Proper and regular car maintenance is crucial for a reliable and safe ride. We often neglect maintenance due to a lack of knowledge. Not anymore. Check out this detailed guide.
You spend a lot of time in your car regardless of whether you drive for evening fun or commute for work daily. It is like a second home! It is also a valuable possession and to keep it in good shape, it is crucial to maintain it properly and on a regular basis.
Here are some important factors, that make the regular maintenance of your car very important.
Let us find out.
Reasons why Car Maintenance is essential
With routine car maintenance, your safety on the road will increase significantly. You can easily replace older parts during the scheduled maintenance and avoid any abrupt breakdown on the road. It is crucial to keep track of the health of brake pads, oil change, and other parts that may get damaged due to wear and tear.
Keeps cars at their best
In addition to increased safety, your car will perform better than usual if you follow the regular maintenance service schedule. With improved tyre traction, more stabilized driving, and no starting problem; you can have a better driving experience.
Return of money
You can prevent bigger and more expensive issues if you look after your car regularly. The cleverest way of saving money is to book regular service dates with the car mechanic to eliminate small issues and avoid them from becoming a pocket burning problem.
Fuel costs are reduced
It won't waste any drops of fuel when you take good care of your car. Your car's mileage might go down a bit if you skip the maintenance. Keep up with your maintenance services today by planning your appointment for saving extra fuel costs.
You save time
Engine breakdowns, unscheduled maintenance, or malfunctioning electronics can eat up your time. To avoid making frequent visits to the garage, stick to the maintenance schedule and take proper care of your car.
Get high value
Stick to the maintenance schedule if you plan on selling your vehicle in the future. Regular maintenance not only makes it more pleasant for you to drive, but it also makes your car more valuable. You will get more money when you sell your car in a good condition.
Car Maintenance tips
Here are a few car maintenance tips that you will find handy to keep your car running smoothly and reliably.
Regularly inspect your car
Take your car at least once a week for a drive. As you drive, look for body damage and engine clatter sound. You must also examine your tyres and test every lock, window, or even sunroof for wear, puncher, or cutting.
Check the air filter
When your air filters are blocked or fit loosely, many automotive problems can arise. Air filters prevent your engine from getting contaminated from dust, pollen, and other particles. But when dirty, the air filters can reduce fresh airflow to the engine, reduce power outflow, lower performance, and consume more fuel. It is recommended that after every 15,000 kilometres you should replace your air filters.
Regularly control your Tyres pressure
The fuel economy can be affected by tyre-pressure along with comfort and handling. Read the owner manual of your car to keep the required tyre pressure. It is advisable to check the tyre pressure on a weekly basis.
It is also important to clean the outer engine of your car as much as to keep the inner engine clean. Even small waste in the wrong place can damage the engine if it is not cleaned properly. For example, some grease may fall into it during the control of your brake fluid. Because of this, brake damage can occur. Therefore, ensure your engine bay is cleaned every month at least once.
Read more: Tips to keep your car engine in good shape
Protect your headlights
Turn on your headlights once a month to see if both headlights are working correctly. Check your car visually and walk around to see whether both turn signals and parking lights are working properly or not. You can even ask your friend to stand behind the car while braking to make sure your brake lights work.
You can't start your car without a well-maintained battery. A large amount of electric current for the starter, the engine, and other electronic accessories is provided by the battery of the car. Battery performance is affected by the extreme temperatures, hence regular battery tests should be carried out whenever necessary.
Clean and replace your spark plugs
The efficiency of your engine could be affected by the spark plugs. These plugs ignite the gas and air compound that powers your vehicle ultimately. If the spark plugs are not properly operated, then they can cause the engine to lose power and your car will not work at its best. Therefore get your spark plugs checked by professionals and replace the plugs if required.
Rotate and balance your Tyres
To maintain the health of your car tyres, rotation is important. It provides a quicker response to your vehicle and a natural smooth ride. Rotation of your tyres leads to lesser wear and extends the tyre life. Make sure you check your car's tyres pressure once each month and before long journeys or when carrying additional car loads. The air pressure requirement of the car tyres is explained in the handbook for your car.
Ensure that your cooling system functions well
The cooling system and radiator of your car must be cleaned and maintained to operate efficiently. Your cooling system can disrupt the AC system by building a reserve for normal wear and tear. You can keep the cooling system fast and cost-effective with a radiator flush. If you need to flush the radiator once a year or every two years, you can look at the manual for your vehicle.
Know the significance of various indicators of warning light
Almost all cars have sophisticated sensor systems and warning lights which tell you everything from forgetting to replace the gas cap to the low air on one of your tyres. Learn what the warning lights of each of your cars mean and how to fix them. If you can't immediately identify and solve a problem, take your vehicle immediately to a trustworthy mechanic.
Remove the brake dust from your wheels
The brake dust on your car doesn't affect your brake's function, but it makes wheels a bit uncomfortable to look at. A mix of materials from the brake rotor and a brake pad is the brake dust which gets stick to the wheel when you apply the brake. The dust is 92 percent iron. The remaining 8% will be grease, dirt, carbon and other particulate matter.
With brake dust, if your wheels are exposed to the sun, they can leave your wheel with severe stains. It is therefore important that you remove the dust with a damp sponge from your wheels. As static electricity typically holds dust on your wheels, you'll also need cold water.
Protect the interior of your car
Do not eat food as much as possible in your car. A good way is to cover as much as possible of the surfaces. Add seat covers to protect the upholstery of your car seat. Covers can also help to support your posture and even customize your car's look. Make it a regular point to vacuum clean your car. Make sure you keep your windows slightly open when you live in a hot area.
Check the drive belts
Your engine produces the power required for your vehicle to run other parts and accessories. The drive belts shift the power from the handle or the shaft to the generator of the car, compressor air conditioning, steering pump, air pump, water pump and any other mechanical power supply. Modern cars use one belt to connect and rotate to the pulley from the crank. This is also called a Drive Belt.
As the belts are usually made of rubber or other polymers, even with normal use, they wear a lot. Therefore it should be checked for visible cracks or any changes on a regular basis. If your engine is not driven by a chain, you will need to look at the condition of your serpentine or V-belt and timing belt.
Oil levels check
In the engine of your car, there are a lot of mechanical moving parts which create friction as they rub each other. This friction produces heat and can significantly reduce engine performance. Therefore it is essential to ensure smooth operation by eliminating the friction through proper oil.
As an integral part of your basic automobile maintenance system, check your engine oil level. The colour of the oil is also critical. It should not be dark. It should not be black. The dark color generally indicates contamination, excess heat, and addition of chemical additives or sludge. Check owner manual to know the oil change frequency. Also you need to check your car and the environment it normally operates for the right grade of viscosity.
Your driving habits also reflect in your car's condition. If you're tough with your car and used to fast take-off, short breaks, high-speed bumps, hard shifting, and more, your car will wear faster and demand more maintenance. Not only your car will less wear and tear when you drive smartly and safely, but fuel cost can also be saved. Start with a look at your speed and braking habits today.
If you get used to quickly pulling out and braking suddenly remember that every smooth transition saves gas money. It can help you stay safer, save money and help your car last longer when driving under the speed limit and avoid sudden stops.
Always carry car tools
It is always handy to carry some basic tools for basic maintenance and checkup. Apart from basic tools, you can also keep things like hot water-resistant silicone tape, electric tape, wire cutter, screwdriver, flashlight, and a knife. You can also purchase car tool-kit online.
Keep your car covered
Keep your car covered can save it from the sun, trees and birds. It will also help in keeping the interiors of your car in good condition by keeping it safe from extreme weather, harmful radiation and nature.
Clean and replace the wipers of your windshield
You need a clear view of the road for safe driving. But if the windshield is not cleaned properly, you will not get a clear view and can also face sun or light reflection.
Check car fluid levels regularly
Inspect the fluids of your car on a regular basis. Open the hooves and remove the oil stick when the engine cools down. Thoroughly clean the dipstick and replace it. You will find that oil is up to a certain level when you pull it out. Check and see if the oil is in the right position. Also at regular intervals replace the brake oil, engine oil, gear oil, and more. Check for any signs of wear or the fluid level of your steering, tubing and belts. Check the fluid level of the transmission after your car has warmed up.
Check the coolant level
A car engine is equipped with oil to reduce the friction between moving parts and avoid heating at a much faster pace. However, car engine still needs a cooling system to dissipate the generated heat. Radiator works continuously with the engine to keep the temperature at optimum levels. And without proper level of coolant in the radiator, you car engine can overheat and shut down.
Today, most cars have translucent coolant reservoirs with suitable level markings on the panel. You should be able to check whether the lid of the reservoir is low or not without even opening. It is also advisable to change the coolant of your car after every 50,000 kilometers or check your owner manual for coolant changing schedule.
Wax your car
Waxing every six months after washing your vehicle not only keeps it sparkling clean but also reduces the risk of rust. Microscopic damage may occur with irritants such as dirt, sand, salt and environmental factors such as ozone and ultraviolet light. But waxing can help to extend the life of your paint and reduce it by creating a protective seal. For cleaning your car like a professional check this article that I have covered earliers: DIY Car Maintenance: How to clean your car professionally.
When repairing do not touch the glass bulbs
Make sure that you touch only the metal bulb holder when the bulb on your headlight is to be replaced. Use clean mechanical gloves or surgical sterile gloves if you have to touch the glass. These gloves prevent the transfer of oil, grime, dust, and dirt to the specialized coating on the external surface of the bulb from your fingertips. The special coating present on the bulb surface may be affected by the dust, graft, or oil. If you turn on your bulb's headlights, the part of the bulb heats up much faster and causes the bulb to crack.
Replace the air filter of your car cabin
Car cabin air filter are meant to keep the air clean circulating through HVAC unit. It prevents fine dust and airborne particles from entering the cabin. In a country like India where air pollution is a major issue, you should be diligent to replace your car's air filter on timely intervals.
Check the coolant level of your AC
It is important to know what refrigerant you need before starting any A/C related task. For the air conditioner, it is important to have the right level of coolant. If the air conditioner is not cooling properly, then probably it is time replace the AC coolant. Check out the coolant level and if it is not up to the mark then you should visit the mechanic to get the job done.
Bring it to the professionals
It is possible to fix certain things in your car on your own but sometimes professional attention is required to resolve the issue. In such cases, get your car serviced from a licensed workshop to keep your car reliable and safe.
That was all about the car maintenance tips. By following these tips, you can maintain your car in a proper way and reduce your number of trips to the garage. However, if you feel confused with anything, CarInfo advises you to reach your nearest mechanic instead of experimenting with your car.