Extend the Engine Life of your Car
Can you extend the engine life of your car? Modern car engines are generally very reliable, but also a lot more complicated than in the past. They can last a long time, but they require proper care. However, there is a lot you can do to extend the engine life of your car. It mostly comes down to maintenance and driving style. This is especially relevant when you add additional components to modern engines, such as turbochargers and particulate filters. These components improve performance, economy, and emissions.
The diesel engine
Let us highlight some aspects regarding the case of turbo-diesel vehicles. Diesel vehicles tend to be more sensitive to a lack of maintenance. This is because something as “small” as a dirty air filter, can be bad for a diesel engine. A diesel runs on excess air and very weak mixtures. Contrary to a petrol engine, it runs hotter when the mixture is rich, and not cooler. A blocked air filter can restrict intake air and cause a richer mixture, generating potentially damaging heat. A diesel engine’s particulate filter can also become blocked during long spells of city driving. This is why it will require a good distance of highway driving for the particulate filter to clean itself. Continuous short-distance driving is not good for the proper working of the particulate filter.
Your car’s turbo
How do turbochargers work? They use exhaust gasses to drive a turbine that pumps air into the engine. The more air that enters an engine, the more power it has. That is why an engine with a turbo can develop the same power as a larger, naturally aspirated engine. However, a turbocharger produces no boost pressure when turning slowly. It must speed up a lot to build pressure and runs at speeds of 100 000 to 250 000 rpm. That is around 40 times faster than the engine! In addition, the turbocharger is not connected to the engine via a drive mechanism. You will recall that it is energised by the exhaust gases. Consequently, a turbocharger’s turbine speed is not related to the engine speed at all. For example, your engine may be going along at 2 000 rpm while your turbocharger is spinning at maximum speed.
Drive calmly – before and after
It is, therefore, a good idea to drive a car with a turbocharger without haste when cold. This is to avoid speeding up the turbocharger and to allow it to warm up. It is also good to drive the last few kilometres to home, calmly. This will allow it to cool down (in fact, this practice is good for any engine). If you practise these hint, you may just extend the engine life of your car. Never skip services and perform all maintenance with persistence. If you drive sensibly, your engine can last a long time.
In conclusion, resist the temptation to modify your engine for more performance. You may just reduce its life in the process. Rather optimise it if you want to extend the engine life of your car. You can read more about the difference between modifying and optimising here. Fit a Unichip to your vehicle. This is a safe way to optimise your engine. The Unichip will give you the best power and economy without affecting its life expectancy. Do not miss out. Click here to contact us and have our technicians fit your Unichip today.