Like almost everything else, including human beings, a car comes with a life span. And like almost everything else, including human beings, there are little and simple things you can do to increase the life span of your car engine.
So, we went around consulting with some of the best automobile experts and seek some precious advice. Here, we compile whatever we heard from them and serve it to you. Now you can live longer worrying less and so can your car!
The heart of the car is its engine. So far as the engine is healthy, the car will also follow suit. It is highly advisable to check the engine oil at every other fill-up. Yes, at every other fill-up. Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you how to go about it –
A. Keep the car running or just take a small drive for about 15 minutes and then park it on a leveled ground. Then turn off the engine and wait for another 15 minutes.
B. During these 15 minutes, the oil will drain back to the oil pan, making it possible for you to check the actual levels.
C. Slowly and very carefully, take the dipstick out. Wipe it completely clean with a paper towel. Then push the dipstick back in, all the way down into its slot. Then slowly pull it out again.
D. Now look carefully at the dipstick, the level of oil as seen on the stick should be between the hash marks given on the stick.
E. Consult your owners’ manual, and based on the guidelines mentioned and the actual level of the oil on the stick, add more oil, if required.
If the engine is the heart of the car, then the oil is it’s blood. Often the owners’ manuals will tell you there is a long duration between oil changes. However, all our experts swore by one thing, frequent changes of the oil in the car will definitely increase the life of the engine as well as your car by flushing out the abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine. Moreover, if you engage more in city driving where you have to stop and go a lot, braking every now and then and more than you can accelerate, changing the oil regularly and at relative shorter intervals becomes even more important for you. Also, each time you change the engine oil, make sure you clean the oil pan plugs before doing so. The plugs are often magnetized and will hold onto metal particles even if you are extremely meticulous with your oil replacements.
Hold it, don’t overload the crankcase with all the love for your car. Every time you overfill the crankcase with oil, the oil rises to the crankshaft causes formation of small air bubbles and infusion of air in the oil. This affects the oil circulation inside the engine and also damage the spark-plugs, thus, bringing down the life of the car’s engine instead of pushing it up as was the original motto. Change your spark-plugs regularly too.
It’s a good thing to change the oil on time, but don’t ignore the oil filters. When you changing the oil at every other re-fuel, it is important to change the oil filters at every other oil change. And if you can do it every time you change the oil, nothing like it. The oil filters contain all sorts of dirt and grime coming from the oil that will keep contaminating the new fresh oil. Applying an anti-seize lubricant should do the trick.
Air is just as important as the oil is. Air filters also need to be changed the way oil filters need to be. The good news is that air filters are a lot easier to find than oil filters. You might need some guidance from your user manual to find those air filters. The air filters should be checked every two months and be replaced as required.
The fuel that you feed your car also requires filtering. We checked with all our team of experts and then double checked after reading most owners’ manuals of popular cars. All of them agreed that it is a good thing to have the fuel filters replaced every year. If your fuel filter gets clogged, it will bring down your engine’s performance and also cause corrosion in the gas tank.
There is one more filters that you car has, that is called the transmission fluid filter. Our team of experts say the transmission fuel filter should be changed after the car completes is first 5000 miles and then after every 25000 miles or two years, whichever is less.
When we talk about filters, we must also cover valves to ensure the overall well-being and health of your car. There is a valve called the positive crankcase ventilation which is kind of serves as an emissions control device in the cars. Generally, it needs to be changed every time your car completes being driven for 3000 kilometer but you should consult your owners’ manual once for this.
Go for the correct viscosity grade as prescribed in your user manual. Don’t blindly just go by the myth that the heavier is better.
Once your car completes 5000 miles and then 25000 miles after that, one thing you need to make sure you do is you change your automatic transmission fluid and filter. The manual transmission equivalent of this would be the motor oil or gear oil lubricant.
Check the drive belt and the timing belt for its condition and transmission and replace it regularly as required.
There are a lot of things that you could do to keep up your car in excellent condition as good as a new one. Small things like the ones listed above could go a long way to increase the life of your car. Also, such regular maintenance and replacement drives would help you diagnose any major problems or issues that might be developing in your car at an early stage and handle them without major expenditure.
Image Courtesy: Ryan Gsell
This entry was posted in: Car Maintenance