Here are a few handy tips on how to look after your car’s engine…

1) Change Oil Frequently.

Your dad knew that frequent oil changes were key to keeping his Buick on the road another year. And while owner’s manuals for today’s cars recommend increasing long intervals between oil changes, the fact remains — frequent changes flush abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine, prolonging its life. Most owner’s manuals recommend a more frequent interval for “severe conditions.” To maximize the life of your engine, follow the severe intervals recommendations, especially if drive regularly in stop-and-go traffic.

2) Check Engine Oil At Every Other Fill-up.

For an accurate reading, follow this procedure:

a) Run or drive your car for about 15 minutes to warm the oil; then park the car in a level place.Turn off the engine and wait 15 minutes to allow the oil in the engine to drain back to the oil pan;

b) Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel or rag. Reinsert the dipstick, being sure to push it in all the way, then pull it out again to check the oil level. It should be somewhere between the hash marks on the dipstick;

c) Add the type and amount of oil as specified in your owner’s manual, if necessary.

3) Avoid Over-filling Your Crankcase With Oil.

Don’t overfill your engine crankcase with oil. If you do, the oil can rise into the crankshaft, where air bubbles will get churned into the oil.Your oil pump can’t do a good job of circulating oil with air bubbles. The result can be overheating and stress on engine components. Overfilling can also foul your spark-plugs. In fact, overfilling is a bad idea with all automotive fluids.

4) Heavier Is Not Always Better.

Use the oil viscosity grade that’s recommended in your owner’s manual for the temperature range you expect
for the coming season. Lighter grades (lower viscosity, such as SAE 5W-30), often specified for today’s smaller car engines, will deliver easier starts and better engine protection in winter and improved gas mileage throughout the year, thanks to less internal engine friction. Do not use a heavy grade of oil in cold winter climes or you will risk damage to your engine.

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