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5 Tips for Car Engine Maintenance

If you are planning to use your car as a daily driver in the heat, or even if you have a big trip coming up, you should make sure everything is ready to go so you can keep your car looking, feeling and running cool this year.

Here are 5 steps to help your car keep its cool so you can get not only avoid the wear and tear of a hot summer, but also stay comfortable while driving in the sunshine and avoid car accident emergencies.

  1. Change Your Oil -- Replacing your old oil offers much better lubrication protection for your car's engine and is an essential task for older vehicles. You should check your car's user manual to see how often you need an oil change -- and if there's any doubt as to when you last changed it, get one right away.
  2. Upgrade Your Coolant -- If your coolant level is too low, your engine may overheat and or even corrode. You should check your coolant and make sure the reservoir is always filled to the proper level. (Never open your radiator cap while the radiator is still hot.)
  3. Check Your Cooling Fan -- High mileage cooling fan clutches (100,000+ miles) are often weak, do not provide sufficient cooling and could cause the engine to overheat. You should either check your cooling fan yourself (by turning the A/C on max and seeing if the fan comes on) or take your car to a maintenance center to make sure it is working effectively.
  4. Check Your Air Conditioning -- Few people will miss their A/C during the winter months, but during the summer there are bound to be some days you need it to work. If your air conditioning isn't blowing cold air, your refrigerant charge may be low.
  5. Monitor Your Battery -- Hot weather is bad for car batteries, as the heat causes the battery to degenerate faster. No one likes to be stranded with a dead battery, so it's a good idea to keep and eye on yours. Batteries over 5 years old are more likely to fail, and many shops are willing to test your battery for free.

Car engine failure can be a prelude to car accidents -- so don't neglect these important maintenance tips. Find more tips on our 5 Car Maintenance Tips page.

Please see Automotive Consumer Help & Advice for more articles.

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