Some of the most common mistakes of the car owners are to skip fluid checks and also the service their engines between longer periods of time.
You must always check at least the fluid levels on your car. If you don’t, you may miss a minor defect, for example, a coolant leakage. If you don’t detect that leakage, then you will eventually run out of coolant in your vehicle, his leading to major damages to the engine and eventually diminishing your vehicle overall performance.
Protect your vehicle investment by checking your engine regularly. In order to keep the engine in good condition this is what you must take into account:
- Engine lubrication
- Overheating prevention
- Proper and properly scheduled engine maintenance and tune up
- Immediately eliminate any minor engine defects
The engine should run evenly and you should not hear any strong noises, knocking, pinging, or whistling while the engine is idling or during acceleration. When pressing the accelerator, the engine should accelerate quickly, with no delays or loud noises.
A good engine should be dry. The more leaks on an engine, the more damage your engine may have.
During routine engine maintenance and tune ups, check for the following:
- Fuel Filter
- Air Filter
- Spark Plugs
- Timing Belt
Always check the oil pressure on a cold engine. Start the engine and look at the low oil pressure warning lamp or oil pressure gauge on the instrument panel. The time between the engine start and the time you note oil pressure at the instrument panel should be no more than one to two seconds. If this time is longer than two seconds, it means that either the oil filter is bad or the engine is too worn.
If the low oil pressure warning light goes on while engine is running or idle, there is definitely a problem with the engine. Stop your vehicle immediately if the oil pressure warning lamp goes on while driving to avoid further damage to the engine.
Without oil a running engine will damage in a matter of seconds. If the engine is leaking oil, try new gaskets or seals to fix the leak. If the engine is burning oil, the valve guides and seals are most likely worn out, but the rings and cylinders could require replacement, too.
Check the engine oil on the dipstick periodically especially if your car isn’t a new one. Change to oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles. Immediately after performing an oil and filter change, check for oil leaks to be sure that the oil filter has been installed properly.
When you regularly check your oil, you will become familiar with the rate of oil consumption of your car and you’ll know when the consumption is rapidly increasing.
Besides that, check the coolant (antifreeze) level and investigate the system for leaks periodically.
Don’t open the radiator of a car that has just been running or stopped. Wait at least 15-20 minutes after the engine has been turned off for the engine temperature to drop before adding any fluid into the system. The cooling system of a car is under high pressure and the fluid is usually hotter than boiling water.
Be sure that electric fan operates, and water pump drive belt has proper tension. The water pump should not have coolant seepage. Check the radiator for any trace of damage and all water hoses for leaks. If you find any coolant leak, try to stop it up as soon as possible to avoid engine overheating and have a mechanic inspect the damaged area immediately.
Next, look for the cooling system expansion tank; it is usually translucent white so you can see the fluid level without opening it. Antifreeze is toxic, so be sure to capture and recycle the drained fluid. Keep it off your skin and away from your eyes. It can also damage painted surfaces, so avoid spilling it on your car.
Check the fluid condition also: If it’s too black and has a burnt smell – your transmission is going to break!
Normally it should be clean and transparent. Its color may be different, from red to brown. Wipe the dipstick with clean white paper and look at the paper. Normally there should be no black deposits, no metal particles, no dirt left on the paper.
Check you engine now and protect your investment on your car!
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