Most of us drive our vehicles and forget that there is a complex piece of machinery operating under the hood. We wash our vehicles and add air to the tires but often forget to take care of the vehicle’s most important piece of equipment – its your car engine. The unfortunate truth is that most drivers wait for their engine to make clunking sounds or for the “check engine” light to illuminate before they take action. Regular engine maintenance really does have the potential to prolong the life of your vehicle and prevent costly breakdowns.

Oil Change Critical

Change your engine’s oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles and your vehicle will likely reward you with top-notch performance. Motor oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine. If oil is not replaced at the appropriate interval, the engine parts might overheat. This lack of lubrication also has the potential to cause permanent damage to the engine that could force a total replacement. The cost of a regular oil change is significantly less than the cost of a brand new engine.

If your vehicle is more than a decade old, the oil should be changed at a high frequency. An oil change for such an antiquated vehicle should be performed every 5,000 miles or so. Also, don’t forget to replace the oil filter when changing the oil. This filter absorbs all the debris and dirt that moves around the engine interior so the engine does not become compromised.

The Cooling System

An engine must stay cool in order to function as designed. The importance of maintaining the engine’s cooling system cannot be overstated. The engine’s cooling system includes the radiator, water pump, thermostat and coolant. The best way to ensure the engine does not overheat is to regularly replenish the radiator fluid (coolant) that spreads throughout the engine. If the thermostat determines that the engine is hot, coolant is released to lower the temperature. The water pump transmits the coolant from the radiator to the engine block and back to the radiator for cooling. This is precisely why every vehicle owner should have his engine’s coolant level checked and replenished on a regular basis.

Other Important Engine Tips

Your vehicle’s engine needs fresh air just like you do. Its air filters strain out all the undesired gunk so it doesn’t reach the engine. Yet these air filters eventually become clogged with bugs, dirt, leaves and other particles. Your vehicle’s air filters should be replaced once they accumulate an abundance of grime so fresh air has a clear path to the engine. Have your automotive professional check out your vehicle’s air filters when changing your oil or even on a more frequent basis.

Leaks are often identified through sight and smell. However, the trained eye of a mechanic is necessary to pinpoint the source of the cause of the leak and determine the appropriate remedy. If your engine is subjected to harsh pressure or heat, hoses could fail. If antifreeze or oil leak from your engine the assistance of an automotive professional will be necessary. Your engine desperately needs these two fluids to function.

Leaks can also occur in areas where silicon and rubber seals connect parts. As time progresses, these seals weaken and permit fluids to leak from the engine. Have a professional automotive technician take a long look beneath your vehicle’s hood to determine if there are any leaks, threats of leaks or other problems. Catching a leak before it becomes egregious will prevent a bigger and more expensive problem from arising down the road. Contact us for more information and vehicle maintenance.