But I Don't Know Anything About Cars: How to Keep Your Engine in Great Shape
Regular engine maintenance is essential to a long engine life. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your vehicle in great shape and prolong your engine life.
We all know that cars and their parts will generally wear down over time, and unfortunately this includes the engine. With new cars it will take a long time for the engine to wear down. However, that is only the case if you make sure to keep up routine maintenance on your engine. Modern engines are made to withstand a lot more wear and tear than older ones, but that doesn’t mean you should let your regular maintenance slide. Not keeping up with important engine maintenance can quickly take away years from the life of your engine.
If you usually only take the vehicle out for short drives, you should take it for an occasional long journey.
Check the oil levels weekly and just before you head out for a long trip. As we discussed our article on oil changes, it is very important to keep up regular oil maintenance. You should also make sure that you are keeping up regular oil changes every three thousand to seven thousand miles, depending on your car’s individual recommendations which should be available in the vehicle’s manual.
Always stop right away if you notice that the oil pressure warning light has come on. This light is serious business! You could destroy the life of your engine if you do not stop the car right away and fix what may be causing this problem.
Make sure you check your drive belt and coolant on a regular basis. The coolant helps keep your engine from overheating which is very important for the life of the vehicle. The coolant should be kept at somewhere around fifty percent water and fifty percent antifreeze. The drive belt, also known as a serpentine belt, helps keep the engine running smoothly. If there are a few small cracks in the belt then it can still function well but if it starts to develop deeper cracks then it may be time to replace the belt.
Stop your vehicle and have it looked at immediately if the engine is overheating. The metal that is used in the making of an engine can only get so hot before it will start to soften up or melt. That is why engine overheating is such a significant problem. To know if your engine is overheating there should be a temperature gauge on the dashboard of your vehicle. When the needle of this gauge reaches the red zone, then you need to stop the car immediately and figure out what is causing this problem before you try to drive again.
If you stick to these steps you can avoid a lot of unnecessary complications with your engine. Many of these are easy and inexpensive compared to the cost and difficulties related with having to repair, or worse, replace your engine. If you would like more information on how to maintain your newly purchased vehicle, or what to do in an emergency situation, you should check out our other articles in the “I Don’t Know Anything About Cars” series and be on the lookout for future articles in this series!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Harmon is a staff writer for Scott McCorkle's Liberty Buick GMC. If you would like more information abour our selection of excellent vehicles please visit our website!