How to Prolong the Life of Your Engine
When you buy a car, truck or SUV, you probably expect it to last a long time. However, if the vehicle is used – or just poorly made – you might find yourself facing engine failure much sooner than you expected. Engine failure is one of the most expensive repairs on a vehicle, especially in certain models that can cost as much as 20 percent of the original vehicle price!
Because of this expense and the stress involved with not having a working car, you probably want to avoid engine failure as long as possible. So here are 5 tips to keep your engine working for many years to come:
- Baby your transmission.
The most expensive element of an engine is usually the transmission, which is why you should always make sure it works at its best. Whether you buy an automatic car new or used, you should change the automatic transmission fluid and filter after 5,000 miles – then every 25,000 miles after that (or every two years). If you have a manual transmission, you should also change the lubricant on your gears after the first 5,000 miles and then again after 50,000 miles. You should also make sure to use the best motor oil for your specific make (usually synthetic oil blends).
- Choose the right oil – and change it frequently.
Speaking of motor oil, you should always choose the right blend for your specific vehicle. While many car manuals say that you can go longer between oil changes thanks to advancements in synthetic oil, you should still monitor your oil quality frequently. In fact, many mechanics and car enthusiasts follow the “severe conditions” guidelines in their manual to prevent any issues related to poor oil conditions in their vehicles.
- Engine computers can make your life difficult.
One of the most expensive elements of a newer vehicle is the on-board computer. Because of this, you should pay close attention to any weird lights that come on (and stay on) even after the problem is addressed. That pesky “low tire air” light that doesn’t go away isn’t just annoying – it could mean that your on-board computer has a glitch. Address these problems immediately to avoid overlooked (or unnotified) damage to your engine.
- Change your spark plugs.
Most manufacturers recommend changing your spark plugs about every 40,000 miles, while some say their plugs can last up to 100,000 miles. Know which one your vehicle has and make sure to change them before you need them. When a spark plug goes haywire, it can cause a whole bunch of problems within your engine.
- Stay on top of routine maintenance.
Last but not least, do everything you need to do to keep your car or truck in great condition. This means changing timing belts when they need to be replaced, checking the hoses under the hood, cleaning your engine when you get a chance, etc. A vehicle’s engine should be treated like your body; get it checked up frequently and give it what it needs to stay healthy!