Here are Some Useful Driving Tips to Keep Your Car’s Engine Healthy

Car dashboard 6 photos
Photo: Photo by Rawan Yasser on Unsplash
Toyota CorollaVW Golf GTIAudi SQ8Shifting GearsEngine Repair
The engine is the heart of your vehicle and changing the performing routine maintenance, like changing the fluids and filters at recommended intervals, isn’t enough to keep it running smoothly. The way you drive can also have adverse effects on the powerplant.
A new engine costs more than a used car in most cases, so taking care of it is critical, especially in the fragile and uncertain economic climate we’re experiencing.

Most damage is done in winter, when owners tend to make a very common mistake: they start the car and leave it idling until the engine reaches the normal operating temperature.

If the car does not feature auxiliary heating, this can do more harm than good because the engine warms up at a much slower pace when idling.

Oil flow and temperatures also rise slower and the increased amount of exhaust gasses can clog the catalytic converter, causing an increase in fuel consumption and emissions or can lead to it failing.

The best way to avoid this is to leave the car idle for a couple of minutes then drive off slowly and maintain normal revs until the engine reaches optimum temperature. This will happen a lot faster and exhaust gasses will be properly eliminated.

Toyota Corolla
Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation
Once you get moving, regardless of the season or temperature, it’s important to keep your inner Lewis Hamilton at bay, as much as possible.

Driving aggressively and at high speeds frequently does not only get you in trouble with the law but also increases the wear of the engine, especially if you’re not driving a high-performance car.

If you’re driving a manual and get overtaken by an uglier, older, and less capable car, flooring the accelerator at low revs or when in a high gear is a bad idea as well.

This will make the engine work hard unnecessarily and cause premature wear, so keep an eye on the tachometer (rev counter) and downshift before you floor it.

Shifting Gears
Photo: Photo by maar gaming on Unsplash
Another tip for manual gearbox enthusiasts is to avoid excessive engine braking. This eventually damages the powertrain and should be used only in extreme cases like winter driving, when the road is icy and slippery.

SUVs and trucks are popular because they are designed from the get-go to offer handle bigger loads and better towing but a normal car with a small engine is not. That’s why it is important to avoid big loads if your car was not built for this. Like the other bad habits we discussed, it will put a strain on the engine and cause excessive wear.

Finally, if you recently bought a new car keep in mind that its engine requires a break-in period to help all the moving parts adjust and settle. The temptation to push a new car hard from the get-go is hard to resist, especially if it’s a capable performance vehicle.

But driving it at normal revs and legal speeds for the first 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) or so could make a huge difference in the future. Pay close attention to the information provided by the dealership and consult the owner’s manual for the best way to break in and protect your new engine.

Until fully autonomous driving and electric combustion will take over and completely replace vehicles as we know them, changing out bad driving habits and prolonging the life of our beloved ICEs should be a priority for anyone who loves their cars.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Vlad Radu
Vlad Radu profile photo

Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories