This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from this website through links in this post, we receive a small number of commissions for purchases made. It helps us a lot to run this website.
If you do not know How to Keep Your Car & its Engine Healthy? Then this blog is only for you. Your car won’t magically take care of itself. Get in the habit of regular car maintenance and quit relying on your folks to remind you to get your tires rotated or your oil changed.
Instead of standing at the gas pump and reading the advertisements for a credit card while you wait for your tank to fill, use that time to give your car a quick check-up (and cleaning) by performing three simple tasks:
1. Clean windshield
A dirty, bug-splattered windshield is a safety hazard, as it obscures your view of the road. So give it a regular cleaning. Using the spongy part of the gas station squeegee, soak the whole windshield with the cleaning fluid.
Then pull the squeegee tightly from the middle of the windshield to the sides, finishing off the remaining streaks by pulling it top to bottom. This is especially important after an extended drive on the highway when your windshield is littered with insect carcasses and using your car’s washing fluid and wipers to remove them only creates a big, smeary mess that obscures your line of sight even more.
If your headlights are dirty, give them a squeegeeing as well. Your wipers have a role to play in keeping the windshield clean too, but we’ll talk about them later this week.
2. Check tire pressure
Maintaining proper tire pressure will keep you safe and even save you a little dough. Improperly inflated tires and this may mean over-inflated or under-inflated don’t handle or stop as well as tires with the correct pressure. They also increase your chance of a blowout. Plus, tires with the correct pressure have a longer life and increase your fuel efficiency.
Tire pressure is something you have to keep your eye on, as it constantly changes as the tires log miles and the temperature fluctuates. That’s why it’s so important to check it regularly and add air when needed. Some experts say you should do this at every gas fill-up, but just as with the oil check, every other fill-up should be enough to catch any deficiencies before they become big problems.
Checking your tire pressure takes less than two minutes. Here’s how to do it:
For an accurate reading, always check tire pressure when your tires are “cold,” that is before you’ve driven around on them. I only check my tires’ pressure at a gas station when I fill up at the one less than a mile from my house, first thing in the morning. If you’ve already been driving around for a while, let the tires “rest” for at least four hours before checking the pressure.
Find out the tire pressure recommended for your car (it’s in your owner’s manual and on a panel inside the driver’s side door, as pictured above). Always fill the tires to this recommended level, regardless of tire brand, and not to the max PSI found on the tire sidewall – that number indicates the maximum pressure the tire needs to carry its heaviest load, not the tire’s ideal PSI.
3. Check the oil level and top off as needed
Motor oil is essential to your car’s performance. Its most important job is to lubricate all the moving parts in your engine so they don’t grind and tear themselves into dysfunction. It also transfers heat away from the combustion cycle and traps and holds all the nasty byproducts of combustion, sending it to the oil filter. If your engine doesn’t have enough oil, your car is at risk of going kaput.
To ensure your car always has enough oil, it’s important to get in the habit of regularly checking it. Your owner’s manual probably recommends that you do this at every gas fill-up, but every other is typically sufficient. Checking your car’s oil level is super easy. All you need is a clean paper towel, adequate light, and about three minutes. You should save this job for last because you need to wait about five minutes after you turn the engine off for the oil to drain back into the pan:
Most cars are designed to consume a bit of oil between changes, and many manufacturers consider a consumption rate of one quart every 1,000 miles to be normal. Some cars lose more than that because of leaks or because the engine is burning oil along with the gasoline. If you’re needing to add a quart of oil every 500 miles or so, you should take your car in ASAP to get it checked for external and internal leaks.
Follow the Maintenance Schedule in Your Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual
Your vehicle also requires maintenance tasks that are performed less frequently but are vital to allowing your automobile to live a long and fruitful life. These tasks include oil changes, tire rotations, replacing transmission fluid, and the like.
Don’t follow the dealer’s or mechanics’ recommended maintenance schedule. They often suggest that you come in more frequently and perform maintenance that you don’t need. For example, the quickest lube and dealership service shops recommend you bring your car in every 3,000 miles for an oil change, even though most modern engines are designed to run for 5,000 miles before needing one.
Another example is coolant replacement. A lot of mechanics recommend having it replaced every 30,000 miles, but many vehicles don’t need this service until they reach four times that. And after the 120k mark, manufacturers often recommend the coolant be replaced only every 60,000 miles.
Instead of relying on Larry at the KwikLube to tell you when you should service your car, pop open your glove compartment (or “jockey box” for you gents living in the Mountain West region), and pull out your owner’s manual. There should be a section where it lists the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, which tells you how often to get your oil changed, rotate the tires, and replace fluids and parts. If you can’t find the owner’s manual, a quick Google search will bring it up. By following your vehicle’s ideal maintenance schedule, you can prevent costly inspections, repairs, and replacements, and keep your car humming for many years.
DIY Car Maintenance
As newer vehicles have become increasingly complex with onboard computers and high-tech gadgetry, maintenance jobs now often require a mechanic with the proper training and tools to correctly complete the task.
But there are still a few maintenance jobs that most men can do themselves on most models, and below I list three of the most accessible. Indeed, taking care of these tasks doesn’t save you very much in either time or money, but it is satisfying nonetheless and I recommend trying each job at least once, as they’ll give you a reason to look under your hood as well as a small bit of insight into how your trusted chariot works.
- Change oil every 5,000 miles. We’ve written a guide on how to change your car’s motor oil yourself. But for those living in an apartment or dorm, this might not be an option. Whether you do it yourself or take it to a mechanic, getting your oil changed regularly is one of the most important ways of keeping your car running smoothly.
- Change the air filter every 12,000 miles. This is quite possibly one of the easiest car maintenance jobs you can do yourself. We wrote how to do it here. Regularly changing your car’s air filter will increase fuel efficiency, prolong your engine’s life, and reduce emissions. While changing your car’s oil comes with the hassle of finding a way to dispose of the used oil properly, no such inconvenience exists for the air filter, and doing it yourself will easily save you half the cost of having a service shop take care of it.
- Rotate tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Front and rear tires wear differently. Regularly rotating your tires equalizes their natural wear patterns, ensuring a smoother and safer ride. It also extends the life of your tires, which will save you money on costly replacements
Keep Your Car Clean
Besides performing regular maintenance, another important part of taking care of your car is keeping it clean.
1. Wash your car regularly. Every day our cars are subjected to the sun, salt, grease and grime, acid rain, smog, tree sap, dead bugs, and worst of all, the acidic compound of bird poop bombs. These things eat away at paint, and once that’s gone, they will eat at the metal in your car. While failing to wash your car won’t result in immediate damage, over time the elements will corrode your vehicle, along with its potential resale value.
How often should you wash your car? It depends. Location and climate are the two biggest factors in determining frequency. If you live in an area with a lot of pollution and sea salt in the air, you’ll need to wash it two or three times a month. If you live inland and in an area with little pollution, a once a month car wash will suffice. During the winter, you may need to wash your car more frequently than you do during the summer due to the snow, salt, and mud that will accumulate as you drive along icy roadways.
2. Don’t use the inside of your car as a garbage can. The inside of your car is not a garbage can, so quit treating it like one. Get in the habit of regularly cleaning out your car so it doesn’t constantly look like a dump. Keeping your car’s interior clean and tidy can reduce stress in your life and make the driving experience more enjoyable. Also, you never know when you’ll have unexpected passengers. By keeping your car clean, you’ll never have to sheepishly say, “Sorry about the mess,” as you wipe away shards of yesterday’s Quick Trip breakfast burrito from the passenger seat.
How to save yourself from visiting your car mechanic?
We have always heard about keeping yourself healthy to live longer. The same is the case with our cars. It’s essential to keep our car engines maintained to last them longer and it’s not as hard as it seems.
There are a few regulars checks that will make a visible difference to your engine’s life and performance.
5 Ways to extend a car’s engine life
Engines are the beating heart of your car. They need to be looked after well if you want them functioning as well as it did the very first day you bought it. A well-maintained engine also retains high second-hand value, which may come in handy in the future.
So the question is; what are the basics that you must cover to ensure your engine runs smoothly and forever?
Here are 5 ways you can maintain the health of your car.
1. Regularly check the engine oil
The engine oil is what breathes life into the engine. Failing to monitor the engine oil can risk your engine to run low on the required fluid, leading to dire (and expensive) consequences.
We recommend that you check the oil every two weeks and keep it replenished. Finally, if the fluid starts to get dark and dirty, it’s time for a service; replace the oil filter, air filter, and the engine oil altogether.
2. Avoid aggressive driving
Aggressive driving includes late gear-change and abruptly setting off the car from rest. This not only increases wear and tear on the engine but also increases your fuel consumption.
Driving with what we call “mechanical sympathy” is what you should regularly practice. Being kind to your pedals will lengthen the life of your engine and prevent you from encountering unexpected repair bills.
3. Regularly replace spark plugs
Most of the time spark plugs don’t need replacements; just cleaning them will do the work! However, if the head of the plugs starts to get rusty, it’s time for new ones. Leaving bad spark plugs can result in incomplete combustion between air and fuel mixture, and we don’t need to tell you how bad the consequences of that might be.
In the above, we have tried to cover all the things you may need to keep your car and its engine healthy and safe. Please try to follow the rules for the safety of your car. It will help you to save a lot of money. Don’t ignore it.
Tips to Follow for Your car Frequently:
- Always buy gas or fuel from a reputable place.
- Disengage the parking brake to prevent it from the brake corrosion.
- If you bought a new car, never exceed the speed of 55 mph (89 km/h) during the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to prevent irregular displacement errors in the engine.
- For the first few half an hour of driving, try to keep the engine rpm’s below 3000 per minute.
- Wash and wax up the vehicle if you are thinking about resting it for a month or longer.
- Always watch out for the engine signs and warning lights and respond to them quickly. Problems must be attended today rather than tomorrow. If anything looks out of place, just check it out as early as possible.
- Your mechanic is very important for the prolonged life of the engine so, select a reliable and qualified engine expert for general maintenance. Request the mechanic on every issue frequently.
- Your car’s owner’s manual contains a wealth of information regarding the car, so read it carefully.
- Always remember the rule of ‘BOWfit’.