A few weeks ago we gave you five tips to help you look after your car’s engine and keep everything running smoothly. Since then a few of you have emailed us with your own tips. We’ve used your expertise and wisdom to come up with five more ways that you can keep your car’s engine running in tip-top condition. So grab yourself a cup of something, sit back, and enjoy the read. Then get out to the garage and do some of the preventative maintenance that you’ve just read about. You can save yourself a lot of heartache in the future.
Replace Belts before they Completely Wear Out
Your car’s engine will have a number of belts operated on pulleys that will keep various ancillaries working Such ancillaries are the alternator, water pump and power-steering pump. Over time the belts will wear and perish and become less efficient. This will directly affect the performance of your car. Therefore, changing the belts before they wear completely will help to keep everything in good running order. Letting belts wear is one thing but allowing one to snap can cause a catalogue of problems. Especially if it’s the timing belt. It may not suit your monthly budget to replace belts before they wear completely. But remember that no problem has ever got better or cheaper to fix by just leaving it. Spending a few hundred pounds now may save you thousands of pounds in the future.
Don’t Ignore the Warning Lights
Your car’s dashboard instrument panel has a number of different warning lights to actually warn you of any problems within the engine. Never ignore these lights when they come on. Even if you know what’s causing them and it’s something that you consider to be relatively minor. It’s always a good idea to investigate the faulty and get it rectified as soon as possible. Not only will this help to keep things running properly it could help prevent catastrophic engine damage.
Change the Fuel Filter
Before the fuel from your car’s tank reaches any of the engine parts, it goes through a filter. Just as with the air filter, the fuel filter will clog with sediment, dirt and debris. Make sure the fuel filter is changed periodically to prevent it from becoming too full up. This is because it can reduce the flow of fuel from the fuel lines to your car’s engine. It doesn’t have to be changed as often as the air filer, but having it changed every two to there years is a very good idea. Unless you like large garage repair bills.
Many people don’t realise that the life of their engine can be directly affected by the way in which they drive. Adopt goo driving habits while behind the wheel. Don’t drive too fast that you can’t react to obstacles in the road within good time. Avoid driving on roads in desperate need of repair, avoid running over potholes, and avoid driving erratically to keep your engine happy. Doing so will not only reduce the time your car is being seen by a mechanic, but it will also allow you to get better fuel efficiency from your car. This will be noticed every week in your wallet.
Don’t Forget the Spark Plugs and Wires
If you drive a petrol-engine car, then make sure that you check the spark plugs and HT leads periodically as well. The spark plugs cause the initial spark that is needed to ignite the fuel and get the combustion process going. The HT leads carry this spark from the coilpack which is connected to the battery. Any problems here can damage to the coilpack over time. This will cause a misfire on one of the engine’s cylinders. While not necessarily noticeable at first this can cause damage to much more expensive components such as the catalytic converter. This will hurt your bank balance if it fails completely or doesn’t get you through the emissions test during the MOT.
Just like with our previous five tips, all of these are very easy to complete. If you can’t do the work yourself then book your car in to your trusted mechanic or garage and have them do the work for you. A few pounds spent now will prevent a major problem in the future which is likely to cost you a lot more money. Not to mention, leave you without a car for a period of time.