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How to maintain your car’s engine?

Team OD  | Updated: April 15, 2020, 06:00 PM IST

A car is an exceptionally complex machine, with thousand of components all working in cohesion. Over 130 years of constant development has mean't that cars have become very good at making all of these parts work well together without too many failures.

The most complex of these components is the engine. Its many components need to function perfectly at all times to ensure you get the most out of your car. But progress has been made to a very large extent, and engine failures aren't something that most users are likely to face in regular conditions. But that does not mean you completely just forget about it. Some very simple tips will extend your engine's life and keep it running smoothly.

Change your filters regularly

The air filter and oil filter in your car is its first line of defense. These parts help keep debris out of the engine compartment, and make sure the oil lubricating and cleaning the engine's books and crannies is at its cleanest. These ensure that the combustion process is optimal and there is no unnecessary wear and tear.

Make sure you change these filters as per the prescribed intervals in your car's service schedule.

Top-up engine fluids regularly

Make sure that the levels of coolant and engine oil are at the correct level. You can do this quite easily with the dipstick and the guide marking present in their respective compartments. As mentioned, the engine oil helps keep all your core engine competents lubricated and functioning smoothly. Low engine oil levels can cause more wear and tear.

The coolant helps dissipate the heat generated by your engine. Low coolant levels might cause the engine to overheat and cause damage to its internal components.

Change timing belts and spark plugs

A timing belt is used to ensure your engine's valves open and close when needed. This is a critical aspect of the combustion process and key to your engine's performance and efficiency. In petrol engines, a spark plug ignites the air-fuel mix as it enters the engine via the inlet valves.

If a timing belt has worn out, the engine's combustion cycle is disrupted and a malfunctioning spark plug will lead to inefficient ignites of the fuel in the combustion chamber. All of these factors can affect the long-term performance of your engine.

These components have a long life-cycle but you need to change them as prescribed.

Stick to service intervals

You need to follow your car's prescribed service intervals. This is irrespective of how much you drive your car, leaving your car unused can jam up components and lead to greater wear. Sticking to the service schedule will help you monitor your engine performance regularly and diagnose any problems that might crop up. Also, try and get your car serviced from authorised dealerships,  this will mean your car gets the most focused care.

Practice smooth driving

Tweak your driving style in a way that it isn't harsh on the machinery. Put is progressive inputs while accelerating, braking or turning. Constant heavy acceleration and braking will put more stress on your engine components. Also make sure you are in the right gear for your speed. This will not add unnecessary load on your engine and keep it running smoothly.

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