An engine check will help you to avoid costly engine repairs through inspection of specific engine components. The components vary depending on the vehicle make and model.
For example, Engine stalling in manual vehicles may not mean something is faulty. Unlike in automatic cars where a stalling engine will be accompanied by a check engine warning indicator. The manual car engine may stall when you release the clutch quickly.
What is an engine check?
The routine DIY maintenance and inspection of specific engine components. For example, engine oil, spark plugs, air and fuel filters, hoses and belts.
These are components that ensure the engine delivers the optimum performance. Professionals usually recommend a maintenance schedule that comes around once after every few miles.
Alternatively, engine check can be done when you suspect that there is a specific engine problems that requires diagnosis.
Further, engine check will involve specialized troubleshooting tools and equipment. Additionally, you will perform visual and mechanical testing on the engine.
An engine check is usually a preventive measure against causes of engine problems. This ensures that the engine is running effectively. Further it usually helps to mitigate any potential problems.
How to perform an engine check
Above you have seen that an engine check is sort of a vehicle maintenance inspection of specific engine components.
In this section we are going to get details about some of the those components that you’re supposed to check.
a] Engine oil levels.
Once you’re under the hood, find the oil dip-tick. Usually a colored [yellow, blue] rubber handle on a long strip of metal.
Remove it from its location, wipe it clean and with a white cloth first. Afterwards, observe the color of the oil on the white cloth.
This will inform you on the purity condition of the oil that’s circulating your engine. If it has a dull or dark color, it is time to change the oil.
Next, dip it in and pull it back out again. This next move is to check the current oil level in the engine. The dip stick has a minimum and maximum level markings at the bottom.
The oil level should be between the high and low level marks on the dipstick. If this isn’t the case, you will need to add new oil.
But ensure that the color of the oil in the engine isn’t dull or dark before you top it up.
b] Engine Coolant level.
Locate the coolant reservoir within the engine area under the hood. It’s usually near the windscreen on the left side. But this entirely depends on the vehicle make and model.
On the reservoir tank, you will notice that there are makings that show the minimum level and maximum level. Ensure that the coolant is between the minimum and maximum level.
Top up the coolant if it is at low levels. Engine overheating is usually because of issues within the engine cooling system components like insufficient coolant.
c] Inspect the battery.
The car battery is a significant component of the car’s electric system. If the car won’t start, a dead car battery is usually the first suspect.
But, apart from being dead, there are other reasons why the car battery may not work. For example, loose terminal connections and corrosion on terminal connections.
Ensure that the battery terminals are clean and tightly connected. This will ensure that the electric charge flows in and out without interruption.
d] Assess brakes.
This is an important pre-trip inspection for safety purposes. Brake service inspection will involve removing the tires and performing a few practical tests.
These tests will include checking the operating condition of the brake hose, calipers and brake pads.
Next, get under the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir. Ensure that the brake fluid is sufficient in reference to the minimum level and maximum level markings.
The importance of regular engine checkups.
Conducting regular checkups is essential in ensuring that the engine has every component it needs to function properly. It is a must do for any car owner who wants to receive the best performance from their car.
- Engine check prevents regular repairs and it saves on repair costs.
- Secondly, it ensures that the engine’s components are in the right working condition.
- Next, Engine check helps to foresee potential causes of engine problems and that leads to their resolution.
- Further, it helps to extend the engine lifespan.
Common warning signs of engine trouble.
The car engine will have trouble at some point in its lifespan. Therefore, the advantage is that before or when the trouble attacks, there is going to be some tell signs that it’s happening.
a] Dashboard warning lights.
The on-board computer usually monitors the vehicle’s operations. Incase there is a problem it has a program of warning lights and codes that it uses to communicate the issue.
Anytime you see a warning indicator on your dashboard, ensure to check it. There are occasions when the warning light could be resulting from faulty vehicle sensors.
Other times there is a more serious issue at hand.
b] Reduced engine power.
Some vehicles show the reduced engine power warning light on the dashboard. But before this happens, you will notice a reduction in the acceleration rate of the vehicle.
This is a sign that something is wrong with the rate at which the fuel/air mixture is burning. Additionally, it could be an indication that the throttle position or mass air flow sensors are faulty.
c] Strange noises.
Pay attention to your engine from the moment when your car starts and as you’re driving. If you hear strange noises coming from the vehicle it’s a warning sign that you should take serious.
For example, sometimes noise coming from the engine as you drive while the car shakes needs a professional mechanic check.
d] Engine stalling.
When the car engine is stalling, it means that it stops and shuts down out of the blue. This is an indication that something is wrong within the combustion chamber or there is insufficient fuel.
But if the vehicle make and type is a manual car, the stalling could take place when you release the clutch abruptly.
e] Car refuses to start.
Perform a DIY engine check to ensure that the battery is not the reason why the car isn’t starting. Check the terminal connections. Next, turn on the radio to ensure that the battery is charged.
Afterwards, assess the condition of the spark plugs. Faulty spark pugs may prevent the car from starting.
The most important components to check.
An engine check will consist of a checklist of the most important engine performance components. The checklist is inclusive of;
- Spark plugs.
- Cooling system.
How to support the lifespan of your car’s engine.
Every car owner desires that their vehicle engine lasts them for a prolonged period. In fact, if it is possible they wish to trade in that current vehicle for another one.
This desire will require them to ensure a prolonged engine lifespan. Therefore, what are some of the things that you can do to ensure that the vehicle lasts for a long time?
- Use the right oil.
- Secondly, ensure there is sufficient coolant.
- Profession mechanic check of the condition of fuel and air filters.
- Next, use good quality fuel.
- Perform an engine check of your battery.