Your engine is the heart of your car, and to last long without problems it needs to be maintained well. Let’s look at what is needed to keep your engine in a good shape. First, consider the most common causes of engine problems:
• Lack of regular oil changes
• Driving on low oil
• Using low quality fuel or oil
• Racing, driving only short trips, excessive idling
• Design and part flaws
Regular oil changes are important
Your engine has a lot of moving and rotating parts, and needs to be well lubricated. That’s the function of the engine oil. As you drive, engine oil gradually degrades. It loses its lubricating qualities and carbonizes under high temperatures. If you change your oil regularly, you keep your engine clean and well-lubricated inside. If you continue driving much longer past the regular oil interval, the friction slowly increases causing mechanical wear and the engine slowly gets contaminated with carbon deposits or sludge. Through the engine ventilation system, these carbon deposits are transferred into the engine intake and build up inside the throttle body and on the valves. This might cause lack of power, rough idle, Check Engine light and various driving issues. If you don’t remember when you have done your last oil change, check the engine oil with the dipstick; if it looks too dirty, have an oil change done.
Check your oil levels
Over time, the engine oil level drops because some amount of oil gets burned in the engine. Driving with very low oil level can cause serious engine damage. That’s why the oil level needs to be checked regularly, especially if you notice that your engine consumes oil between oil changes. Many cars have maintenance remainders that give you a warning when your next oil change is due, but a very few cars will actually warn you if the oil level drops – you still have to check the oil level manually. Car manufacturers recommend checking oil level at every fill-up. With our busy lives this doesn’t sound realistic, but if you check it at least once a month, you might be able to catch your oil level getting low and top it up, or have an oil change done. It takes just a couple minutes to check the oil level; all you need is a level spot to park you car and a clean rag to wipe out your dipstick.