Posted by designwp Preventative Maintenance

Top 9 Practical Ways to Care For Your Engine

A clean, well cared-for BMW engine

There’s no getting around it — engine repairs and replacements are tricky and expensive! 

Fortunately, you can give your engine a long life if you provide the proper maintenance and care. First, you need to understand your engine and what it needs to run smoothly and efficiently.

How to prolong the life of your engine

Here are 9 easy things you can do to maximize your engine’s lifespan and performance:

  • Get routine oil changes.

    This is by far the most important step you can take to maintain your engine. Clean, debris-free oil keeps your engine well-lubricated, cool, and provides protection against the continual wear and tear of regular use.

    When you stall too long before getting your oil and oil filter changed, your engine has to work harder to run properly. Ultimately, sticking to your car manufacturer’s oil change schedule will save you from costly engine repairs down the road!

    It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your oil levels. We suggest checking your levels on a monthly basis.

  • Don’t neglect your cooling system.

    Your vehicle’s air conditioning system not only keeps YOU cool in warmer months, but it also plays a major role in maintaining a controlled engine temperature.

    The best way to ensure your cooling system continues working properly is to check (and refill) your coolant. Every so often, take a peek under your car’s hood. Coolant tanks are typically clear with a green or orange liquid. The liquid should fall between the minimum and maximum lines of the tank.

    When a vehicle has plenty of coolant and still overheats, there could be a larger problem underneath the service. In these situations, it’s essential to set up a service appointment as soon as possible.

  • Keep an eye out for leaks.

    Ever noticed wet spots on the pavement underneath your car?

    More often than not, this means you have a leak. As hoses and other parts of an engine system age and sustain intense heat and pressure, they can start splitting and cracking, letting your oil and antifreeze escape.

    If you notice leaks on the pavement (or catch a strong whiff of oil or antifreeze), bring your car to a repair shop ASAP, before you run out of those crucial fluids or cause greater engine damage.

  • Avoid driving on a near-empty tank.

    The gas you get at the pump contains sediment that slowly builds up at the bottom of your fuel tank over time.

    When your tank is full, your engine will use the debris-free liquid from the top of the tank. But as you let your car fall down to empty, your engine won’t have much of a choice, pulling in sediment that can cause significant internal damage.

  • Check your filters.

    Your vehicle relies on several filters — fuel, oil, and air — to maintain the proper function of your engine. Just like the air conditioning and water filters in your home, these filters collect dirt, debris, and junk that make your engine work harder than necessary. We recommend checking your filters every time you get an oil change.

  • Monitor your engine belts.

    Responsible for operating your engine fan, water pump, air conditioner, and alternator, engine belts are designed to last a long time. However, they inevitably begin to crack over many years of use. If belts break while your engine is running, you’re likely looking at some serious engine repair.

    To prevent a belt accident, bring your car into the service shop if you notice cracks in the belts or hear squealing or chirping when your engine is on.

  • Don’t dismiss a “check engine” warning light.

    Although the “check engine” light doesn’t always indicate a serious engine problem, there’s no way to tell unless you bring your vehicle in to an engine repair specialist. Even if it is a minor problem, getting it repaired sooner rather than later prevents a small problem from transforming into a much larger one.

  • Minimize start-and-stop driving.

    Car engines are designed for continuous, endurance driving — not the stop-and-go, sprints you experience in cities. As much as possible, try to avoid over-accelerating, driving on roads with lots of stoplights, and driving at fluctuating speeds.

  • Mind your spark plugs & wires.

    Every time you start your car, an electric current runs through your spark plugs and engine wires. The heavy use naturally wears on these necessary components. Many manufacturers suggest replacing them every 30,000 miles.

Performance Auto Specialists | Wilmington NC

We realize that auto repairs are often inevitable. But at Performance Auto Specialists, we strive to give you the education and affordable prices you need to make smart car service decisions. 

When you reach out to us with engine trouble or service needs, we’ll answer all of your questions, explain the problem and the solution, and provide a detailed estimate before we perform any work.

Need to see an Engine Repair Specialist? Schedule an appointment!

Have unanswered questions about your engine? Give us a call at (910) 343-1650.

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