Basic Car Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know
If you regularly maintain your vehicle, you can make a big difference in its overall performance and its longevity. So, taking the time to check all the things off our list will help keep your car on the go and will ensure that you travel safely. This is not the only benefit you will receive from this basic maintenance, as it can also save you some serious money, which you can lose if you experience a major breakdown, or in the worst-case scenario, a road accident. Just keep in mind that, if you are not sure how to exactly perform these checks by yourself, ask someone more experienced for help, or seek a car or service specialist for assistance.
Car engine oil is responsible for reducing friction on the moving parts of the engine and it also assists in dispersing heat. Oil acts as a sealant between the cylinder liner and piston rings, which prevents combustion pressure from escaping. It also acts as a detergent and a rust inhibitor. So, if you want to maximize the performance of your engine, you need to regularly check the oil levels. If there is a need for topping, make sure to choose the correct type of oil for the engine and always stay below the maximum fill line.
The battery on your car is the key component in its entire electrical system, and if it is not regularly maintained or replaced, it can cause a breakdown. To ensure that it is working properly, you need to check the battery terminals, which need to be tight and clean. Also always check if the battery is secure, and consider replacing it after 3 to 4 years. Make sure that you top it off with distilled water and check if the electrolyte levels are right.
Maintaining the tires is essential for the safety of your vehicle. They need to be checked regularly and before any longer trips. When the weather is cold, you need to check the inflation every 2 weeks and inflate them to the right pressure, according to your owner’s manual. If you see abnormal wear, this can indicate suspension problems or misalignment. If you feel vibrations while steering, this indicates that the tires need to be balanced.
Brakes that vibrate, squeal or grind indicate that they need to be replaced. Also if the brakes are slow in responding, this also indicates that they are worn down. You also need to make sure that there is enough brake fluid and, if you need to top it off, only use the recommended one.
Suspension is vital for the safety of your vehicle. If your suspension is worn it can increase the stopping distance for 20%. Every component of the suspension needs to be checked regularly for any signs of excess wear or physical damage. Always check the shock absorbers for fluid leaks, and you can even check the suspension while driving by watching the steering wheel vibrations.
The right time to inspect the cooling system is when the engine is cold, and remember to never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Check the level of coolant regularly and always refill with the recommended type that suits your car. If your system requires a regular refill, there is a possibility of a leak.
Fluid levels that are in the transmission need to be filled to the correct level and that fluid should not be burnt or discolored. Refer to the owner’s manual or search online to find out what type of fluid your car uses. Taking proper care of your transmission can prevent one of the most expensive car repairs — replacing the gearbox. This type of maintenance will save you both time and money.
These are some of the basic car maintenance tips every car owner should know. These procedures are extremely easy, so make sure to check everything once in awhile, mostly because of your safety and this will help you prevent any major breakdowns from happening.