We call want our car’s engines to last forever. In fact, manufacturers design engines to run for a few lakh kilometers without any major issues. But often, we hear car owners complaining about premature engine failures and engines needing rebuilds sooner than usual. So, how do you boost your car’s engine life to manufacturer designed figures? It’s not very difficult. Just follow the simple tips below.
Change engine oil religiously
The oil is the lifeblood of the engine, and the higher the quality of oil used, the better the engine will run over a longer period of time/distance. But more than just using a high quality oil, sticking to/bettering the manufacturer recommended oil change interval is very important. Fresh oil has better detergent, heat distributing and lubricating properties, which reduce over time. So, changing the oil at the recommended intervals helps the engine run better, and last longer.
Good quality fuel is a must
Bad quality fuel is a major cause of premature engine damage. From injectors to valve seals, a lot of critical engine parts can be damaged by poor quality fuel. So, it’s important that you ensure good quality fuel for your car. Sticking to company owned and company operated fuel stations is a good idea. The Shell chain of fuel stations are also known for dispensing high quality fuel, consistently.
Warm up before take off
60 % of all engine wear over the lifetime of an average engine happens during the first few minutes of it being started from cold. Treat the engine gently until it warms up and reaches operating temperature. This practice is a tried and tested way to extend engine life. Revving the engine hard when cold is a surefire recipe for excessive engine wear as the lubricant (oil) isn’t warm enough to protect all parts of the engine.
Avoid very short trips
Short trips of 2-3 kilometers are to be avoided when the engine of the car is cold. Frequently making such trips will mean that the engine will hardly get an opportunity to reach operating temperature, resulting in higher than normal engine wear. This is also the reason why a car that’s run more on the highway for a few lakh Kms will generally have a stronger engine than one that’s used for very short trips throughout its lifetime of just say 20,000 Kms. Hailing a taxi for short trips would be a better idea.
Never avoid preventive maintenance tasks
Follow the manual when it comes to preventive maintenance tasks that need to be carried out on the car’s engine. This can include tasks such as decarbonization, injector clean up, EGR clean up and even the timing belt change. These activities go a long way in extending the life of an engine, and ignoring them can cause premature engine failure and damage. So, stick to the book, and ensure that all preventive maintenance activities are carried out without fail.