There are more reasons than ever why your engine could fail with all the technology that now goes into running it. That's why most people these days automatically take their car straight to a
garage to be fixed, but the basics of the engine still remain the same and more times than none it is a basic problem that's causing it to malfunction.
For example a problem such as when you step on the gas there seems like there's less power it could be a simple thing like the engine needing new spark plugs or the air filter needs changing, these are easier problems to fix than you may
think below are some instructions to follow on changing the air filter in your engine:
- To see if your air filter needs changing take it out of its holder by unscrewing the screws holding it into place then shine a torch from the inside out, if you can't see any light or very little
then it can be said your filter needs changing.
- Before starting you need to make sure you have the correct tools for the job like Phillips screw driver, straight edge screw driver, new air filter & breather filter and a pair of pliers.
When you are sure you have all the right equipment you can follow the instructions.
- If your car is of an earlier year then your filter housing is most likely on top of your engine in a round holder you simply have to unscrew the wing nuts holding the casing in place, there may
also be some clips to remove as well. With newer models of cars the filter is most likely to be housed in a rectangular shaped container somewhere near the radiator in most cars, once found simply
unscrew/unclip the housing away from the filter then remove the filter. Make sure no dust or debris falls into the container when removing the old filter.
- When this is done fit the new filter (making sure it is the correct size other wise it won't function properly) and replace the housing ensuring it is fitted securely, being careful not to over
- You will then need to replace the breather filter which is situated usually on the side of the filter housing attached by a clip, simply pull of the clip replace the filter and clip back on.
Newer cars tend not to have breather filters as their inlet is situated underneath the air filter, still it is wise to check that the PCV is still in good condition.
As well as all the basic problems you can fix your self there are now modifications that can be made to your vehicles engine to make them more fuel efficient and as a result friendlier to the environment which is now becoming a big
issue for many people. Making sure your car is regularly maintained with air filter and spark plugs being replace as and when required, this affects the efficiency of the engine. Also other factors
you may not have considered such as the tyres being pumped up correctly greatly effect how efficient your engine performs. There are more drastic steps you can take like converting your cars engine
fuel to one of the more efficient gases such as LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) these fuels having a lower CO2 emission level making your engine less polluting to the
environment and more efficient. However, if considering this the work can only be performed by a professional and would probably be quite costly so ensure you have researched all possibilities before
going ahead with the work.
There may be lots of problems that can cause your car engine to fail but there is lots of help available both in training courses and online. The main thing to take into consideration is your
safety as working with any machinery there is a danger if the correct safety procedures aren't followed.
We all want to get an extensive, consistent performance from our cars. As with many things in life, this can be achieved with a little preparation instead of regular heavy work. Cars operate on a
series of connected systems so if a single component isn't functioning properly it can have a knock on effect to the overall performance.
Ultimately, a well maintained car is much more economic to you and the environment. To avoid any unnecessary roadside breakdowns we have prepared a guide to aid your preventative maintenance.
The first idea we recommend is keeping a record of any maintenance done to your car. Garages will prepare and update your record when ever work is carried out. Not only can you monitor when to
carry out regular maintenance from keeping a record but you can also keep a track of the costs of repairs and start to observe patterns and possible areas for improvement. A record of maintenance
will also add credibility to your cars history making it more attractive to buyers when you decide to sell your vehicle.
Oil left to sit in your engine system for prolonged stretches of time will gradually break down. As the oil breaks down it will increase in acidity and start to corrode internal components. If
left unattended the damage could require extensive work to return your car to normal. Higher qualities oils are more resistant to breaking down and reduce the risk of damage.
Depending upon your driving habits, on average, it is recommended that you get an oil change at least every 6,000 miles. If your car is not being used for prolonged amounts of time it is important
to perform maintenance to stop oil from settling. Start your car engine at least once a week and leave it to run for 10-15 minutes. This will help the oil to circulate and will stop it from
Air filters form an integral part of your engines air intake system. Air filters can become blocked with dust and debris by varying amounts depending on the conditions of the roads you use. If you
often drive through dusty, arid areas then you may need to change your filter every 6,000 miles. Average driving conditions will mean you will probably need to replace the filter every 15 or 20,000
miles. If your filter is blocked then more fuel will be consumed to draw through more air resulting in a significant drop in engine performance.
Blocked fuel filters can accelerate the deterioration of your fuel pumps. Your fuel filter should be replaced at least every 40,000 miles to reduce potential damage. To maintain your fuel filter
try to avoid letting your tank going below a quarter full. Having more petrol keeps the fuel pumps covered and reduces the temperature around them.
Any dirt or debris collected from pumps at petrol stations will sink to the bottom of the tank so when you are almost running empty the bottom layer of petrol will be drawn into your engine. This
in turn will distribute the debris around to other parts of your engine leading to more damage.
Similar to oil, coolants left to settle in your engine can break down
and start to wreak havoc. The damage is carried as the acidic nature of the decomposing coolants produces an electrical charge which can spread to major areas of your engine such as fuel intake at
the manifold which can spread to the cylinder heads and gaskets. If the damage does continue then major repairs will be needed. Coolants need to be changed and the cooling system drained and cleaned
every 50,000 miles or 5 years to prevent damage accurring.
Try to avoid sharp and unnecessary braking whilst driving. Overuse of your brakes causes the brake fluid to warm up which will then cause water in the fluid to boil. As the water boils air pockets
spring up blocking the supply of fluid and ultimately reducing effectiveness and response time. Brake fluid perishes as the ratio of water content increases. Failing to change your brake fluid will
lead to damage being caused to solenoids in your braking system and also to brake callipers.