Keeping modern engines in tip-top shape - Weekend

Keeping modern engines in tip-top shape

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

PREVENTIVE maintenance service done the correct way will preserve your car and save your money in the long run. Cars today are more complex than before. As long as proper service is done, these modern cars will perform just as good as it was when new for a long time.

The trick to keeping modern engines in tip-top shape is cleanliness. Everything that goes in the engine must be clean. Meaning, air, fuel and oil must be clean. This is why a preventive maintenance service is a must.
Moreover, given the dusty situation here in Cebu, I recommend that the service should be done more often than what is written in the service manual. In my case, I do a service every 5,000 kilometers or six months, whichever comes first.

KEEPING IT CLEAN. To keep modern engines in tip-top shape, preventive maintenance service is a must to ensure that everything that goes in the engine – air, fuel and oil – must be clean. (AP FOTO)
KEEPING IT CLEAN. To keep modern engines in tip-top shape, preventive maintenance service is a must to ensure that everything that goes in the engine – air, fuel and oil – must be clean. (AP FOTO)

SUBSTANDARD, FAKE PARTS. There is a proliferation of substandard and fake parts in the market, such that it is better to secure original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts from the dealer or get high performance replacement parts from high performance specialist shops.

The important preventive maintenance parts for a car are the filters as these are what keep the engine clean. Substandard or fake filters either filter too little dirt or filter too much, thus restricting flow. Neither would be good.

When a substandard air filter is installed, too little air may be flowing through the engine, thus, giving the mass airflow sensor wrong readings and will cause sluggish performance and poor fuel economy. The same result will happen with an OEM filter that has not been replaced for a long period of time.

Another possible problem, with substandard or fake air filters is that these do not filter enough dirt, thus making the mass airflow dirty or even damaging it, which would also cause false readings and therefore poor performance.

REGULAR INSPECTION. The fuel injectors of the engine have very small orifices. It is this way because the standard fuel pressure is 3 bar or 43.5 PSI as opposed to the old carbureted engines, which had fuel pressure of only 2-6 PSI. Thus, a dirty or damaged fuel filter can really cause trouble in car performance.

It only takes very little dirt to clog-up the small orifice of a fuel injector, hence, a regular inspection and replacement of the fuel filter if needed, is of utmost importance. Likewise, the installation of fake or substandard fuel filters will cause the same problems.

LUBRICATION. An engine should at all times be well lubricated. To ensure that it is well lubricated, always check your oil level, always use the proper oil, and make sure that the oil filter used is of high quality.

Although it is about four to five times more expensive than replacement ones, I always use OEM oil filters on my car. A replacement one is about P150 while an OEM one is around P750 for my car. The P600 pesos extra I pay for an OEM filter is assurance that my engine is well lubricated. Coupled with a good oil filter is the type of oil specified in the owner’s manual of my car.

Filters are there to keep dirt away from the engine, as it is dirt that can significantly shorten the life of your engine. It is always best to use OEM filters as these give the assurance of proper filtering while keeping the required flow – be it air, oil or fuel – as the proper flow is just as important as proper filtering.

Stay away from budget tune ups or change oil services being offered. Chances are, they are using cheap filters that may do more harm than good to your engine.

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