10 care tips that will keep your motor running strong
If you take good care of your car, it will take care of you. Every
time you start and run your vehicle you are causing wear and tear to
various parts of the engine, but most engine problems can be
prevented with simple maintenance procedures. In order to prolong
the life of your vehicle, you need to give the engine the
appropriate care it deserves.
Here are 10 maintenance tips for your
Change the oil - If you do just one thing for your engine, it
had better be changing the oil. It's the most important element in
the performance of your car. The oil should be changed every 3,000
to 6,000 miles, but check with your auto manual for the specifics on
your vehicle. You should also periodically check the oil level and
replace the oil filter.
Clean the engine - The visual appearance of the engine is a
good indicator of its condition. When your engine gets too dirty and
greasy it affects the efficiency and performance of its parts. The
easiest way to clean the engine is to use a commercial degreaser.
Simply spray it on the cool engine, let it sit for two or three
minutes and rinse clean.
Replace the air filter - When the air filter becomes dirty,
it needs to be replaced. Though paper filters can't be cleaned and
therefore must be replaced, there are quality filters
which have a lifetime warranty and can be cleaned.
Use original parts - When replacing parts in your engine,
only use original equipment for a proper fit. Ill-fitting parts can
cause damage to your engine in a matter of minutes.
Use clean fuel - If you have a weekend cruiser that you store
for the winter make sure that you fill the tank and add a fuel
stabilizer to prevent the gas from going stale and to prevent
condensation from forming. If your vehicle is supercharged, only use
Check the battery - Your car battery will not last forever.
Your owner's manual should indicate when you should have it
replaced. Keep the battery casing clean and check for bulging,
cracks or corrosion which may indicate that the battery needs
replacing. Remove the battery during winter storage and charge
Change the belts - Most vehicles have a serpentine belt that
runs various pumps and accessories and a timing belt that runs the
engine itself. The belts will need replacing over time due to
regular wear and tear. Don't wait until they actually break to
replace them or you could risk further damage. Check with your
owner's manual for scheduled belt replacement.
Check fluids - Ensuring that all fluid levels are topped off
can maintain the health of your engine. This includes engine
coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer
Replace spark plugs - Changing the spark plugs is a simple
task which can improve the performance of your engine and prevent
costly repairs down the road.
Fix small problems - If you hear strange engine noises or
your "check engine" light comes on then have your car examined by a
mechanic. It's important that you have any small problems fixed
right away before they can cause damage to your engine.