You don't necessarily have to pass an ASE test to properly maintain your car. Keep your vehicle running smoothly with our tips for engine maintenance.

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Cars have been around for a long time and as products for personal convenience go, they’re among the most useful. They’re also extremely complex machines that feature a lot of moving parts and interconnected systems.

So it should come as no surprise that monitoring and maintenance are some of the responsibilities of owning a car. However, you don’t necessarily have to study and pass the ASE test to properly maintain your vehicle. Here are a few engine maintenance tips to help the average driver keep a car running smoothly.

Learn Basic DIY

You don’t have to devote years of your life to taking classes concerning engine maintenance just to own a car, but as a vehicle owner there are a few things you should know about basic engine care. After all, car ownership is a major expense and you want to keep your investment in good condition.

The main things every person should know are how to check the oil, the fluid reservoirs, and the tire pressure (although tires are not technically part of the engine). Unfortunately, many people have never so much as lifted the hood of their car.

If you’re not sure how to complete these tasks, ask your mechanic to show you the next time you bring your car in for service. If you’re scheduling maintenance regularly, you shouldn’t have to worry much about inspecting your car on your own in the interim.

However, if you’re taking a long road trip, for example, you need to know how to check and replace fluids in case they get low. Plus, knowing how to check tire pressure and inflate your tires could save you from suffering a costly blowout. If you have a car, you should know how to perform these very basic maintenance tasks.

Listen to Your Car

Thanks to on-board diagnostics (OBD), computers now interact with a variety of sensors and systems in your car to tell you when you are due for service or if your engine has somehow been compromised. Of course, your car may inform you of problems in other ways as well.

You might not understand what sounds such as knocking, pinging, screeching, and backfire herald, but you know they’re not good. So pay attention to what your car is telling you, whether it’s making weird noises, shuddering at high speeds, accelerating or braking more slowly than usual, or flashing symbols on your dashboard or console display.

Schedule Regular Services

Most consumers have neither the time nor the inclination to understand how engines work, and the truth is we don’t need to. You don’t have to understand how fuel and air intake, combustion, and a slew of engine parts work to make your engine run and your wheels turn. All you need is for your personal automobile to take you from point A to point B.

It is for this reason that professional mechanics have jobs. Since the average person has little time to devote to engine maintenance it’s best to turn the task over to those who know what they’re doing.

By scheduling regular appointments for maintenance you can ensure that your engine remains in ship shape, that fluid levels remain adequate, and that outdated or failing parts are replaced before they cause major problems. If you want a well-maintained engine that ensures your car functions properly on demand, finding reliable professionals to care for your automobile is a must.