Tips & Tricks

How to Prolong Car Engine Life and Prevent Its Failures: 5 Tips

Here are some simple tips on how to prolong car engine life or at least prevent its failures the engine from failure.

When buying a car, it’s better to immediately choose the one with a reliable engine, fortunately, there are no problems with choice and reasonable recommendations nowadays. Brand reputation is also important. For example, Toyota or Honda produce reliable gasoline engines, while Mercedes-Benz or BMW are famous for making good diesel engines.

Most engine issues occur for one main reason – poor engineering. A car owner can’t influence engineers’ decisions but can prolong the life of the vehicle’s ‘heart’,

if he or she will follow at least 5 Tips:

1. Regardless of whether your engine is naturally aspirated or turbocharged, timely replace engine oil, an oil filter, a timing belt or timing chain, and a water pump:

  • Any engine oil needs to be OEM* approved and changed every 6,000-10,000 miles (10,000-15,000 km), together with the oil filter
  • Replace the timing belt every 60,000-95,000 miles (100,000-150,000 km)
  • Inspect the timing chain every 60,000 miles (100,000 km) and change it if necessary.
  • Replace the water pump together with the timing belt or chain to save time and money.

2. Stick to a normal service interval that is every year or every 12,000 mi (20,000 km), depending on which comes first. Regular engine maintenance is essential for its long and cost-effective operation.

3. Change spark plugs every 20,000-30,000 miles (30,000-50,000 km), or every 60,000 miles (100,000 km) for a diesel engine.  

4. If a check engine light turns on, you’d better make the inspection of your vehicle at the diagnostic center before going on a ride. The reason why the check engine is on can be a failure of a spark plug, catalytic converter, oxygen sensor, or other.

5. Replace the timing belt and timing chain in case of their malfunction. A ticking noise during the engine run or misfiring while moving means the belt is not Ok. A worn-out timing chain that needs replacement produces a rattling sound when the engine is idling.

*OEM = original equipment manufacturer. OEM parts follow strict standards and have specific serial numbers and RFID tags. They are mostly of better quality, more expensive, and wear out slower than after-market parts.

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