How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Car’s Engine

While it is obvious to most drivers that planned vehicle maintenance and repairs are necessary for extending vehicle life, the other important aspect for a longer life – good driving practices – still goes unheeded. Unnecessary gear changes – aggressive acceleration and hard-braking – put strain on an engine, taking several years off its life.

Avoid these mistakes to make the most out of your car engine.

Regular Maintenance

Since we are reliant on our vehicles for transportation to various destinations, we should definitely look at our car as a capital investment and undertake regular checkups and repairs to avoid spending money on expensive repairs. For instance, change your air filter at regular intervals, so that sufficient oxygen is supplied to enable your engine to properly burn what remains of the fuel. Secondly, avoid driving habits such as excessive acceleration and deceleration, which place an excess burden on the engine, as well as its other internal parts. It is also a good idea to inspect the oil, coolant and transmission fluid – at least once a month. Maintaining these levels will not only reduce the long-term maintenance costs, but will also extend the lifespan of the engine – and using the right parts (and fluid) will only extend that lifespan some more.

Monitor Fluid Levels

It is just as important to the performance, longevity and prevention of repairs or safety issues that your next car will be an oasis of the right fluids. You know that your car needs to be topped up with oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid at regular intervals, and that the right type of fluid must be used for each type of system. And you recognise that if your vehicle’s moving parts use the wrong kind of fluid, its various systems will be damaged. However, always refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions — for instance, how much coolant your engine needs, so you don’t overheat (this is a fairly easy problem to spot, thanks to a clear plastic reservoir cap or dipstick with high and low marks on it).

Keep Your Tires in Good Condition

Your tyres are the only thing between your car and the road, so it’s important to take good care in looking after them, so as to increase mileage and save fuel. Incorporating the correct tire pressure (indicated in your vehicle’s owner manual or sometimes on a placard attached on the driver door frame) enhances gas mileage and smoothens out tread wear, decreasing the probability of uneven tread wear as well as fuel costs. Keep your tires in an airtight environment such as a garage or shed by all means so oxygen, which literally tends to oxidise its rubber and hasten its inevitable degradation, can’t reach them. Don’t drive fast. The faster you go, the more heat friction will build up around your four wheels, straining the rubber, making driving off drop-offs on curves less likely if you drive too fast for your ability, while cornering too aggressively will shorten the tire’s life even further – and, if doing so at high speeds, lead to costly repairs or, at worst, carnage.

Avoid Aggressive Driving

By not driving aggressively, you can extend the life of your engine and transmission by avoiding any form of aggressive driving, which will put a lot of stress on those parts, leading to accelerated failure and reduced lifecycle. And if you do want to make a commitment, just don’t rev an engine when it’s cold or slam on your brakes, since doing so can not only damage your car’s undercarriage and other parts, but lead to costly repairs in the future. A simple measure to keep your engine going longer is to regularly check fluid levels. Clean oil helps prevent wear-and-tear damage due to moving parts grinding against each other, and those odd smells or warning lights might just help drivers notice something before a major problem.

Use High-Quality Parts

Use high-grade replacement parts to make sure your vehicle runs at its optimum efficiency, and lasts for a long time. These parts are more expensive initially but usually keep down maintenance costs over time by preventing breakdowns and expensive component failures. High-grade fuel and lubricants also improve performance by delivering petrol, gasoline, diesel, or mixing oils most effectively for better combustion and power delivery. If you notice your vehicle exhibiting signs of problems or even minor issues, paying prompt attention can greatly increase the lifespan of your engine. Small issues quickly escalate into large mechanical problems, such as costly repairs, if left ignored, including odd noises, illuminated warning lights on your dashboard, and even fluid leaks.

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