Keeping your car in good shape does not have to be hard work. The smartest way to ensure that your car does not disappoint you when you least expect it is to take advantage of 10 car maintenance tips that have been endorsed by industry experts.
According to a recent report, younger drivers expose themselves to huge repair bills simply because they lack the basic car maintenance culture. If you’re a car owner, take a look at the tips below:
Keep Fluids Clean
In addition to having all the fluids in your car clean, you should always remember to top up. Such fluids include your engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, air conditioning coolant and washer fluid.
You should never forget that your engine needs oil to keep its moving parts lubricated. Don’t become so careless as to let the different fluid levels go so low as to pose a problem to the overall functionality of the car.
Don’t Throw Your Car Manual Away
Do you know that a car owner’s manual contains tons of information about car maintenance as well as different safety precautions you should take?
We have already established that having proper car maintenance is a must. However, a good maintenance culture isn’t all about changing the oil and other essential fluids. Rather, it is more about how capable and informed you are as a driver. This is why car manufacturers always include a car owner’s manual.
The Owner’s Manual was not designed to be kept in the glove compartment of your car. Rather, it was created to protect and improve your driving skills. It should, therefore, be your active passenger. It contains all the features and parts of your car. It even goes as far explaining the purpose of all the controls, displays and buttons in your car.
Using the Owner’s Manual can go a long way in saving you a lot of money you might have spent on repair works.
Stick to a Maintenance Schedule
Inside your car, there are a number of things that need to be regularly serviced or replaced at certain intervals. Some of these parts include the brakes, air filter, spark plugs and the timing belt.
You should have a maintenance schedule that covers tasks like replacing the spark plus as well as checking the brake fluid and clutch fluid and refilling them when they need to be refilled.
Other tasks to include in your maintenance schedule should include changing the engine oil, replacing the air filter, replacing the cabin filter, replacing the oil filter and replacing the fuel filter.
In addition to this, you should also:
- Check the condition of the tires
- Check the level of the power steering fluid and replace when necessary
- Check the Brake Pads/Liners, Brake Discs/Drums and replace them when they are worn out
- Grease and lubricate the various components of the car
- Inspect and replace the timing belt/timing chain if this becomes necessary
- Check the level of the Automatic/Manual Transmission Fluid and refill when necessary
Check Tyre Pressure
You should always check your tyre pressure before you drive and this is because temperature differences have different effects on your tyre pressure. Most of the time, the warmer/hotter the temperature is, the higher the likelihood of your tyre pressure to increase.
In order to have the best possible control of your car as well as get higher fuel efficiency, you need to ensure you have proper tyre inflation.
When you fail to check your tyre pressure regularly, your tyres are likely to squeal when negotiating a corner. This is a clear sign that your tyre pressure is low. Your tyres don’t have to start leaking before you check them.
When your tyre pressure drops, you need to fill them with air. Ideally, you should check your tyre pressure once a month.
Change the Windshield Wiper
If your windshield wiper doesn’t clean properly, you should change it. Also, you should try to clean your windshield wiper every time you stop to buy fuel at a gas station. You can do this by using a damp paper towel to take out loose dirt by wiping the rubber squeegee.
If you are wondering when you should replace your wiper blades, this should be done between 6 months and one year or the moment you notice a difference in your driving visibility.
The moment the wiper blades begin to fail in making proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip and smear – All these cut down your driving visibility, which can be quite dangerous.
Wash and Wax Your Car
If you are looking to protect your car from corrosion while keeping it shiny, you should consider waxing it once in a while. When you have a coat of wax on your car’s paint job, it prevents it from becoming discoloured, oxidated and faded. These naturally come with sun damage to your car.
A properly waxed car comes with a mirror-like finish and shines; bringing out the car’s colour. If you can afford it, you should do a full and thorough detail twice a year. This covers polishing, sealing and claying.
However, you should consider a refresher detail for your car once every three months. This will include waxing and sealant and leather treatment. For the interior of your car, you should dedicate time to have it thoroughly cleaned once a month.
Deal With Car Problems Immediately
The moment any problem with your car, strive to deal with it immediately instead of procrastinating. Car problems don’t usually just pop up. If you take good care of your car, you will notice early signs that should prompt you to take your car for a maintenance check.
The smartest way to maintain your car is to pay attention to the early signs before they grow into serious problems that would cost you more to fix.
Stick With Original Car Parts
At different points of your car’s lifespan, you will need to buy car parts. This covers virtually all parts of the car; from the mechanical parts to the interior of the car.
Before we continue, let us mention here that there are two types of car parts – We have the OEM, which refers to the Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. OEM is a brand or company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer.
For example, when you take your Toyota car to a Toyota dealership’s service department for repairs, what will get are OEM car parts. However, if you decide to get your car fixed by an independent shop, what you will most likely get will be aftermarket car parts.
Aftermarket car parts are replacement parts that are made by a company other than your vehicle’s original manufacturer. These parts are also known as Generic parts or non-OEM parts.
Original car parts come with a greater assurance of quality. These parts work as optimally and as efficiently as the faulty parts you are replacing. You should always remember that this It is what the vehicle was manufactured with. Thus, it gives you a huge dose of peace of mind in its performance.
Schedule Your Car for an Annual Maintenance Check
No matter how busy your schedule is, you should find time to book an appointment with a reliable mechanic to take a thorough look at your car for a 360 maintenance drill.
You don’t have to wait until your car begins to make all sorts of noises and starts breaking down in the middle of the road before you take it for a maintenance check.
Keep an Eye on Your Dashboard
Your car’s dashboard comes with a lot of symbols and lights that you need to pay attention to. If you are keen on keeping your car in good condition, you need to check the dashboard regularly.
The moment you notice anything unusual on the dashboard, especially a warning of any kind, you should follow up by trying to get the issue resolved as quickly as you can.
Final Thoughts on Car Maintenance Tips
Some costs you will incur in the regular use of your car are unavoidable. That’s normal. However, a good vehicle maintenance culture and the car maintenance tips we have shared in the lines above will go a long way in ensuring your car spends more time on the road and less time in the mechanic’s workshop.