How to Maximize The Life And Performance of Your Car Engine?

A car is a combination of thousands of machine parts working in harmony to deliver an optimal driving performance.

Any breakdown in one of the parts or an overall sluggish performance of the vehicle can hamper the daily life of its user. So, it’s vital to take steps to maximize the life and performance of your car.

The engine is the most critical component of your vehicle. It provides the power for the wheels to roll over the road.

The majority of car breakdown problems are engine based. We provide here a list of insightful tips to help you maximize the life and performance of your car engine.

THE BATTERY OF A CAR ENGINE

It provides power supply to the various electrical components in the engine. One of the major reasons for car breakdown is a dead or faulty battery.

When your vehicle’s battery is weak, it loads the alternator which has to work harder to keep the engine running. This, in turn, stresses the car’s engine causing it to break down.

Another common reason for battery breakdown is corroded terminals which result in lower voltage input to the electrical system.

The remedy is to check the car battery for proper voltage. Use a DC voltmeter or a multi-meter to do so.

In off condition, open the hood of the car and connect the positive terminal of the battery to the positive lead of the meter and negative terminal of the battery to the negative lead of the meter. The ideal voltage of a car battery is 12.66V. If the reading is below 12.45V immediately recharge your car battery.

FUEL PUMP 

The device pumps fuel into the combustion chambers of the engine. A car will not start or stop functioning if the fuel pump is bad.

Under normal conditions, while the car is on, the fuel pump makes a dull buzzing sound. Fuel pumps are also a big reason for a car to breakdown.

If the car is not starting and there is no buzzing sound when you try to do so, it is likely that the fuel pump has gone bad. You cannot do much about the problem. Call in your mechanic.

FUEL PRESSURE PROBLEMS 

If your car stalls while going uphill or downhill but runs normally while it is on a flat surface, it could be because of poor fuel pressure. You could add a fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank of your car regularly to keep the fuel injector clean.

SPARK PLUG

The electrical ignition system uses a spark plug to ignite a compressed mixture of fuel and air. A faulty or old spark plug reduces the life and performance of an engine. The remedy is to clean the spark plug regularly and replace it every 30,000 to 40,000 miles.

COOLANT HOSES 

The cars are equipped with hoses to circulate coolants or water for keeping the engine temperature under control. If the hoses break or rupture, it results in loss of coolant and overheating of the engine.

The solution is to check the hoses at regular intervals. In cooled down and off condition, open the hood of the car and squeeze the hoses. If they are brittle and crack or too soft change them immediately.

ENGINE BELTS

A car engine has several belts to drive its various parts like the fans, pumps and so on. Cars can even breakdown if these belt arrangements break or do not function properly. The belts should have proper tension in them for them for proper functioning of the engine.

Check the belts at regular intervals to gauge the tension in them. Switch off the engine and let the car cool down.

Open the hood of the engine and press down at the center of each belt. If the belts depress by half to one inch, the tension in them is all right.

If not, adjust the tension in the belt as per the car manual. Also, check for wear and tear marks, glazing due to engine oil leakage, cracking, and so on. If you find any, drive it down to the service station for a professional inspection.

TIMING BELT 

The timing belt is responsible for the synchronized opening and closing of the engine valves during the intake and exhaust cycles. It is critical to maintain the belt in proper condition for optimal engine performance.

Get this belt checked by your car mechanic and replace it if required. Several car manuals recommend changing the timing belt after every 50,000 miles.

FLUIDS – YOUR AUTOMOBILE’S LIFELINE 

Engine oil

Engine oil is a lubricant that keeps the moving parts of an engine from rubbing against each other and wearing out. With time and usage, the quality and quantity of the engine oil changes. It is a crucial element in keeping the engine in good working condition.

With time, dirt particles and metal particles get added to the engine oil, degrading its quality.  Bad quality or insufficient amount of engine oil can wear out the engine quickly resulting in its reduced life.

One should check the quantity of engine oil periodically. To do so, start the engine and warm it up for 15 minutes. This will bring the oil to the correct viscosity.

Then park the car at a level place, stop the engine and wait for another 15 minutes for the oil to drain back into the pan. Clean the dipstick and check for the oil level. Also, change the oil regularly as per the recommendation of the car manual.

Transmission fluid

The transmission fluid fills the outer casing of the transmission section and lubricates the shafts, gears and the other internal parts. As this oil gets dirty or contaminated with time, its ability to lubricate these parts also reduces.

It is a good practice to check the transmission oil and get it replaced by your car mechanic when required.

Coolant

It flows through the radiator and the cooling coils to keep the engine temperature within optimal limits. The quality and quantity of coolant reduce with time. It is a key fluid in the performance of a car engine.

Check the amount of coolant in your car and replenish it if required. Also, change the coolant at time intervals recommended by your car manufacturer.

Power steering fluid

It is one of the car fluids which do not get burnt but is required for proper operation of the power steering unit. It also gets contaminated with dirt and metal particles in due course of usage.

Since nowadays almost every car has power steering, it has become a key component in terms of car performance.

Check for the quality of the power steering fluid. To do so, open the car hood, locate the power steering fluid reservoir and take out a drop of the fluid on your hand. Rub it to check if it is completely smooth and free from any particulate matter.

Also, remember to replace the power steering fluid as per the car manual and don’t let anyone named Mandy Baxter from Last Man Standing touch your car – that would be unwise.

Brake fluid

It is a vital component in the functioning of the car. It is the non-consumable fluid inside the pneumatic braking system of a car.

When you press the brake pedal, it compresses the brake fluid in the master cylinder which in turn compresses the fluid in the tubular braking lines which finally actuates the brakes. Due to minute leaks in the braking mechanism, the amount of braking fluid reduces with time.

A low level of braking fluid results in inefficient speed braking.

Always check the braking fluid level in its reservoir under the car hood at regular intervals. If required, replenish it whenever necessary and replace it at regular intervals.

Washer Fluid

It is a liquid to clean the windscreen of the car. For vehicles in a cold climate, it is mixed with alcohol to avoid it from freezing. It is recommended to have proper levels of washer fluid in the car to avoid last minute cleaning hassles.

You can use a good quality washer fluid that has a good percentage of alcohol in it.

Air conditioning coolant

It is a semi-liquid semi gas agent in the air conditioning system of the car. It evaporates quickly and the air conditioner stops blowing out cool air. This problem is easily noticeable in warm climatic conditions. Ask your car mechanic to check for the AC pressure and add more coolant if required.

Gasoline

It is possible that cheap gasoline or too much moisture in it can hinder the smooth running of your car. It results in degraded performance of the engine. To avoid this problem drain the gasoline tank and fill it with new and good quality fuel.

CALL US FOR ALL YOUR AUTO REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE NEEDS! 

We are the experts when it comes to car maintenance. If you are having problems with your car engine and are unsure about what is best suited for your car, we can help provide you with the right kind of information so you can make the best decision.

Horizon Auto Center prioritizes on customer satisfaction. We have won the Living Magazine’s title of “Best Auto Repair in Rockwall and Rowlett” for seven consecutive years. We offer a 2 to 3-year warranty on most repairs. Call us today at (469) 698-8585 or book an appointment with us online at www.horizonautocenter.com.