Tips to Keep Your Engine Running
Maintenance tips that will help your car perform at its best.
By Carter Jung
People associate spring as a time for tidying up around the house, but what about your car? This year, we recommend extending the spirit of cleaning beyond your home and taking it under your car’s hood. Heeding these five tips will not only make you feel more accomplished, it ensures your car will perform at its best.
As basic as it sounds, change your engine’s oil and oil filter. Sticking to your manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals is one of the most cost effective ways to help keep your engine running long and strong. For those of you residing in freezing climates that went with a lighter viscosity oil for the winter, now would be a good time to switch back to the manufacturer’s recommended viscosity grade.
For those drivers using Pennzoil Platinum, you’re in the clear! Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic motor oil is designed for advanced engine technology – including turbo-charged engines and smaller, more-efficient engines built with tighter tolerances – for which many manufacturers require low-viscosity motor oils to protect metal parts from wear and heat.
In other words, Pennzoil Platinum, a first-of-its-kind full synthetic motor oil made from natural gas, is tough enough to withstand extreme temperatures whether hot or cold!
Top off the coolant reservoir and check the radiator hoses for any wear. Most manufacturer’s recommend that if you live in a more moderate climate and it’s been more than two years or 30k miles since you last flushed the radiator, to go ahead and do so. Other manufacturers, including Chevrolet and Mercedes, recommend flushing the radiator once every 150,000 miles.
As you’re flushing the radiator, change out the engine’s thermostat while you’re at it.
On the subject of liquids, top off power steering, brake, transmission oil and washer fluids. If you’re not sure what to refill it with, refer to your car’s manual or ask your local auto part store to look up your vehicle’s specs. If it’s your first time doing this at home, it’s a good idea to purchase a funnel or two.
Despite your vehicle’s recommended interval for changing an air filter, the conditions you drive in can significantly impact the lifespan of the unit. If you’re frequently driving in dirty, dusty or sandy conditions, you should be changing the air filter far more frequently.
To confirm whether it’s time for a new one, pop open your engine’s airbox and inspect the air filter. Visually inspect the media for dirt, grime, oil and debris, and change it depending on its condition.