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Aside from the traditional maintenance of oil changes, and keeping fluid levels correct - what else will help prolong the engine's life?

I recall a few years back gasoline additives were the thing to go with - what's the best/recommended one currently? If any.

Edit: I recall reading about each gasoline brand having their own set of additives at one point, where it was suggested to cycle between a few different brands every X amount of km/miles. The reason behind switching was so that the next brand would cleanup any sediments left by the previous brand. How likely is this in today's world? And better yet, how important is it?

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Today's gasoline is already loaded up with all the additives that one is likely to need on a regular basis. There really isn't anything you should be adding "just because". Certain additives can be helpful if problems crop up though.

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I remember reading about these additives at one point, where it was suggested to cycle between different brands every X amount of km/miles; this cause brand 2 to cleanup any sediments left by brand 1. Is this true/the case? –  Jesse Apr 2 '13 at 12:18
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My own experience is that the brand name on the station is not nearly as important as the individual station itself... For example, there's a station near work that I won't use anymore as they've had problems with water in their tank. There's another one near my house that my car is just unhappy with the gas from for no apparent reason (perhaps they have sediment in their tank?). The vast majority of the time I fill up at one particular known good station. I don't worry about trying to get other brands of gas, and life continues to be good for me and my car. :-) –  Brian Knoblauch Apr 2 '13 at 15:20
    
Interesting. How can you tell problematic gas stations apart? Aside from general structural appearance, I can't tell much apart related to the pumps and tanks/storage. Additionally, how do you tell your car is unhappy with a specific gas station? –  Jesse Apr 2 '13 at 16:39
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It's pretty easy. If you have problems after filling up at one station that go away after filling up at another (and you can repeat the experiment over time to verify it wasn't just a single bad batch), then you'd better just quit going to the one with bad gas. :-) –  Brian Knoblauch Apr 2 '13 at 17:18
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Hesitation, cutting out, loss of power, detonation (models that don't have a knock sensor), etc. –  Brian Knoblauch Apr 2 '13 at 18:29
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The most important thing is to use good gas (Top Tier if you are in the states), and change your oil. Other than that, I use all high quality synthetic products from AMSOIL in my ride.

I personally use one bottle of their fuel treatment (P.i) in the spring and I use their oil flush before each oil change. Other than that I just keep to the maintenance schedules for when to flush/change fluids and filters etc...

Also if you are going to store your vehicle for any period of time never forget to use gasoline stabilizer.


Edit: Top Tier is a trademarked standard of gasoline which meets a certain specification or requirement for additives. You can read/see the retailers on their site.

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What do you consider Top Tier? I mainly stick to Shell and BP gas stations, given that they seem to be the most decent looking. There's other brands (which I won't name) whose gas stations are just filthy and seem like they are barely upkept. –  Jesse Apr 2 '13 at 16:42
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Top Tier is a trademarked standard of gasoline which meets a certain specification or requirement for additives. You can read/see the retailers here toptiergas.com/retailers.html Shell does sell Top Tier certified gasoline but BP is not certified. This doesn't mean that BP sells bad gas but that they may not have participated in the certification. I am from Canada so I can't comment on BP gasoline but it seems like a good brand to me. –  Mike Saull Apr 2 '13 at 16:46
    
Great info, thanks! I've edited your answer to include part of that. –  Jesse Apr 2 '13 at 17:03
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You should without a doubt make sure to handle any issues as they "pop up". Yes, there are times where money isn't the easiest thing to come by (Trust me. I know), when this is the case just make sure to handle it as soon as you can.

Also it's vital that you keep up with your vehicles service intervals as described in your vehicles manuals. In my opinion there is no real science to to it. It's more or less logic and common sense. If something doesn't feel right then have it looked at by a professional that you trust as soon as possible.

Waiting on repairs only puts more wear on the other components that work with it. This usually brings repair bills through the roof and customers into "panic" mode. Usually ending with the customer saying "I'll just drive it till it dies". Which then makes their driving environment much more dangerous not only for them, but for everyone around them. I have supplied two links that will provide online (.pdf) version of the service manuals for the vehicles that you have listed.

I hope this helps.

2005 Toyota Tacoma

2013 Nissan Rogue

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Thanks for the info! Although, keeping maintenance schedules and fixing issues as soon as they turn up has never been a problem. What I am really interested in is - what else, besides the scheduled maintenance and having issues fixed, can I do to help with extending the engine life? Thanks for the manuals! I have the booklet for both, but never thought about having a copy on the computer! –  Jesse Apr 2 '13 at 12:07
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There really isn't anything else. There's no magic wand or special formula. Just keeping the car happy. –  cinelli Apr 3 '13 at 0:45
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