It does not matter if you are a vehicle enthusiast or not. If you do own one, you need to make sure you maintain it properly for a long life. Otherwise, however much you love it, it will not last as long as it should. Moreover, it is not some cheap good that you can replace whenever broken. So, here are 14 car maintenance tips that you can follow to make it last longer.
1. Reading the owner’s manual
What is the owner’s manual for? It clearly is not to be kept inside the glove box, although this is what happens most of the time!
When it comes to car maintenance, knowing the manual thoroughly is important. In fact, it says almost everything about your vehicle. Ignoring its instructions could give you an expensive bill in the long run. So, to stay on top of things to do, read the manual.
2. Regular oil changes
In car maintenance, slipping on your oil changes will come back at you badly. Your vehicle’s lifeblood is oil. The engine needs it for maintaining its cool. For the best information, refer to your owner’s manual. It usually mentions when you need to change oil. This guide also has information in detail on how to perform an oil change as well as many other checks. All in all, make sure you do this in order to avoid serious engine damage.
3. Maintenance of other fluids
Other fluids you need to take care of include brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, wiper fluid etc. luckily, many vehicles feature indicator lights that alert you when needed. In any case, it’s always better to read your user manual and also check them regularly to avoid any unexpected problems.
4. Proper parking
Sri Lanka is a country with both sun and rain alike. Your vehicle has to go through all these climatic differences, too. If it gets pounded by rain regularly, it will not do good to the paint job. So, make sure to park in a garage or cover it with a proper cover.
5. Regular tire inspection
You need to monitor and maintain correct tire pressure on all four wheels. This will extend tire life, saving you money. In addition, it assures a safe ride, especially during higher speed driving. Moreover, if you have deflated tires, your engine has to work harder, increasing your fuel costs.
6. Filter replacement
Air filters make sure they catch debris and keep the engine running smoothly. As a result, they increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and in the long term, prolong engine life. The oil as well as fuel filters catch unwanted sediments, too. Your owner’s manual will tell you when to replace a filter. They are relatively inexpensive to replace. Until the point comes for replacement, you can wash them as needed. Your manual will tell you how to clean them.
7. Using quality products
When it comes to car maintenance, products are important. Sometimes when we are on a budget, it is hard to spend on auto parts and products. But, what your need to remember is that you will have to spend more if you opt for cheaper parts. The reason is that using cheap parts will cause serious damage and lead to even more expensive repairs. This applies to everything starting from engine oil, transmission fluid to how and with what you wash.
8. Proper driving techniques
You need to drive your vehicle smoothly. Plan your stops so that you do not have to slam on the brakes. Avoid potholes, bumps etc. For this, you need to be aware of your surroundings. In the long run, this will ensure that you will not wear out your vehicle. Moreover, it will save fuel and increase life.
9. Not postponing repairs
The reason you need to do a repair is because there is an issue. As you continue to drive with the mechanical issue, the issue only keeps worsening, requiring a more expensive repair. In addition, if you drive with an issue, it will affect other parts, requiring repairs to them, too. So, avoid postponing repairs.
10. Proper battery maintenance
One reason the battery will degrade and go flat is when you do not use the vehicle for long periods of time. So, if you are planning to leave it in the garage for a long time, use a trickle charger. This will keep the battery topped-up. If the battery goes flat, jump starting causes additional strain. As a result, the engine management system will experience damage. So, if you are not using a trickle charger, you need to consider driving it at least once a week.
11. Using air-conditioning
Yes, switching on A/C will cost you a bit of fuel. However, if you do not turn A/C on, it will cost you more, later. The reason is that these systems leak refrigerant gas over time, especially if not regularly used. As a result, you will need to go for re-gassing, which is quite expensive.
12. Regular service
You have a schedule recommended for servicing. Make sure you stick to it. This is important for long health. Usually, you need to go for a service based on a specific time or driven kilometers. You can get these details from the handbook.
13. Replacing spark plugs and leads
In car maintenance, replacing spark plugs and high-tension leads is a job you can do yourself. This will optimise
your engine’s performance. However, make sure to read through your owner’s manual.
Check for the following when inspecting a spark plug:
- a light brown electrode and insulator
- no signs of melting
- no signs of wear or deposits
A spark plug in a poor condition might indicate wear over time. If that is the case, you need to replace it. In addition, it also can hint at the condition of your engine.
If the plug is relatively new, check if there is a significant gap between the electrode and the insulator. Then, it could indicate an under-performing engine.
Check if the leads have cracks or show signs of heavy wear. This means that they need to be replaced.
Yes, your car maintenance can be as simple as this!
Grit can get into moving parts as well as the chassis. In turn, this will lead to accelerated corrosion and wear. Moreover, your paintwork will be a ruin if you allow bird droppings to sit for too long.
An automated wash is good, too. However, doing it manually will not let any dirt escape.
In addition, if you can go for an yearly polish, it will help prevent the spread of rust.
The cleanliness of the interior is important as well. Try to clean with a microfiber cloth.
The above are some car maintenance tips that you can follow regularly if you want to maintain its health for long. Despite whether you own a used car or brand new car, these tips will come in handy for you in the long run! However, you should also know when to take your car to a mechanic, for mechanical issues that need expertise.