You must have heard of the adage–Prevention is Better than Cure–and it applies to almost all aspects of our lives, including our cars.
Yes, you heard it right. With preventative measures, you can keep your car in roadworthy condition and keep defects at bay. In that way, you can prolong the lifespan of your car and reduce the money outgo in fixing defects.
If your car is running smoothly, you might not feel the need to service your car, but it is a mistake. So, avoid it.
Again, you might be among those who do not know about the technicalities of cars. In such a case, there is ample possibility of you undermining the need for maintaining and servicing your car.
But, remember that there can be many ways of damaging or reducing the effectiveness of your car. And the common reason is the negligence of the basic maintenance. For example, if you drive your car on the same spark plug for long, do not change the engine oil periodically, or turn a deaf year to unfamiliar noise emanating from the engine, you must be preparing the car to dump in the junkyard early on.
Failure to properly look after you can invite another problem. Police randomly check cars on the road for underinflated tyres, damaged brake lights, broken seat belts, a cracked windscreen, etc.
When you keep your car in good condition, you get the privilege of maintaining safety on the road while driving. And at the same time, it saves you money in the long term.
So, what do you need to do to maintain and service your car? The answer is the following steps:
Go through the Owner Manual
You might not find it exciting to read the owner manual, but you should not fail to read it, given the crucial information it contains.
You will find many valuable tips in the manual, such as checking the tyre pressure, the fluids to use, what to do when the engine overheats, the method to change the bulbs of blinker lights, etc.
In short, you will get the essential guidance about how to perform basic maintenance for your car in the manual.
Make it a point to service your car according to the owner’s manual schedule. A typical servicing will include a thorough check of your car, examining whether your car needs any replacement of spark plugs, timing belts, etc.
There are advantages to servicing your car through your dealer, such as:
- You will get genuine parts
- They will give you a written record of the servicing history
Interestingly, it is essential to have a written record of your servicing history as it creates a sense of trust among potential customers when you will eventually sell the car.
Nowadays, you will see consistent advancements in technologies related to car manufacturing. As a result, manufacturers continue to build engines with newer features.
Nowadays, manufacturers make car engines with computer-controlled features, and the engines have been getting more and more sophisticated as a result.
Despite the notable advancement in engine technology, you need to do several things to ensure that the engine runs smoothly.
So, here is the basic checklist of what you should do:
- Figure out the health of the seatbelts in terms of tension and buckle operation
- Check the external bulbs–replace them if they do not work
- Ensure that the handbrake can hold the car on a slope
- Check windscreens and mirrors for cracks
- Check wear on wiper blades; replace them if wear is significant
- Ensure that the horn works
- Ensure the correct levels for the engine oil and engine coolant levels
- Make sure that the tires are with the right pressure
- Ensure that the spare tyre and jack are in good condition
However, these are not the only checklists for your car. There are others, such as:
Ensure the fluid levels of the engine oil, radiator coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windscreen washer fluid, clutch fluid, and gearbox oil are at the correct levels.
Check whether the tire pressure, tread wear and tread depth, spare tire, car jack and tool, lights checklist, headlights, indicator lights, brake lights, reverse lights, and park and fog lights are working properly.
It will help if you adopt the following best practices in checking your car:
Ensure that you check the fluids periodically. If you find their levels going low, refill them.
Remember, the fluids are the lifeblood of your car. And you also need to brush up on your knowledge about the different fluids of your car to identify them.
Usually, the common fluids you find in cars are the engine oil, radiator coolant, automatic transmission fluid, windscreen washer fluid, brake fluid, clutch fluid, power steering fluid, and battery electrolyte fluid.
You need to keep the tires at the correct pressure. Remember, underinflated tires can not only lead to the consumption of more fuel but also damage the tires sooner. Therefore, you can reverse the prospects by maintaining the correct pressure on your tires.
You can also purchase a tire gauge to check the tire pressure often.
Moreover, there are other things to check. For example, if you find your car pulling to one side when you drive, it can indicate the need for wheel alignment and balance. Also, you need to rotate the tires periodically to extend their lifespan of the tires.
You should also periodically take your car to the service station. But, you should not forget to check the car service cost estimate and ensure the prices are correct.
The engine filter is another critical component of your car. If it gets clogged up with dust, it will allow dirty air into your engine. As a result, the engine can get damaged.
Therefore, you need to change the filter as per the recommendations in the owner’s manual.
You have come to know what you should do to maintain your car. And you need to adhere to what is described in this article to ensure that you do not miss out on the essential maintenance practices.