Utah mechanics see all sorts of engine issues on a daily basis.  There are a few simple things to pay attention to that can save your engine and preserve its life.  This article will address some car engine basics and common issues.  Here are some things to remember.

Change Your Oil

If you are only going to choose to do one thing to care for your engine, changing your oil is potentially the most important thing you can do.  It’s inexpensive and quick, and you only have to do it about 4-5 times per year, depending on how much you drive.  It’s advised that you change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles.  Engines require lubrication and without such, will dry up and burn out.  You do not want to run out of oil, as it will cost you a new engine.   

Check the Cooling System Regularly

You’ll know if you have cooling problems because the temperature gauge of your vehicle will read either really cool or really warm.  Some of the causes for this can be that you’ve let your coolant level get too low, there could be a leak, maybe the drive belts have become loose, perhaps there is a faulty water pump, a restricted radiator, or other things.  These could all lead to overheating.  Overcooling your car could mean that the thermostat is stuck open or that there is a problem with the fan switch—either shorting or locking on the clutch.  To treat this problem or to keep the cooling system in check, you need to pay attention to how the temperature reads in your car.  Second, get it diagnosed.  Don’t make assumptions.  Have a certified mechanic check it out.  Last, fix it properly and then, keep your car regularly tuned up.

Replace Fuel Filter

It’s amazing that something as simple as a fuel filter can give your engine issues.  If you do not change this regularly, the screens will collect dirt, debris, and rust.  Eventually, this will get into your engine, if you never change this filter.  This is a really inexpensive thing to change out, but if left undone can cause quite a bit of damage to your engine.  Don’t forget to change this out regularly.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light is a tool created to help you.  The light comes on when there is a problem with your vehicle and it alerts you that action needs to be taken.  If your check engine light comes on, do not ignore it.  Sometimes the light comes on for something as simple as a loose gas cap.  Other times, it’s something more serious that could impact your safety.  If you have an OBD scanner, it will tell you what the code means.  If not, you’ll need to seek a diagnostic.  You can use a local car mechanic and they’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong.  Bottom line—don’t ignore the warning signs.

Let it Warm-Up

We’re all guilty of this.  We wake up late and we’re in a hurry to get to our appointment or work that we don’t wait for our car engine to warm up, before speeding off to our destination.  If you notice the temperature gauge on your vehicle, it will tell you how warm or cold the car is.  To avoid damage to your engine, you should always let your vehicle warm up after sitting in extreme temperatures.  This will help your car last much longer.

You don’t have to be a mechanic or car guru to take proper care of your vehicle.  Be smart and responsible.  Take your car into your Utah mechanic for regular oil changes.  Keep an eye on the temperature gauge and check the cooling system regularly.  Change the fuel filter.  Remember that the check engine light comes on for a reason.  And last, let your vehicle warm up properly so that you are not too rough on your engine.  If you do these things, you’re sure to extend the life of your engine and keep it running smoothly.