Modern cars are built last very long. Average cars last more than 3 lakh kilometres of driving but often, bad driving habits and not taking proper care of the cars make them age rapidly cutting their life short. The most important component of your car is the engine. You can change everything else, but changing an engine is quite a task. Taking proper care of the engine will enable you to squeeze out all your car can offer. We bring you common practices that can do irreversible damage your engine.
If your car has a tachometer ( a gauge that shows engine rpm), you must have noticed a red line above the higher numbers on the dial. It is there for a reason. The engine cannot sustain constant high revs and hence, the redline is there to ensure that you do not push the engine too much. Constant redlining your engine will keep your engine and turbo (if you’re driving diesel car) very hot. High revs keep your engine above ideal operating temperature. Ideal engine revs are generally lower for diesel engines and slightly higher for petrol engines. Always keep an eye on the red line and shift before you reach it. If your car does not have a tachometer, hear the engine noise and do not rev it too hard.
Not changing engine oil
Engine oil is the blood of the engine. We living organisms can produce and replace the old blood cells with new ones but engines can’t. Apart from lubrication, engine oil also cools the engine down and keeps the engine clean. Not changing it according to the car owner’s manual or the engine oil manufacturer’s recommended time period can do some serious damage to the engine. Modern synthetic engine oils have a changing period of 10,000 to 15,000 km depending on cars, make sure that you change the engine oil during this period. After the recommended engine oil change period, the engine starts to get sludge deposit making it inefficient.
Also, check your engine oil level. Not enough oil in the engine can damage it forever. Mineral engine oils and semi-synthetic engines oils have lower drainage period and should be changed more often.
Driving in deep water without snorkel
High-pressure combustion takes place inside an engine and as we all know, water and fire are not exactly very friendly to each other, driving in deep water may prove fatal for the engine. If your car is not built for deep water driving conditions, stay away from such situations. Most owner’s manual have information about water wading depth. Water enters into the engine compartment through the air-intake system and the engine goes into hydrostatic lock mode in which the engine does not work. If flooding is common in your area and driving is necessary to reach from point A to B, a snorkel should be installed in the car, which keeps the engine safe by making the air-intake opening higher than the normal.
Revving the engine without warming up
Cold start or starting a car after a gap of few hours is the time when most of the wear happens to the vital parts of the engine. During cold starts, the engine oil, which forms a thin film over the moving parts of the engine is not able to form a coat properly. If you rev your car soon after a cold start, the engine life comes down drastically. Always wait for a minute or two before engine warms up and the oil is spread even throughout the engine. It is always advised to keep the engine rpm below 2,000 rpm for first two kilometres after a cold start.
Wrong fuel usage
Petrol and diesel engines are engineered in a very different manner. The technology used to burn fuel in a petrol engine is nothing similar to the diesel engine. Wrong fuel can cause serious harm to the engine. If you crank the engine and wrong fuel enters the engine, it may cause serious damage. The solution is to remove every bit of wrong fuel by opening and cleaning the engine thoroughly. Always make sure that right fuel goes inside the fuel tank. You can also put a sticker on the inside of fuel cap marking it petrol or diesel to avoid any such mishaps.