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Best tips for maintaining car engine

  #1  
Old 02-14-2010, 08:30 AM
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Default Best tips for maintaining car engine

Here are the best tips for maintaining car engine:

1. Engine oil is the most element of a car engine that plays a vital role in car performance. It should be changed periodically or after every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Also check the oil level and refill the tank if the level is low.

2. Check the condition of the air filter. If you find any kind of dirt or crack in the air filter, immediately replace it or else it would hamper the functioning of the car engine.

3. Whenever you decide to replace engine parts, ensure that you use original components. Faulty and fake engine components may damage the engine completely if they don't fit in well or are not reliable.

4. Use clean fuel for your car. Adding a fuel stabilizer to the engine can also be helpful for preventing gas from going stale.

5. For proper functioning of the car engine you also need to check the condition of the car battery.

6. The battery case should be free from dirt and cracks. If in case you find any leakage or dust on the surface of the battery case, replace the battery immediately.

7. A car engine also comprises a timing belt that runs the engine and some even comprise a serpentine belt that runs various pumps and accessories in the car. If you find wear and tear of these belts, then you should replace them or else it would hamper the efficiency of the car engine.

8. Ensure that all the car fluids including the brake fluid, engine fluid,engine coolant, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid are topped up to the marked level. Ensuring that all fluid levels are topped off can maintain the health of your engine.

9. Inspect the condition of the spark plug and if required change them. Damaged or ineffective spark plugs hamper the performance of the car engine and also prevents costly engine repairs.

10. If in case you find any kind of strange noises from the engine, get it checked from the mechanic and make sure that the necessary repair is done.
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-2010, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

I would have to disagree On only using oem parts. Sometimes thus is the case an other times it is not. Just depends on te vehicle and the part that needs to be replaced.
 
  #3  
Old 02-26-2010, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

Originally Posted by ricko2 View Post
Here are the best tips for maintaining car engine:

1. Engine oil is the most element of a car engine that plays a vital role in car performance. It should be changed periodically or after every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Also check the oil level and refill the tank if the level is low.

Modern Synthetic oil can often be run to 10,000 miles or more before changing. A lot of European cars have 15,000 mile oil change intervals

2. Check the condition of the air filter. If you find any kind of dirt or crack in the air filter, immediately replace it or else it would hamper the functioning of the car engine.

Any kind of dirt? You would replace it 5 minutes after putting it in. Replace when required. Your owners manual will give suggested intervals but these can be altered depending on needs or driving conditions. Mine are changed (as well as the cabin filters) at 20,000 mile intervals.

3. Whenever you decide to replace engine parts, ensure that you use original components. Faulty and fake engine components may damage the engine completely if they don't fit in well or are not reliable.

I hate to tell you this but often times non-OEM parts are better or just as good as what the factory installs.

4. Use clean fuel for your car. Adding a fuel stabilizer to the engine can also be helpful for preventing gas from going stale.

I agree with buying fuel from a station that sells a lot of product. They will be less likely to have contaminated fuel. The only time you need to add fuel stabilizer is if you are storing your car for a period of time.

5. For proper functioning of the car engine you also need to check the condition of the car battery.

Big hint here...Batteries don't last forever. If you have a 4 year warranty on a battery, replace it after 4 years. You won't get stuck on the side of the road that way....

6. The battery case should be free from dirt and cracks. If in case you find any leakage or dust on the surface of the battery case, replace the battery immediately.

Dust?????? Dirt????? Just clean it off. Do you throw your clothes away when they get dirty?

7. A car engine also comprises a timing belt that runs the engine and some even comprise a serpentine belt that runs various pumps and accessories in the car. If you find wear and tear of these belts, then you should replace them or else it would hamper the efficiency of the car engine.

Not all cars have timing belts that need to be replaced. A lot of them have chains. Replace serpentine belts at the intervals indicated in your manual or 4 years (whichever comes first) and you will never be stuck on the side of the road.

8. Ensure that all the car fluids including the brake fluid, engine fluid,engine coolant, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid are topped up to the marked level. Ensuring that all fluid levels are topped off can maintain the health of your engine.

9. Inspect the condition of the spark plug and if required change them. Damaged or ineffective spark plugs hamper the performance of the car engine and also prevents costly engine repairs.

As a general rule, if you need to remove your spark plugs, they need to be changed. Modern engines/plugs are designed to go 100,000 miles or more before changing.

10. If in case you find any kind of strange noises from the engine, get it checked from the mechanic and make sure that the necessary repair is done.
 

Last edited by GeorgiaHybrid; 02-26-2010 at 09:20 PM.
  #4  
Old 02-27-2010, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

9. Inspect the condition of the spark plug and if required change them. Damaged or ineffective spark plugs hamper the performance of the car engine and also prevents costly engine repairs.

As a general rule, if you need to remove your spark plugs, they need to be changed. Modern engines/plugs are designed to go 100,000 miles or more before changing.
I had a look at ours and just re-installed, well ahead of schedule. The HCHII does not have a published schedule, instead relies on in-dash Maintenance Minder to set service intervals. The reputed interval for replacement is around 120,000km (coupled with valve inspection, which I also did preemptively).

I inspected them around 60,000km: they looked pristine. I cleaned them with carb cleaner and verified the gap (with the HCHII plugs abrasive cleaning and gap adjustment will damage the plug), cleaned the threads and lightly lubed with anti-seize compound, and re-installed to proper torque.

The HCHII's plugs are long life, cost over $20 each, and 8 are required (with 4 cylinder engine!), so replacement is a financial undertaking.

In years past I would replace plugs yearly, but these were low-end plugs that needed replacement, with center electrodes getting well rounded. With one plug per cylinder, and price around $2~3 each, they were easier on the pocket.
 

Last edited by Mendel Leisk; 02-27-2010 at 07:05 AM.
  #5  
Old 02-27-2010, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

Mendel,

That was why I stated "if you need to remove them"...... If you run a good grade of gasoline, keep your maintainence up on the engine and don't drive under extreme conditions, modern plugs will easily run well past the 100,000 mile mark. I usually change mine at the 90,000 or 100,000 mile service that I do but never inspect them if there are no problems. If the car has a timing belt, I change plugs while I am changing the belt at 90,000. If the engine has a chain, I will change them at 100,000 miles.

By the way, when changing the timing belt, do yourself a favor and go ahead and change the water pump (if the timing belt drives it), timing belt tensioner (if possible) and the cam and cranksaft seals. It is just cheap insurance while the engine is torn down to that stage.

I have seen two engines in the past month (a V6 Saturn and a V6 Chrysler) where the timing belt tensioner bearings went out and let the belt come off. Both engines were interference fit engines and the owners decided to replace them with used engines rather than go to the expense of trying to fix them. At a minimum, when this happens, the valves will be bent. At the worst (which was what happened to these two), the valves put holes in the pistons and pretty much destroyed the heads.
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-2010, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

^^also remember to set valve lash after any time the head has Ben removed. A guy I know didn't set the valve lash on his duramax that afternoon I was down there pulling it out of the truck and tearing it down. To find junk heads,block,pistons and some of the rods and valves, basically the entire thing was toasted.

Setting the valve lash will help you Idebtify if you put something together wrong as in my Buddies story the picture below show what I found when j tore his motor down. This is what happens when valves meet pistons.

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  #7  
Old 02-28-2010, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

Dave, I agree, particularly with your second paragraph, there's a a lot of components that might as well be declared consumables and replaced, given the effort needed to tear down. Also, all the accessory belts, like AC and alternator, I'd add, if the car's over 4 years old.

I think these "maintenance lists" themselves are problematic. The wording can lead to confusion if not carefully proof-read, ie: the OP's suggestion that the 12 volt battery should be replaced if cracked or dusty. I think he meant only the cracked bit, LOL. D.O. for bit of dust on air filter necessitating replacement.
 
  #8  
Old 02-28-2010, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

Mendel,

I don't usually follow the manuals schedule on a lot of items because I happen to hate being stuck on the side of the road. A little common sense goes a long ways when dealing with your car. As I mentioned above, my cars get a major service by me at the 90,000 or 100,000 mile mark. In addition to the above, I replace all radiator and heater core hoses, all vacuum hoses, belts. coolants, fluids, etc. The only thing I might add with this hybrid is brake fluid changes.

I usually replace the brake fluid while changing the brakes but I don't know how long it will be before that happens. After 55,000 miles, I have very little wear on the brakes on my TCH so I will more than likely do a fluid change at the next OCI at 60,000 miles. I will also change the power split device/transmission fluid at the same time.

If I didn't have some of the equipment that I do, I might be tempted to replace a lot of the sensors at the 90,000 to 100,000 mile marks also. By that time the O2, TPS, MAF and others are starting to get a lot of age and become suspect when the MIL lights up. I wait however until a MIL is thrown, check to make sure and then replace them as required.

A little bit of simple maintainence goes a long way in having a breakdown free ride when you crank the engine and take off. Sadly, most people don't even do something as simple as checking the oil and other fluids under the hood and the air in their tires once a week, much less once a month. I had two guys at work that had over 75,000 miles on their cars and did not know how to open the hood.

Even worse, one of them can only remember changing the oil one time since he bought the car.
 
  #9  
Old 02-28-2010, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

Durallymax,

Those pictures look familar... The Saturn had a rod hanging out the side of the block. The best we can tell, when the intake hit the top of the piston, it snapped off, rattled around for a while and shattered the piston which let the rod smack around inside the cylinder and part company with the crank....

The fun thing was when she brought it in, she said she must have "ran over something" because it made a bang and quit.....
 
  #10  
Old 02-28-2010, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Best tips for maintaining car engine

Originally Posted by GeorgiaHybrid View Post
Durallymax,

Those pictures look familar... The Saturn had a rod hanging out the side of the block. The best we can tell, when the intake hit the top of the piston, it snapped off, rattled around for a while and shattered the piston which let the rod smack around inside the cylinder and part company with the crank....

The fun thing was when she brought it in, she said she must have "ran over something" because it made a bang and quit.....
The guy with the motor in the pictures above installed a set of head studs on his own, i told him to pull the engine to make it easier and to set the valve lash to make sure everything was correct.

he failed to do both and when he started it he heard some ticking, another guy said it was normal (duramaxes do normally tick), but this was a severe ticking, he then went a drove it around some ane came back to his shop then called me. He had taken the valvecovers off and things didnt quite look right, then he dropped something that fell down through an oil passage. When looking for it with a bore scope he saw what looked like a chunk of aluminum. So i packed my bags and headed down there to pull the motor out and tear it down and what i found was 8 junk pistons, 8 junk rods, 2 junk heads, multiple bad valves, and a trashed block.

What actually happened is unknown, there are a number of things that couldve happened, but whatever it was it did some big time damage.

The difference between the motor in my pics and the motor in a saturn is thousands of dollars which really hurt the guys wallet.
 

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