Your engine is the central component of your vehicle, and without a properly functioning engine, no other systems or parts in your car will be able to properly operate. However, because of how much strain your engine is regularly placed under, it is at risk of developing and exhibiting a number of mechanical issues over time. Thankfully, there are several maintenance tasks that you can complete to ensure that your engine is working as efficiently and effectively as possible, extending the life span of your engine and improving the overall performance of your vehicle.
Perhaps the simplest and most important part of maintaining your engine that can boost its overall life span is regularly changing the oil within your vehicle. Engine oil acts as both a coolant and lubricant, protecting your engine from overheating and damaging itself through normal operation. While how often you change your oil will depend on how much you drive – check your owner's manual for a few general rules of thumb – you should regularly check your oil using the dipstick, located near the engine block, to see if your oil is burned, has grime or other materials within it, or is at a level below the recommended minimum. All of these things indicate that you are overdue for an oil change.
Engine Air Filter Replacement
Another simple yet essential part of proper engine maintenance is making sure that you change the air filter regularly. As its name would indicate, an engine air filter works to remove dust and other airborne particles from your engine's air intake. Over time, this filter can become clogged, which can choke off your engine and lead to reduced fuel efficiency and performance. Again, how often you change the air filter will depend on use, but check your owner's manual for a general recommendation, and have your air filter checked if you notice that your engine is burning through gas at an increased rate or is suffering from a lower rate of acceleration.
Finally, the last thing that you should keep an eye on to ensure that your engine is operating at peak efficiency is your coolant system. Low levels of coolant mean that your engine is at risk of overheating, which can lead to an inefficient burning of fuel and can also potentially cause damage. You should check the coolant level every time you check your oil level – which should be about once a month – to see if you need to add more coolant or if a leak has developed which could require professional attention and repair to fix.
Reach out to an auto service shop to learn more.