter
Air filters are an integral component of your car’s engine, trapping particles from the air that may damage internal components or reduce performance.
Your engine’s oil should always remain clear of dirt and debris to ensure optimal performance of the engine and lower emissions of carbon dioxide gasses. Failure to do this may cause it to operate more slowly or produce high levels of CO2.
Your air filter typically sits inside a black plastic housing at or near the top of your engine and may be secured with clips or fasteners, although it can also be unscrewed by hand.
If the filter has become fouled with dust and grime, it may be time for replacement. Referring to your owner’s manual for recommendations regarding replacing it at appropriate intervals is advised.
Check for Leaks
Leaks in your car’s engine can pose serious fire hazards and require costly repairs, so it is vital that you inspect it as soon as possible for leaks. To do so effectively.
At first, try to determine where the leak is coming from. One way is by keeping track of when it happens; for example if only after heavy rainfall or after having washed your car does it appear; this could indicate a failed weatherstripping seal that’s allowing oil or fluid into the engine compartment.
Once you know where the issue stems from, it becomes much easier to assess whether it’s worth fixing on your own or consulting with a mechanic.
Make sure that you always fill your oil tank to the appropriate level; failure to do so could result in oil seeping through and damaging parts of your engine, potentially necessitating costly repairs.
Change the Spark Plugs and Wires
Change out the spark plugs and wires regularly in your car’s engine to maintain optimal performance, especially since faulty wires may lead to rough idling, poor performance and illuminated check engine lights.
Start by opening up the hood of your car and locating its ignition cables, which connect spark plugs to a distributor cap or module that powers them. Some cars may feature covers over these wires that must be removed in order to access both spark plugs and cables.
Once you’ve located the wires, swapping them out one-by-one will prevent you from accidentally switching them.
Label the wires to make it easier for yourself and others to remember how they’re routed. A good way to do this is to give each lead or wire a number matching its plug number.
Once the old wires have been disconnected and replaced, inspect each for signs of corrosion or damage using an ohm meter to measure resistance of each cable to see if there are any potential issues with its integrity.