You can make your car engine last longer with simple, routine engine maintenance tasks. With proper care, your car engine should last for more than 200,000 miles. This can avoid the need for an expensive engine replacement or purchasing a new vehicle, which is both costly and time-consuming. Everyone should do all they can to take care of their car, and this review offers insights into how you can get the most out of your car engine and continue driving it well beyond the 200,000-mile mark. 

Tips for prolonging the life of your car engine

To get the most out of your car, you should have a plan for how you are going to care for it. This should include how often you service your vehicle and receive oil changes, established rules for the RPMs you like to stay between while driving and how to warm up your car properly on cold days. The following is an in-depth look at five useful tips for how you can prolong the life of your car engine. 

The importance of quality oil and regular oil changes

The oil is an essential component of the car engine. It lubricates the engine and helps the moving parts function properly. Motor oil also reduces sludge buildup and keeps the engine clean, which also ensures your car engine lasts longer. 

However, it is essential to use high-quality oil, the right type of oil and receive regular oil changes to get the most out of your car engine. Use the recommended oil type, which your manufacturer or mechanic should provide. If the low oil light ever comes on your dashboard, be sure to add more oil, visit your mechanic or receive an oil change as soon as possible. 

Also, be sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommendation for how often you should receive an oil change. Some manufacturers and car mechanics only recommend an oil change every 5,000 miles, whereas some others may recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles. 

Servicing engine trouble promptly before issues worsen

Car issues do not fix themselves. If there is a minor concern, such as a clicking sound while driving, difficulty starting the engine on colder days or the check engine light comes on, then having it serviced promptly is important. Otherwise, the issue will inevitably worsen and lead to the need for expensive repairs or car engine replacement. 

On the other hand, fixing minor concerns as soon as they arise is a much more affordable approach. Routine maintenance and oil changes may seem like an unnecessary expense if your car is running well, but it can save you a lot of money long-term by keeping your car’s engine in optimal condition. 

Take your car in for all scheduled mechanical tune-ups

This tip may seem obvious but many drivers skip out on mechanical tune-ups when their car performs at an ideal level and there are no concerns. However, it is important to take your car in for service, regardless of how well the engine is running. This reduces the risk of engine trouble developing down the road.

Your car should have established service intervals. Talk to your mechanic or car manufacturer about how often tune-up visits are encouraged. In general, cars with more miles on them require an engine tune-up every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. If your car is under 50,000 miles, then you may only need an engine tune-up approximately every 25,000 miles. 

Of course, regardless of the condition of your engine or the number of miles, schedule a visit with your mechanic any time issues arise or the check engine light comes on. 

Warm-up and cool down your car engine properly

Car engine oil takes longer to warm up on cold days. When the engine oil is cold, it is not as effective in lubricating all of the moving parts and keeping the engine working in an effortless and efficient manner. To prevent any damage to the engine on cold days, crank the engine and let it sit idle for approximately a minute before you begin driving. Most importantly, do not “rev” the engine for the first ten to fifteen minutes of driving until it has had a chance to properly warm up. 

It is also important to allow your engine to cool down properly after driving. In addition to starting your driving journey by driving cautiously without revving your engine, it is also encouraged to drive slowly as you approach your destination as well. This allows the engine to slowly work itself down and cool off before the engine is turned off. Otherwise, the engine may get too hot and harm the engine over an extended period of time. 

Drive carefully, floor it occasionally and lighten the load

Like most things, the less stress you put on your car engine the longer it will last. Therefore, you should strive to keep the number of RPMs you use at a minimum most of the time. Many car manufacturers and mechanics recommend driving between 1,500 and 2,000 RPMs to reduce excess stress on your engine. With that said, flooring it safely in a low traffic area once in a while can help your engine stay clean. 

One of the most underrated car maintenance tips is to lighten the load, meaning make the car lighter by removing excess, unnecessary cargo in your trunk and backseat. Lighter weight cars put less stress on the engine. While there are times when carrying a lot of weight may be necessary, reducing the load as much as possible is a great way to have your car engine last longer. 

As mentioned, driving carefully and lightening the load puts less stress on your car’s engine. This not only helps your car engine last longer, but it also can help you maximize your fuel efficiency as well. 

The bottom line

You can make your engine last longer by having a detailed plan for how you will care for it and reduce the risk of early engine trouble. Your engine care plan should include regular tune-up visits, oil changes, warming your engine and cooling it down properly and lightening the load as much as possible.

Aaron Westbury
Aaron is a content writer with a passion for cars. He enjoys learning new things and loves to share what he learns with others. Aaron also has a Bachelor's in English and years of experience as a writer, and he constantly seeks to improve and make his writing more informative and helpful for readers. Although a writer by day, Aaron enjoys his free time by getting outdoors and staying active anyway he can.

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    6 Comments

    1. Everyone knows the proper way to maintain a car is to put a piece of tape over the check engine light, so that the problem goes away on it’s own.

      1. It is not common to see a used car with a piece of tape on the backside of the dash to cover the light and prevent it from showing, or to disable the bulb in some way. Be sure to change your oil, and replace and gap your new spark plugs correctly. This goes a long way if you have not done your plugs.

    2. oil change every 5k will go a long way.

    3. Thank you for the guilty reminder… Setting an appointment now!

    4. I agree maintenance is very important if you want your car to last you.

    5. I’ve always stressed the Warm-up, especially in colder climates. Great article!

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