Basic Car Care: How to Routinely Maintain Your Car
Maintenance is a huge part of owning a car. Unless you’re willing to drive it into an auto service shop and spend sums on it frequently—or rent a car—you have to be your own mechanic.
But just knowing basic car care will suffice, which will hold you in good stead over the lifetime of the vehicle. So here’s how you can routinely maintain your car so that it runs perfectly and safely.
1) Read the Vehicle Manual
Everything you need to know about upkeeping your car is right there on the manual. It details the type of maintenance you have to do and the schedule to take for each part.
Some of the car components you’d have to maintain are the tyres, engine oil, oil filter, hoses, and belts. They all work together to ensure your car is at peak condition every time you drive it.
2) Inspect Your Tyres Every Month
Our car’s tyres keep us going on smooth and rough roads alike. It’s vital to inspect your tyres every month to see if they are properly inflated.
This reduces the chance of sudden deflation while you’re out on the road. In this instance, you’d have to replace it with a spare tyre or go to the nearest gas station for assistance.
The gist is that you have to get the tyre pressure right when airing up the tyres. This results in better fuel efficiency and less wearing and tearing of the tyres.
3) Replace Your Oil and Oil Filter On Schedule
It’s necessary to change the oil and oil filter regularly. Doing this prevents the engine parts from grinding against each other and causing massive damage to the car.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor at Edmunds, advises that the type of oil used isn’t important so long as it meets the service and viscosity requirements as stated in the owner’s manual.
4) Change the Air Filter
When you change your oil, make it a point to also change the air filter. This will depend on how often you take the car for a spin.
It improves the combustion process of the car, in addition to keeping out dust, sand, and insects from getting into the engine. Just like humans need oxygen to breathe, cars also need an air filter to function normally.
5) Keep the Other Car Fluids in Check
Apart from the motor oil, you have to refill other car fluids to keep the car in optimal condition. These include the brake fluid, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and coolant.
The brake fluid and coolant can be checked by using a dipstick. Don’t touch the radiator cap to check the coolant level as you can get painfully burned if your hand accidentally contacts it.
The checking for the rest of the fluids is easy. All it takes is a visual inspection and refilling the fluid to the line in the transparent casing.
6) Assess the Belts and Hoses
Belts and hoses direct the coolant flow in the engine to prevent overheating. You have to examine them to see if they are not cracked or swelling, otherwise, you’d have to change them at once.
Anyway, the standard for inspecting these components are every three months or every 4,800 km you’ve driven.
7) Cover Your Car
By covering your car, its paint job will be protected from harsh outside elements. This allows it to still look stylish and new as time marches on.
Whenever you go out from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM a.k.a. the hot hours, we suggest parking under a cool shade or parking lot.
If this isn’t possible, we suggest covering it up (despite looking awkward) or at least using window shades to keep the interior cool and prevent seats or items inside from damage.