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Making Sure Your Engine is Well-Tuned

Every car owner hopes to never have their vehicle give out on them at the most inconvenient of times, and the best way to ensure that is keeping a well-tuned engine, as recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Properly maintaining the engine can lower one’s risk of needing major, costly repairs performed. From regularly changing oil to replacing air filters in due time, there are many maintenance jobs car owners can regularly perform to keep their vehicle running efficiently whether they do it themselves or hire it out. It’s best for car owners to maintain a regular calendar of when their vehicle requires maintenance, but in case you lose track, here are a few signs that an engine needs work.

Power Loss

Engine performance could be affected by many factors, such as dirty air filters, faulty spark plugs, or even a lack of gasoline. This can lead to a car hesitating or jerking, therefore making it hard to ascend hills or push the car to its maximum performance potential. For those DIY folks out there, try replacing older spark plugs and changing out the air filter in order to give the engine some more kick. When spark plugs burn out specifically, the engine loses considerable power.

Decreased Gas Mileage

To put it simply, decreased gas mileage is equal to that of burning your hard-earned money. To keep an engine’s moving parts lubricated, change the oil regularly to optimize the vehicle’s mileage, as recommended. Waiting an excessively long time to change oil allows a buildup of harmful sludge to accumulate, which can damage the engine’s components and affect its performance. Winter in particular is the worst time for a bad engine performance when it already takes a longer time for the engine to achieve the necessary temperature for optimum fuel efficiency. Allowing a car to idle in cold weather to heat up forces it to burn more gasoline.

Engine Knocking

Carbon deposits within an engine can weigh down a vehicle’s performance as well, often being the cause behind a pinging or knocking sound that can develop in the engine. The gasoline people put into their cars must have a specific amount of carbon cleaning detergent for preventing these deposits’ development, but it’s not always enough. This can become a problem, as it reduces the available space in the gas cylinder, increasing the compression that’s causing the car to ping or knock.

Exhaust Odor

If a vehicle emits a strange odor while idling, the serpentine belt could have rusted or burned out. To give more life to the engine as well as its cooling system, car owners must get their oil regularly changed to prevent the belt from snapping or loosening, thereby causing the vehicle to overheat. Broken serpentine belts could prevent the power steering and the air alternator from working efficiently, bringing the engine to a full stop. Check the belt regularly for debris and cracks, changing the belt as suggested by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

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