Buying a car is far easier than maintaining one. Back when there were no cars, people used to buy animals for particular service (like horses for transportation). Those animals needed proper care and attention from the owners, in order to be in best shape and full health to complete the required tasks. Cars are obviously not living beings like animals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need your attention. Cars need scheduled maintenance in order to not only give you trouble-free service but to also last you a long time.
For making sure your vehicle is in the best condition, you don’t always need to take it to a workshop or need the help of a car technician. There are few things you can do by yourself. But before I start, I must say that there are some things you can do without tools, but in some instances, you need some tools and a little bit automotive knowledge too. Let’s start:
It will not cost you anything except few minutes from your daily routine, but it is the best preventive maintenance you can do. Spare a little time in your daily routine and look around the car for things you think might need attention in the future. Take a look at the tyre pressure daily. Maintaining proper tyre inflation means you get the best fuel average and stopping power. Also, your car tyres will last you longer as well. Make sure you inspect your car’s wiper blades as well. Wiper blades mostly get neglected, but when it rains, you get to know their real importance. Check working headlights and brake lights well.
Checking the fluids
Another crucial aspect of owning a car. You need to very careful and vigilant about all the fluid of a car. Car fluids are like blood flowing in your body. You must learn how to check and what to check when you lift the bonnet of the car up. From coolant to engine oil to gear oil to brake fluid, check the quantity of these fluids regularly. Many modern cars come with EPS, so no power steering fluid. But if your vehicle comes with mechanical power steering, check its fluid as well. And don’t only just check them, replace the fluids on time as well. Always go for the fluids recommended by the automaker to be on the safe side.
The battery is your car’s lifeline. No battery means your car is not going anywhere anytime soon. First of all, you need to check if your vehicle has a dry or wet battery. Dry batteries are sealed units and are maintenance free. When they give up, you just replace them with a new unit. Wet or acid batteries have fluid in them between the battery cells charging the plates. Such batteries need regular inspection, and you need to top up the battery acid time to time. You can easily buy a bottle of battery acid from the market and do it yourself. There is a mark on the outside of the battery showing the maximum level. Just make sure you don’t overfill.
Check and replace air filter
The car’s engine needs air to burn the fuel and make power. The air is sucked through an air filter that makes sure there is no dirt or foreign particles in the air that go inside the engine’s cylinder. With the passage of time, the air filter starts to clog with all the dirt and gunk it filtered. The dust particles begin to accumulate on the filter, closing its pores. A choked filter means less air entering the cylinder. And that leads to not only poor fuel efficiency but also a less responsive engine. It’s very easy to check the filter on your own. Usually, there are a few clips holding the lids of air filter enclosure. Just undo them, take the filter out for inspection, replace if needed, put the new filter back in, and snap the clips back on.
Check the belts
Not many pay attention to this part of the car. One of the most important belts in new car engines is the timing belt. Timing belt goes through the cam(s) and crank of the engine making the connected component of the engine move at the exact and precise time. This assures that the engine is firing pistons at correct timing. The belt wears out with time, and it is usually recommended to replace the belt after 80,000 kilometers. Many new cars have a chain instead of a belt. Other than the timing belt, you have belts running the alternator of the car and power steering pump as well. Newer cars have one belt, called the serpentine belt that runs through the engine. Inspect them regularly.
These are just a few of the car maintenance tips that can be easily done on your own to make sure your vehicle gives you trouble-free service every day for the rest of its life.