Maintaining Your Car Engine

Ford 1.0 Ecoboost

Last week, we discussed the importance of Maintaining Your Car Battery.  This week, we are focusing on how to keep your car’s engine running smoothly for years to come.  Here are some tips to follow:

  1. If you let your car idle for an extended period of time, the engine doesn’t operate at its peak temperature, resulting in incomplete fuel combustion, soot deposits on cylinder walls, oil contamination, and ultimately damaged components.  
  2. However, you should allow your vehicle to warm up a little bit (about 30-45 seconds) to lubricate all of its vital parts before putting any load on it.
  3. Put less strain on your engine and automatic transmission by shifting to neutral at red lights.
  4. If you happen to see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks at your local gas station, return another time or use a different station. As the station’s underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediment. Sediment in your gas can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors, causing poor performance and possibly resulting in the need for repairs.
  5. Not all gas stations are the same, so choose one you trust.  Some don’t have pump filters, making you more vulnerable to dirty gasoline, and others may not mix alcohol and fuel properly or water down their product. 
  6. You should replace the timing belt at 50,000 miles, if directed to do so by your owner’s manual.
  7. Do not rev your engine to start it.
  8. You can stir up sediment by driving with less than a quarter of a tank of gas, so don’t wait to fill up your tank until it gets that low.
  9. Accelerate slowly, especially when it is cold outside and when you first start driving, as most wear to the engine and drive train occurs in the first ten to twenty minutes of operation.

Frequent oil changes are also important for a healthy engine.  Check the blog next week to learn about how to choose the right motor oil for your car.

Sources:  smartmoney.com, rd.com

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