How to extend vehicle engine life

Following these 5 tips can go a long way in prolonging the life of your vehicle’s engine

Reuben Van Niekerk
engine life
car engine
car air filter

The engine fitted to your vehicle was designed and manufactured to high tolerances and can do its job in a wide variety of environmental conditions. However, by following these 5 simple guidelines you can significantly extend the life of your vehicle’s engine.


1. Warm the engine up gradually

When starting your car, let the engine idle for at least 30 seconds before driving off. This gives all the fluids such as oil and coolant time to get to all the places they need to be and for them to warm up slightly.

For the first five to ten minutes of your journey, try to keep your engine revs as low as possible while the engine and gearbox warm up to their optimum running temperature.


2. Come to a gradual stop

Reduce your speed and engine revolutions as you near your destination, especially after some spirited driving. This will allow items like the engine and brakes to cool off slightly thanks to the airflow of the moving vehicle.

When stopping, turbocharged vehicles should be allowed to idle for a few seconds before being turned off completely.


3. Reign in the revs

Revving your car's engine to the redline in each gear will dramatically reduce engine life. Changing gears sooner and limiting the use of high revs will go a long way in prolonging engine life.


4. Check your air filter regularly

Ensure that your air filter is checked and replaced at service intervals and more regularly if you drive in dusty conditions on a regular basis. Your air filter is responsible for ensuring that no harmful particles enter the engine, and it needs to be kept clean in order to do its job correctly.


5. Check fluids regularly

Engine oil should be changed in line with the manufacturer's guidelines and more regularly if you are an enthusiastic driver who likes to use all the performance that your vehicle offers. The use of the correct oil is critical.

Checking that engine oil and coolant levels are at the correct level at all times will ensure optimum cooling and lubrication of critical components.


Read "How to extend your car's life: 7 tips to ensure that your car is properly maintained."