The heart of your car has got to be the engine. In fact I’ll even go a step further and say that the engine is basically your car. Most people think that an aesthetic chassis is what encompasses a good car. However, a car that is quite rugged but befitted with a powerful engine will be able to outperform a sleeker looking inferior engine opponent. The maxim “don’t judge a book by its cover,” applies here as well, where the chassis of a car is its cover, and the engine its contents. Before we go into any engine tips, we must first understand how the engine works.
So How does the Engine Work?
Your engine works by internal combustion, where air and fuel are channeled to the engines cylinders where they are compressed by a piston. Once compressed a small electric spark from a spark plug lights up the explosive mixture, which in turn pushes down the piston on to the crankshaft and unto the gears where your car starts to move.
Tip #1: Take it Slow
As human beings we tend to be an excitable bunch especially when dealing with anything that seems different or new. The first thing that comes into mind when you first get your new car is to test it to its maximum speeds. However, during your car’s “break-in period” you should take it a little easy on the throttle. The “break-in period” refers to the first 1000 miles of your car. Why we do this is because there are parts of your engine that need to be molded into the right shape that best befits your engine. Thus, ensure you don’t exceed 120.7 km/h. This could mean the difference between an engine that goes for 100,000 miles and another that goes for 200,000 miles.
Another reason to drive slowly is so as to avoid too much wear and tear on your car. For most cars the ideal speed is at 80.5 to 88.5 km/h. To go at speeds of 112.7 km/h you require almost 160% more horsepower. Thus, higher speeds mean your pistons are pumping more vigorously while your shaft and gears are being rotated more. There is increased engine activity as it has to dig deep to give off more power, meaning your engine is susceptible to more wear and tear, unlike if you ride it a little slower.
Tip #2: Regular Checks
Check that your engine oil is at the levels it should be in. Lubrication is important for your engine to reduce wear and tear. Replace the air and oil filters before they get clogged, this is for you especially if you like to go off road a lot. Make sure to check on your spark plugs regularly, as a dysfunctional spark plug can cause a lesser power output from your engine. This means you have lesser hp for your disposal.
Tip #3: Make Use of Modern Technology
It’s great that your local mechanic was this close to being in the Ferrari F1 team of 1970, however today’s engine is a whole new beast altogether. It takes advantage of self-diagnosing computer systems which point out to what may be causing problems. Thus, you don’t have to dismantle the whole system to know what is wrong with your engine. This by the way is not to scoff at experience, there are problems that may not appear in these computer systems that may need a cultured hand. However, today the engine is quite different and uses a lot of new technology which may leave even a good mechanic bewildered.
Tip #4: Your VW Beetle is not a pickup, Lighter Loads Please
If you have a small car like Vitz or a Beetle, then you have to understand the design of its engine. This engines are made for light loads. Their torque doesn’t much up to those of heavy duty cars, which are able to carry more weights. Thus, when you go ahead to overload your small car with more weights than it can handle you strain its engine needlessly.
Did I miss something, or do you have an opinion you need to express about some of the tips? Please leave a comment.
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