Top 10 Tips For Engine Care
Top 10 Tips For Engine Care
Modern vehicles are constantly evolving and are capable of clocking up more miles than before. This coupled with increasing service intervals means that we often forget about the need for engine maintenance.
Whilst the majority of engine care is covered by the services, there are a few simple preemptive measures that help towards keeping the engine running well, lasting longer and with reduced risk of breakdown.
Check Oil Levels Often – Whilst this may sound obvious, it is surprising how many drivers fail to carry out this basic check. Lots of cars now offer electronic systems to check oil levels but these can be inaccurate and only give warning at a very low level. Where possible regular checks on your car’s dipstick will keep you in the know.
Change Your Oil Frequently – Whilst the car manual will give you a period between oil changes, these should be considered the maximum intervals. If you are making short journeys or extended periods of high-speed driving on motorways etc, your car will benefit from more frequent changes.
Use A High-Quality Oil – Using a high-grade oil suited to your car will help keep all of the working parts lubricated and reduce wear making engine part failure less likely, an important part not to scrimp on.
Check Your Coolant Levels – Another check that is often overlooked until it is too late. Again, electronic monitoring of levels can be unreliable and waiting until you see that the system has overheated often means that major damage has already been done.
Keep An Eye On The Condition Of Belts – Giving your drive belts a visual inspection to see if they are showing any signs of wear can help to avoid a future breakdown. For those engines employing belt-driven camshafts, cam-belt failure can be catastrophic causing untold damage to your whole engine and in some cases requiring a complete engine replacement.
Change Your Filters Regularly – Oil, air and pollen filters lose efficiency as they are used so it is essential to ensure that you change them regularly and at least in line with manufacturer recommendations.
Use the Correct Fuel – Using the correct octane as specified by your car’s manufacturer is essential, whilst some vehicles can use a higher octane fuel without damage to the engine you should always use the correct fuel for your car as specified in your cars manual or manufacturer recommendations.
React To Engine Warning Lights – Almost all cars feature a system of onboard diagnostics and any fault usually results in the illumination of a dashboard display lamp. Many drivers regard these warnings as a nuisance and there can be a tendency to ignore them especially when they display intermittently. This is folly and any warning messages must be investigated.
Check For Any Leaks – A visual check of the engine compartment should be made for any signs of leaks. Any fluid leak is potentially very serious and should be remedied without delay. Any signs of coolant, lubricant, fuel or hydraulic fluid could all be warnings of impending disaster. Perhaps the only insignificant fluid leak is the dripping of condensation from an air-conditioning system.
Ensure That You Drive Engine-Friendly! – Adopting a considerate driving style can reap benefits in terms of running costs and engine longevity. Engines should be treated carefully when cold and warmed up by driving gently rather than by idling for a long period.
Whilst the adage “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” is often bandied about, this should never form the basis of your vehicles maintenance plan. Imagine if your next holiday’s airline adopted such a policy!!
Keeping your car maintained regularly will help reduce the risk of wear and big unexpected bills at your next service or MOT.