The engine is one of the most vital – and the most expensive – parts of any vehicle, whether you have a stickshift or an auto such as a 4L60E transmission. Sadly, because it is such an expensive and generally quite a complex piece of machinery, very few of us spend the time needed looking after it and maintaining it. However, the engine needs regular check-ups and maintenance to keep it going and prolong the life of your car. In this article, we look at five important things that you can do to keep an eye on your engine and help to improve its lifespan. Read on to find out more!
Check the engine’s cooling system.
The engine’s cooling system maintains its internal temperatures and redirects excess heat out of the engine. It is particularly important to check this if you are planning on going on a long journey – fail to do this, and you risk your car overheating and blowing the head gasket. This is a costly situation that you want to avoid! The cooling system contains four key elements: the radiator, thermostat, water pump, and fan. It also needs to be topped up with coolant.
The most straightforward was of looking after and keeping your engine from overheating is to check that it has the right amount of coolant flowing through the cooling chambers of the engine. It needs to be above the minimum level, but below the maximum to avoid any leakages.
Change the air filters regularly.
Cars need a continuous stream of air to run efficiently. The air mixes with the fuel in the combustion chamber to power your car, so it needs to enter into the vehicle and filter out any impurities. Every so often, check your air filter to make sure it is clean and debris free, remove any leaves and dead bugs and replace if necessary.
Change the oil regularly.
Oil is the blood of the engine, so you need to make sure that it is changed regularly. Engine oil lubricates the essential engine parts, preventing them from overheating and reducing wear and tear. As a general rule of thumb, change the oil every five thousand miles or so, but older cars may need replacing more often than this. Keep an eye on the color of the old oil – if it is black, this may suggest there is an issue with your engine.
Keep an eye on the fuel filters.
The fuel filters play an essential role in making sure that clean fuel is injected into the engine, so keeping them clear and free from debris is critical to prevent impurities from entering the engine and clogging it up. Keep an eye on the fuel filter in the same way that you would the air filter, and change when necessary.
By following these four simple steps, you will give your car a chance of lasting a little bit longer and not face an enormous repair bill for something that could easily be prevented.