Car Maintenance And Servicing What You Need To Know
Author: JRAutofix Date Posted:14 August 2019
Maintenance and servicing are necessary part of life that you need to address imagine the consequence of an airplane on which the maintenance has not been done or imagine how would you survive without proper sleep or food.
For your car it’s the same?
If your engine oil is old your engine will get damage quicker, if your bulbs are not working anymore some one might not see you at night.
The good thing is they are only small checks to perform and you don’t need a mechanic to do it.
But it’s easy to forget and you can get into a lot of trouble.
Car maintenance and servicing will increase your vehicle’s longevity and your safety on the road
You can also be fined for failing to look after your car. Police always perform random roadworthy checks and can fault you for warn tyres, faulty brake lights, a broken seat belt, a cracked windscreen.
Monitor and follow your scheduled service
Your owner’s guide will tell you when scheduled services are due.
Depending on the car make schedule service usually involve a thorough check of the vehicle and immediate attention to anything that needs replacing: spark plugs, timing belts, etc.
The benefits of scheduled servicing through your dealer :
- You know you’re getting genuine parts and expertise
- There’s a written record of the car’s service history, which becomes important for buyers when you want to sell the car in the future.
But nothing stop you to perform some checks yourself and fill up the logbook as dealer Fee can quickly escalate!
What are the main are area and components to check:
Car maintenance Part #1: Tyre
Tyre play a safety role to your driving you want to have your tyres in good condition and inflated to the correct pressure which will help increases their life and reduces fuel consumption.
Good tyres help you to stay in control of your car specialy in wet condition .
What to look for when doing a maintenance check:
- Correct pressure on all tyres including spare wheel ( this information can be found inside one of the front door, the tyre should have the max pressure too or car manual)
- Uneven wear on the tyre
- Damage on the side of the tyre
- Thread depth
If you feel your car pulling to one side when you drive or if you hit the side of the road, you may want to bring your car for a wheel alignment and balance as well. This will save you rapid wear of your tyres.
To extend the life of all your tyres routinely rotated them to reduce excessive wear.
Car maintenance Part #2: Fluids
Fluids that your cars use: engine oil, radiator coolant, automatic transmission oil, brake fluid, windscreen washer fluid, power steering fluid, battery electrolyte fluid (distilled water) and possibly more depending on the vehicle type.
Coolant can easily be checked by looking at the graduated overflow bottle the level should be between the low and high markings.
If the level is low you can top it up using the correct type of coolant as describe in the car manual.
If you have to top up to often you might want to check for leaks.
Caution: Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot!!
To check the engine oil it’s best to:
- start the engine for a few minutes and stop it
- while the oil is warm remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clothe
- Reinsert the dipstick.
- remove the dipstick and check the level, the level should be between the low and high markings
If the oil level is low check when your oil change is due (every 10000 Km) in your log book if it’s due you should do an oil change. When changing the oil also replace the oil filter and plug seal.
If not you can top up the oil level with the appropriate oil and you might want to do a leak check around the engine.
Caution: If the engine oil level is too low do not run the engine.
Transmition and power steering fluid:
Depending on the car model and makes you should refer to the car manual.
Brake fluid and windscreen washer fluid:
Check the bottles level it should be between the low and high markings.
Check fluids regularly, and replace when needed.
Any warning on the dashboard regarding fluids like engine oil, coolant or brake fluid the car must be stop straight away to avoid serious damage and become unroadworthy.
Car maintenance Part #3: Brakes
Brake are an important part for your safety so doing a visual inspection is critical.
You can do this by removing the wheel and have a look at your brake pads as well as the rotors.
What the Brake warning light mean ...
Car maintenance Part #4: Battery
Some car batteries have caps on top where you can check the fluid level it must be above the plates, if not you can add distilled water.
Other batteries maintenance free have no cap but they have an indicator on the top.
Other checks to perform on a battery are to check that:
- the connection are clean and tight.
- The battery is properly secured on its support
In the case of infrequent use of a vehicle and due to battery drain your battery loose its charge.
The life of your battery is affected when staying with a low charge level for this reason it’s always good to run your car now and again.
For more on Battery testing read here ...
Car maintenance Part #5: Engine air filter
The air filter is allowing clean air to go inside the engine so a dirty or blocked filter would affect the air flow to your engine and consequently the fuel/air ratio would be affected as well as the engine performance and fuel consumption.
Air filters are normally easy to reach and replace.
The maintenance logbook will tell you how often it needs to be changed but it also depend on how dusty environment you are driving in.
Car maintenance Part #6: Wipers
In Australia’s climate, wiper blades should be changed at least once a year – and sooner if your windscreen is not getting cleaned properly.
These day on some car you only need to replace the rubber part.
Car maintenance Part #7: headlights and indicators
Your car’s headlights and indicators should be checked regularly, bulbs blow up and you don’t always notice it.
Having working light is part of your safety.
For the correct globes you can ask the spare parts store.
Read the owner’s manual
Your owner manual will give enough information to perform basic maintenance tasks.
Car maintenance signs to whatch for:
- Dashboard warning lights
- Unusual noise
- Car steering on one side
- More exhaust smoke
- Oil consumption
- Coolant level low
- Difficulty to start
Things you can do at home
While there are some maintenance tasks that should only be performed by a licensed mechanic, not every process has the same complexity. If you don’t have a lot of money to give to your local mechanic, there are a number of maintenance task that you can do yourself.
You just need is some common tools and equipment with a bit of spare time, and a little know-how, and you’ll be saving money on maintenance issues.