DIY car maintenance: Tips to keep your car engine in good shape

Nov 11, 2020 3 min read
DIY car maintenance: Tips to keep your car engine in good shape

Following a few simple tips can keep your car's engine running smoothly and also enhance its life considerably.

An engine is the heart of your car. In order to keep it running smoothly and reliably, you need to take proper care of your car's engine. Without a fit engine, your car is just a tin can. To avoid an unexpected breakdown in the middle of the road and accidental hazards; here are a few tips, that you need to follow to maintain your engine properly.

#1 Change engine oil regularly

The car’s engine oil ensures the lubrication of all moving parts to minimize the wear and tear of the engine. It also traps all the outdoor dirt, dust, and sediments; and prevents them from seeping inside the engine.

Hence, you should check the oil levels of your car's engine every month and top it up if the level is lower than prescribed. It is worth noting that oil grade and change intervals also depend upon the recommendations of the car manufacturer.

#2 Keep check on the cooling system

A car engine loses a lot of energy in the form of heat. The car engine is made up of metals and alloys that can become very hot during the summer season. Hence, make sure that there is always an ample amount of coolant in the tank to dissipate heat. The ideal ratio is 1:1 for coolant and distilled water. Also, keep an eye on the car engine heat meter and try shutting down the engine in case of overheating.

Read more: How to change the coolant of your car

#3 Check the air filter

Your car engine can burn more fuel, overheat, or give a mediocre performance due to a dirty air filter. Check out your air filter regularly and clean or change it whenever you find it too much dirty. A clean air filter will help your engine to breathe properly and perform better.

#4 Look for leaks

Keep checking your car for any fluid dripping from the engine. Check out the parked area for any fluid coming out. If you find the fuel leaking, you should immediately visit your nearest mechanic and get it fixed. Apart from fuel, also check car fluid levels of engine oil, brake oil, coolant, and gearbox oil.

#5 Don’t drive on reserve fuel

Petrol sediments can settle at the bottom of your car's tank over the years. Especially in 4-5 years old cars, there is definitely a layer of sediment that should not reach the pistons of your car engine. Avoid driving on low fuel to prevent the junk from entering the engine. These sediments can cause serious damage to your car's engine.

Read more: Why Should Your Car Insurance Include an Engine Protection Plan

#6 Check your engine belts

Rubber belts ensure everything runs in harmony inside the engine. Check out for squeal sound and if it is there then it is time to replace your engine belts. You also need to check engine belts for signs of wear and tear including cracks for timely replacement. It is worth noting that if a belt breaks while you are driving the car then it can damage your engine severely.

#7 Pay heed to the check engine light

Check engine light reflects that there is something wrong with your car's engine. Hence, you should never ignore it! Period. It could mean any issue related to the engine. A timely check can help you rectify the issue instantly and would not lead to a major breakdown.

#8 Replace fuel filter timely

The fuel filter prevents the junk present in fuel from entering the combustion chamber of your car's engine. Timely replacement of fuel filter will ensure a clean flow of fuel inside the engine. This will also ensure a lesser build-up of muck inside the engine.

#9 Replace spark plugs and wires

Spark plugs have a long life span. Normally, car manufacturers advise to replace them after every 50,000 kilometers. Regular maintenance will keep them working properly all the time. You can clean them on a regular basis to enhance their life.

Difficulty in starting the car and engine losing revs can be signs of a faulty spark plug. Also, if you find cracks in the spark plug then it is time to change it.

#10 Drive smoothly in traffic

Engines are meant to run at uniform speeds. And this is also the condition in which they perform best. However, in city traffic, it is not possible to run your car at constant speeds. In such scenarios, it is advisable to do calibrated driving. Do not rev the engine too hard to eventually stop in the next few seconds.

Do not over-accelerate the engine. It will help in reducing stress on the engine and you can also get better mileage from your car.

For more tips on how to drive smoothly; read this article: Excellent Tips On How To Save Fuel While Driving

#11 Clean your engine bay

The more kilometers you clock with your car, the more your engine's exteriors get dirty with dirt. To avoid the accumulation of a thick layer of greases, dirt, and other harmful particles; you need to regularly clean your car engine bay.

CarInfo recommends these checks to keep your car engine in the best condition. Also, keeping the engine in good shape can help you get a good resale value even after doing thousands of kilometers.

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