Car engine maintenance takes care of the most important component in the vehicle. Further, the car engine parts are the most expensive vehicle components to replace or repair. Therefore, your priority should be to take care of them.
What does car engine maintenance mean? This includes the regular inspection of components and refill of the necessary engine fluids. For example Transmission fluid, oil and engine coolant. The purpose of engine maintenance is to attain better performance and a long lasting engine lifespan.
Today we’re going to focus on maintenance tips that apply to the internal combustion engine.
Car engine maintenance tips.
It is devastating when you hear that there are some car engine problems that may have caused damage. Especially if regular maintenance could have prevented the damage.
The more mileage your engine accumulates, the more often you need to undertake maintenance activities. However, other things like how the engine is built and how the car is driven also affect the engine’s lifespan.
a]. Engine cooling system maintenance.
The engine cooling system components are responsible for ensuring that the excess heat generated by the engine doesn’t accumulate around it. The components are able to achieve this by transferring the excess heat out of the engine.
It is important to check the engine cooling system before embarking on a long distance journey. Otherwise, you risk having an overheated engine. The areas you’re supposed to check-up on are inclusive of radiator, water pump and coolant.
Sufficient amount of coolant should be between the maximum and minimum level. Ensure that it is just below the maximum level in order to avoid leakage. Additionally, if the coolant has acquired a deep dark color over time, flush the radiator and replace it with new coolant.
b]. Air filter.
The air filter is part of the vehicle’s engine breathing system. Additionally, so is the exhaust system. Air goes into the engine in order to burn fuel within the combustion chamber. A clean air filter is one of the ways to reduce fuel consumption.
Dirt particles and other elements like flying insects clog the air filter. Hence constraining air flow into the engine. This causes the fuel combustion process to be incomplete.
c]. Oil change.
There are different types of engine oil meant to serve different types of engines. For example, there is engine oil that is suitable for high mileage engines. Ensure that you don’t use the wrong car engine oil otherwise your engine won’t receive the benefits.
Engine oil ensures that your engine is clean. Because oil carries dust particles and fine metallic fillings away from the engine and into the oil filter. The filter cleans the oil before it is circulates back into the engine block.
d]. Fuel filter.
The role of the fuel filter is to ensure that clean fuel goes into the combustion chamber. A dirty fuel filter is one of the reasons why a car consumes more fuel.
The fuel filter removes any particle deposits and keeps the fuel supply system clean. Regular replacement of the fuel filter ensures that fuel flows freely into the combustion chamber through the fuel injectors.
e]. Spark plugs.
The vehicle ignition system relies on spark plugs, proper wiring and the car battery in order to function. Therefore, car engine maintenance will require that you check the condition of the spark plug.
Because the spark plug accumulates soot over a high mileage. This causes the electrode to loose it’s sparking ability hence producing a weak spark. This spark is usually insufficient in the burning of air and fuel mixture.
A faulty spark plug is one of the reasons why the car won’t start. Most spark plugs have a long lifespan, therefore, all you need is to clean it in order to expose the electrode.
f]. Check engine belts.
Every time you undertake car service it is essential to replace the car’s engine belts. The number of belts within your engine will depend on the year of manufacture.
Whereby, some older cars have multiple belts for driving functionality. However, newer model cars have one belt that goes around multiple pulleys in order to drive functionality.
i]. Serpentine belt.
Modern vehicles, have one belt that drives the functionality of various components while older vehicles have more than one belt. The serpentine belt drives various devices whose functionality depends on it. For example, the alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, power steering fluid pump amongst others. It is a long continuous belt that’s attached to a belt tensioner and an idler pulley.
ii]. Timing belt.
The timing belt is also known as the cambelt. The car timing belt roles include to control the opening and closing of the inlet valve that leads to the combustion chamber. Additionally, it opens the outlet valve that leads out of the combustion chamber to the catalytic converter. Ensure that this belt isn’t loose and it isn’t torn due to wear and tear. A replacement is very necessary if it isn’t in a good condition.
iii]. Alternator belt.
Older vehicles have more than one belt to facilitate the functionality of the alternator. However, newer model vehicles use the serpentine belt to drive the alternator and other components.
The alternator is responsible for producing electric current which is supplied to the vehicle’s appliances. The old model vehicles will have a unique alternator belt specifically meant for the purpose of producing electric current.
g]. Check for leakage.
This is such a simple thing for you to do. It involves checking the ground of parking spot on which your car was at rest before you drive away. Don’t drive away immediately. Make sure you stop the car, alight and inspect the parking spot to see if there is a colored puddle under the vehicle.
Further, take a white cloth or paper towel and wipe the liquid to see what it is depending on its color. Next, open the car hood and perform an inspection to see if there is a leak within the engine area.
Another thing that can alert you of a leakage is when you notice a funny burning smell when you’re driving. It means that there is something that is leaking onto the engine and the engine’s heat is burning it.
Afterwards, take the vehicle to a professional for a check up. Because you may be unable to locate the origin of the problem.
h]. Proper driving habits.
The car engine works best not only when you add engine performance tuning to it but also when you drive it correctly. It was created to gain momentum and produce power gradually while you’re driving. Therefore, it isn’t advisable to floor the accelerator immediately you take off. Give the engine some rotation time to allow it to pick up speed.
i]. Investigate the check engine light.
The powertrain control module (PCM) is a program within the vehicle that inspects the car’s operations. Incase of any faults, the PCM generates a code which it expresses in the form of a dashboard warning light.
The PCM works with engine sensors to determine when something is wrong. Therefore when the check engine light shows up on your dashboard, get an OBD2 scanner to determine what is causing the issue.
Ignoring this warning could result to costly damages. Therefore do not ignore this warning from your PCM. Sometimes, it may turn out to be a faulty vehicle sensor meaning that there is no immediate danger.
j]. Sufficient fuel.
Ensure that there is sufficient fuel in your tank at all times. Because fuel contains some particle impurities which settle at the bottom of the fuel tank.
Therefore, driving while the fuel tank is almost empty gives opportunity to the impurities to be pulled into the fuel pump. Afterwards, the impurities cause a lot of wear and tear within the fuel delivery system and the engine. Therefore, top up your fuel tank.
k]. Engine cleaning.
This involves the process of soaking dirty engine parts in hot water or caustic chemicals. A professional will remove the engine parts that have heavy build-up.
Afterwards, he will soak them for a few hours to remove dirt, rust and paint build-up. The process is very effective at unclogging and restoring the engine parts original function.