Engine Diagnostic Techniques and Maintenance Tips for Longer Life
Proper engine maintenance improves the lifespan of the engine itself and gives your vehicle more mileage per hour. In the domain of cars, covering a longer distance using the same amount of fuel is what all car owners want. For high speed and smooth rides, you must learn how to diagnose your engine and carry out some routine maintenance.
Many diagnostic techniques can be used to determine the status of your engine. Smelling and listening to the sounds your car makes when you are starting and running it will help you notice unusual sounds and smell. Clicking or popping sounds may indicate a low level of oil in the engine. If you smell some oil or gas, it is likely that one of the fluids is leaking into the engine bay. A smell of the sweet-scented coolant indicates that the engine is not cooling sufficiently which can damage the engine due to overheating.
Another effective way of diagnosing your car’s engine is to use a plain vacuum gauge. If the gauge records high steady readings, then your engine is healthy. When in higher altitudes, the gauge may record relatively low readings.
Some of the maintenance tips for your engine include:
- Avoiding cold starts
Although people believe that you should start the engine and leave it running for a while in cold weather, this hurts the engine. When you leave the engine running in cold weather, the gasoline will dissolve the oil and strip the engine cylinders of the much-needed lubricant. According to Ciatti who is a mechanical engineer at the Argonne National Laboratory, using electronic fuel injection sensors is not a good idea as some of the fuel will get stuck on the engine cylinders. Instead, you can use space heaters to start your drive with a warm engine.
- Driving smoothly
When starting your car, ensure that you use a small amount of fuel and let the engine heat up gradually to the ideal temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing so, you will have reduced the strain on the engine as cold oil is thick and needs time to flow freely. If your routine drives cover short distances, consider taking long drives on the highway so that your engine can be operational for a long while. Running an engine for a shorter period causes moisture to accumulate in your vehicle because the engine does not warm up sufficiently.
- Changing oil regularly
Leaving your engine to run on oil that has been in the tank for a while can damage the engine especially when the oil has some dirty particles. You can take your car to a good car maintenance specialist. If you are looking for a reliable specialist online, note that branding in the motor vehicle repair industry is defined by the company’s domain name. Failure to change the oil regularly leads to wearing out of the engine as the lubricant will have lost its lubricating properties. Low levels of oil are also detrimental as some moving parts of the engine will not be lubricated. As you replace the oil, change the oil filters as well.
- Installing a fresh air intake system for better combustion
A stream of cool air will lower the workload of the engine because the fresh air is rich in oxygen making fuel combustion much easier. The engine will produce the needed power from little fuel and will not be forced to burn extra fuel to attain the desired horsepower. To ensure that the car accelerates smoothly when starting the engine, change the air filters regularly as dirty ones will force you to start off on full-throttle acceleration.
- Avoid leaving an idle engine running
According to California Energy Commission, an idle engine damages the engine components. It is much better to let the engine reach its operating temperature when running than idling in a parking lot or driveway. When idling, the engine burns the oil partially. Fuel residues will thus be deposited on the engine cylinder walls damaging the components of the engine. The car will also consume more fuel than expected.
- Maintaining the car regularly by aid of the car’s manual
Regular maintenance ensures that both minor and major problems are identified and rectified in due course. Maintenance should be done as per the car’s manual. In fact, the contents of your car manual should be at your figure tips. Remember that the branding of your vehicle maintenance specialist will also affect the quality of services the car receives. A good brand of a vehicle repair business has a domain name that represents the quality of services offered.
Having the diagnostic knowledge will help you save on fuel cost because a poorly maintained engine burns more fuel than a properly maintained one. You will also save on the maintenance cost and maintain a healthy driving force. The domain of cars is also utilizing the use of data technology. Have your repair specialist collect as much data as possible for a better diagnosis.