When you own a car, you not only have to worry about a car payment and insurance every month; you also have to think about the cost of repairs. If one of your car's larger components, such as the engine, goes out, you could be out thousands of dollars. Taking the extra steps to properly maintain the engine can make all the difference. Here are seven helpful tips for maintaining your car's engine:
Remember to Change the Oil
One of the easiest ways to keep the engine in good shape is to change your vehicle's oil regularly. Oil helps the engine run smoothly and removes heat from the combustion chamber, according to Cars.com. Aim to change the oil about every 3,000 miles. However, if you use a high-quality oil, you can get away with changing the oil every 15,000 to 35,000 miles. An oil change is inexpensive and can help the engine last longer.
Do not Wait Too Long to Fill Up the Gas Tank
If you are someone who always runs your vehicle down to empty, you can do some serious damage to your engine. All the sediment at the bottom of the gas tank can make its way to the engine, forcing it to work harder. That is why it is a good idea to keep at least a half tank of gas in your car.
Do not Ignore the Check Engine Light
The check engine light on your car's dashboard does not always indicate a huge problem, but that does not mean you should ignore this light. If you see the check engine light flashing, you should take your car to an auto repair shop as soon as possible. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Try to Make Fewer Stops
It is not always possible, but you should try to make as few stops as possible when you are on the road. If you constantly go from a fast speed to a complete stop, you can wear down your engine. One way to minimize this problem is to drive on the highways as much as possible.
Look for Leaks
You will also want to look out for leaks underneath your car. If the engine hose is worn, it can leak antifreeze and oil out of your engine. The engine requires these fluids and can't function very well without them. If you see some fluid under your vehicle, you should have a mechanic inspect your engine soon.
Replace the Spark Plugs and Wires
The spark plugs and wires do a lot of work for your engine, so they can get worn down over time. If they get too old, your engine will not run as smoothly. If you have problems starting your car, experience engine misfires or notice that the engine has a rough idle, it may be time to change the spark plugs and wires.
Change the Air Filters
Air filters are very important for your engine because they prevent dirt, leaves and other debris from getting in there. However, the filters will eventually get dirty and will not be able to work as well. That is why you should periodically inspect the air filters. If you see a lot of dirt or dust them, it is definitely time to replace them.
Keeping your car's engine in excellent shape will take some extra effort, but it is certainly worth it. If you follow these helpful tips, you can minimize damage to the engine. However, if you still encounter issues with the engine, you should take your car to an automotive repair shop as soon as possible.