Engine oil is vital for proper functioning; if it is not changed it will clog and will not lubricate properly producing extra heat inside the engine. You may not notice this because the gauge on the dashboard may not show the extra heat. Oil is generally changed according to the mileage of your car, certain cars need it changed more often than others, your car manual has a section dedicated to this topic. As a general rule and depending on the car’s use, oil must be changed every two or three months. It is also important to change the oil filter because as the oil circulates inside the engine it picks up minuscule pieces of metal which can eventually produce wear and damage vital engine parts. A trick you can use to check the viscosity of your engine oil is to take out the oil stick and using your index and thumb take some oil from the tip of the stick and separate your fingers. If the oil stretches between your fingers it is good, if not you must have it changed.
Cars need oxygen for the combustion process. Clean air is necessary for the fuel to burn properly. This air gets into your combustion system through the air filter. If the filter is dirty or full of dust you will not have enough air to burn fuel properly. When the combustion system does not have enough air, fuel is wasted because it is released through the exhaust pipe without burning. A dirty air filter will also reduce your car’s horsepower making it harder for it to go uphill. In this situation your car will also respond slower when you step on the gas. This is one maintenance job you can do by yourself, all you have to do is un-clamp the air filter cover, take the old one out and put the new one in. Some people take their cars to the mechanic and have the air filters cleaned with air pressure. Do not do this; it only works to a certain point. The passages on the filter through which the air flows are extremely small and using air pressure will not clean them out. It is recommended to do this at the same time you change your oil.
Engines need a specific temperature to work properly, too much heat may damage motor gaskets or other moving parts which may be expensive and time-consuming to change. Cooling liquid travels through the engine keeping it within the proper heat range necessary for operation returning afterwards to the radiator where it cools of and returns into the engine. Radiator maintenance is as easy as changing the air filter, all you have to do is add coolant to the plastic container which is attached to the radiator through a small hose. Some of the coolant evaporates or is consumed inside the engine which is why the plastic container must be kept full. Too much heat causes extra wear to the moving parts inside the motor and excessive heat can damage it permanently.
Generally people do not pay too much attention to their tires unless they are flat. This is a big mistake; the tires on your car were designed to run with a specific amount of air pressure inside of them. Maintaining this air pressure allows uniform wear on the tires. Maintaining this air pressure makes the car easier and safer to handle, it also saves fuel. When the factory designed the tires you are using they tested them so that only a specific amount of the tire was in contact with the road while driving. If the tire has too much air the tire will lose flexibility and the drive will be bumpy even on a flat, paved road. When the tires, especially the front tires, do not have enough air; a larger portion of the tire rolls on the pavement making it harder make turns or curves. Deflated tires may also make your car slide if you are going fast and have to apply the brakes suddenly. Solving and preventing this problem is easy enough, all you need is a tire gauge and a few minutes to check each tire. If you do not know or do not remember how much pressure your tires should have; no problem, you can find it on the tire itself.
These are a few simple maintenance tips that will help you improve your car’s performance, save fuel and most of all protect your car and the people in it. They are not hard to do once a week and can save you from a lot of pain and headaches. The best part is that you do not even have to know anything about cars and engines to do them. With the exception of the timely oil and oil filter change, the rest you can do at home without the need for tools or any expertise or experience. Preventing engine and car problems is always cheaper and better than having to call a tow truck because your car is overheated or a tire blew up. These few tips will keep your old car running better and longer than you had expected.