Taking the Proactive Approach: 10 Ways of Preserving Your Car’s Engine

Taking the Proactive Approach: 10 Ways of Preserving Your Car's Engine 1

Having invested a lot in your car, you want it to run for a long time, and if you are proactively preserving your engine that is going to help a lot. These tips will keep your motor running.

1. Service It Regularly

The manufacturer of your car has tested its vehicles within an inch of its life before they let it leave the factory to make sure that it is a well-running and the safe machine that is going to get you from point A to point B.

They provide you with guidelines for when you need to perform most tasks in regards to your car in the owner’s manual, but most cars also have an onboard system that tells you when you need to get it serviced.

Some people operate with the notion that they have a certain amount of leeway when those lights come on, and sure there is some degree of padding, but consistently pushing your car to the limit is not the best practice to get into. Every 12 months or 12,000 miles is a good yardstick.

2. Change Your Oil

You should be checking your oil as often as once a month to make sure that your levels are good, and that it doesn’t need changing.

If you are looking at measuring this in terms of distance rather than time, you want to get it changed every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Timewise, you are looking at every three months or so, though some mechanics suggest this is too much.

If you are checking your oil frequently, and you learn what to look for you are going to be better placed to make a judgment call.

Is it low? Top it off. Is it an irregular texture? Too much grit means you should change it. The check light is on. The engine is making a ticking noise, which is your engine’s valves trying to move your oil around.

3. Switch Out The Timing Belt

Knowing whether you have to change the drive belt before the recommended 12,000 miles means you have to know what to look for to tell if the timing belt is failing.

First off you may have an engine check light that has come on – if you aren’t sure what triggered it, you at least know something is wrong and needs to be checked out.

Your engine’s performance is going to drop off, and there may be more emissions. That timing belt being worn can cause the valves and pistons to go out of synch, and your intake and exhaust valves aren’t going to be opening at the right time. Your engine may be shaking as well.

Your car may not even start. If the belt slipped off when off you may be OK, but if it happened when it was running you need a mechanic.

4. Check Your Battery

Your battery is the thing that gets the engine started, so it is going to mean you aren’t going anywhere with a dead battery.

A failing battery is going to make your alternator work harder to provide power to the electronic parts of your engine, so it is going to shorten its life.

Your gas consumption is going to go up, as that alternator works harder.

With low battery power, the amps go up and the heat is going to increase and this could cause the engine to overheat, and may damage the engine.

Anything that uses the battery is not going to be functioning as well, and this can range from the windows, and other electrical items, to the fuel injectors. Your windows are sluggish and so is your sputtering engine.

If your engine is managed by a computer that regulates vital function you can see how that might really badly impact the engine in the long term.

5. Change Your Air Filter

On average you are looking at swapping out your air filter every 30,000 miles, and you can half that to every 15,000 if you are driving in extreme conditions such as heavy traffic in hot weather, or a lot of off-road driving where it is dusty or dirty, or just on bad roads.

The air filter is there to make sure that all of the contaminants that are out there in the environment don’t get into your engine. If the filter gets dirty or clogged, the contaminants only have one place to go – into your engine.

Air filters are usually pretty easy to access and replace – if you need help check the owner’s manual. If it looks black in areas then you need to replace it. If it has been 30,000 miles or 3 years since you replaced it then it needs to go.

It can affect your acceleration by 6 to 11 percent, and the performance loss ill slowly creeps up on you. Avoid it!

6. Change The Coolant

When you are changing that air filter you might want to check the coolant too, as they have a similar lifespan of around three years.

Around that point in its life, the acidity levels of your coolant are going to have changed and it is going to struggle to beat rust as easily.

Rust in your coolant system is going to cause corrosion and you are going to end up getting walloped in the pocket.

As its name suggests, it keeps your engine cool, which is important, as an overheating engine is going to cause a lot of damage and cost a lot of money.

In some hybrids and electric vehicles, it improves battery life and regulates electric motor-generator temperatures.

7. Check For Leaks

You may be doing a regular check on your fluids and you notice that the levels are low much sooner than they should be, or perhaps you have a check light on and it makes no sense because you recently topped off your fluid levels.

Placing something under the car that will catch the leakage is going to make it easier to identify what is coming out of your car, instead of trying to decipher it from a damp patch on the ground. It could be that your gauges aren’t showing the loss but you’ve noticed something under the car, or something with the car’s performance.

Some things are easy to check at home and some you may need a mechanic for, your manual should give you that data.

8. Fill Up Gas Before It Gets Too Low

This can be easier said than done are running low on funds, but it is going to cost you way more in the long run if you do something that causes the engine to seize up.

It can cause the fuel pump to stop working because the fuel is not doing its job of cooling the windings and they can overheat and then your pump’s electric motor can overheat and is likely to expire.

Running it on low fuel can also pull up sediment from the bottom of the tank, something that is more of an issue with older cars, but this can cause some issues if it gets into the pump.

Modern engines are built to withstand the problem of running dry, but you don’t want to do it regularly or you are going to have some issues that could lead to more extensive damage.

9. Check The Fuel Filter

If you let your fuel filter gets clogged up it can start to affect the running of the engine, and it can even stop the engine from starting. It is there to protect your fuel injection from any dirt that might have entered into the fuel, so it has a vital job.

As well as not starting you may find that the engine power lessens because of not enough fuel i getting to the injectors.

It is going to put a strain on the engine and the engine may start to stall out. It may cause the engine to misfire.

You can change it out every 30,000 miles or sometimes with every second or third oil change. It’s not that hard to change out if you are a pretty competent DIY mechanic, otherwise, you may need to get professional help.

10. Have A Good Mechanic

Whether you do some small amount of work on your car or not, having a good mechanic like telletire.com to help with any auto repair or maintenance issues is invaluable. If you don’t want to have to worry about all these regular bits of maintenance that your car needs your mechanic is going to be able to help you.

It does pay to have some knowledge of what can go wrong with your car and how it might be fixed. Being able to talk knowledgeably with your mechanic and accurately describe what is occurring with the vehicle is going to save everyone a lot of time.

Your car is a big investment so it is a wise choice to have a professional on your side to make sure that your vehicle gets the best care possible, so it can run for a long time.


Knowing what to look for and what to do puts you more in control of your vehicle and its longevity. None of the suggestions above are hard to implement, but having a mechanic you trust to back you up on everything is going to relieve a lot of stress.

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