Driver Knowledge Tests

Four car engine maintenance tips every driver should know

The average repair cost linked to a car engine check is around $357, including labour and parts. However, simple car maintenance can reduce the number of costly repairs you’ll need to make, and keep your car in good shape between checks. Not only that, but it can also greatly help to increase your safety and even the lifespan of your vehicle, proving just how important regular maintenance can be. With that in mind, here are four car engine maintenance tips that every driver should know. 

Regular oil changes

Regularly changing the oil in your car is perhaps one of the best and simplest things you can do when it comes to basic car engine maintenance. Changing the oil helps to keep parts of the engine well-lubricated and in good working order, and it’s also great for your car in a number of other ways, too. For example, regular oil changes can help to improve your car’s fuel economy, cool the engine components, and help to prevent unnecessary and costly repairs, thus saving you money in the long run. Thankfully, while you can have a professional take care of regular oil changes for you, you can also easily learn to do the job yourself on a regular basis to save even more money. Just make sure you dispose of the waste oil properly and without causing an environmental hazard.

Checking coolant levels

Regularly checking the coolant levels in your car can prove to be equally as important to your engine’s health too, and for some very important reasons. Coolant is a fluid that is used to help the fluid in the radiator get rid of heat. It is carried via tubes to the radiator in order to do so. Regularly checking and ensuring that your car’s engine has enough coolant can prevent it from overheating, and using the correct mixture can further help to prevent other issues, like engine cooling system problems. 

The importance of staying alert

While changing the oil regularly and checking coolant levels are important aspects of good car engine maintenance, staying alert by keeping an eye out for any irregularities can also be a great way to take care of your car and stay in the know as well, and it doesn’t have to be stressful. For instance, simply keeping a watchful eye that your car isn’t leaking any fluids (such as oil or coolant), can help you to identify a larger issue.

Never ignore the check engine light if it shows up on your dashboard. This is because the check engine light can mean a number of different things, from a simple issue to a more serious problem, such as a misfiring engine. For such reasons, it’s very important to investigate the issue and take your car to your mechanic as soon as possible. Keeping useful maintenance tools on hand can also help when you may need to inspect your car’s engine at a moment’s notice – for example, a borescope is an instrument that can easily help you to see parts of the engine that you might not be able to see otherwise. You can buy borescopes here if you need to update your toolkit.

Changing the air filter

Routinely changing the engine air filter is yet another crucial aspect of proper car engine maintenance, as it helps to prevent things like dirt, dust, and other debris from getting into the engine, which would otherwise prevent it from working properly. Neglecting to change a clogged filter can bring some serious issues when driving, as it can actually cause the engine to cut out in some situations – something that no driver ever wants to experience. In order to avoid a clogged up air filter, it’s recommended that you change the filter every 10,000 to 50,000 miles, as it largely depends on your driving conditions.

Car engine maintenance might sound like a challenging endeavour, especially to learner drivers, but it is one of the most important things about driving and owning a car. By taking important measures such as changing the oil regularly and staying alert to any irregularities, you’ll be able to keep your car running smoothly.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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