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February 2021

Vehicle engine

Here are four simple maintenance checks to keep your vehicle’s engine healthy

Until EVs completely take over, we’re stuck with the conventional ICE-motor vehicles which, due to the complexity of their powertrains, require regular maintenance to function properly.

Spending no more than half an hour at least twice a month inspecting your vehicle could save you time and money in the long run. Check the oil level
Grossly overlooked by the majority of car owners, this simple check only takes a few minutes. Make sure the car is on level ground and the engine is warm, but not running. Open the hood and remove the dipstick, which is usually located somewhere near the oil cap.

Wipe it off, push it back and wait a second or two. Remove it again and check the oil level, which should be between the two marks “MIN” and “MAX”.

If it is close to the minimum, top up with fresh oil, but don’t take any type; you must use the exact same viscosity that is already inside the engine. If you’re not sure, check your owner’s manual, call your mechanic, or schedule a full oil change. Check the coolant level
If the engine overheats, expect very expensive repairs. So, along with oil, coolant is one of the most important fluids used by your car’s powertrain.

Make sure the engine is cool when performing this check because if it is running or hot some coolant is going through the system and it could mislead you.

The coolant reservoir is installed in the engine compartment and is usually graduated. The level should be between “MIN” and “MAX”, and if it is too low, top it up as soon as you can. Don’t just pour in coolant and mix it with distilled water. A 1: 1 ratio is ideal, but if you live in areas where temperatures drop well below freezing, you may want to add 60% or 70% coolant and 40% or 30% distilled water. , respectively.

If you do this and the level drops within a few days or sooner, there is definitely a leak somewhere, so take it to your local mechanic for a thorough check. Check the air filter
Just like you, the engine needs clean air to run properly, and all cars have at least one filter to make sure that debris doesn’t reach its internal components.

Accessing this filter may be more difficult on some vehicles, but a quick online search will show you how to do it easily. In modern vehicles, it is usually installed inside a rectangular box called a cold air collector box which can be opened by removing clips or screws.

Once done, remove the filter and inspect it. If it looks too dirty, have it replaced. Your car will thank you for being more efficient. Check the serpentine belt (s)
All vehicles have one, some have a couple. These rubber belts are used to drive multiple devices including the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, or air conditioning compressor.

When they’re about to let go, you’ll hear squeaks from the engine bay when you’re driving, but it’s always a good idea to check them out even if they’re not squealing.

Visually check them for cracks or crevices, and don’t be afraid to pinch, squeeze, and twist them. If you see any signs of wear, have them replaced immediately. They are generally very inexpensive, and having them replaced at the right time can save you thousands of dollars in additional repairs.


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