Suppose you are a new car owner. It means this is the first time that you have bought a car. Now you’re in cloud 9 and enjoying your drives whenever wherever you want. For the first few months, everything will go well. Then gradually you will start facing problems with your car. A car is a lot like a human body which tends to get sick if you don’t follow the regime. A human body needs to have the right foods, some exercise, hygiene, and visiting doctors if anything seems wrong. Likewise, a car also needs regular checkups or preventive maintenance so that you can keep it in good shape for a longer run.
Now there are two vital questions- What does it mean by preventive maintenance? And, when does it need to begin? Let’s start to find out the answers that may give you a better idea about the ways to keep your car in better condition.
Basic Car Maintenance Checklist
1. Following the Manual
At the time of buying a car, you’re given a manual by the dealer along with the car. A manual is the source of information which gives you the idea about many things to maintain your car in better shape. It tells you how often you need to change the engine oil, filters, timing belts, and serpentine belts, etc. Besides, it also makes you know which kind of oil is better for your car. For example, the manual will suggest you use high octane oil for your car instead of low octane oil, unless the damage may cost you a good sum of money.
2. Inspecting the Functions
Though you’re not technical enough to track the fault of your car, you can at least see and feel the changes that may seem to you out of normal. For example, you can check the air pressure in your tires, make sure all lights are working properly, and feel the unusual sounds that may come from inside the engine or from somewhere else of your car. Following all these certainly saves your car from any major damage.
3. Checking the Fluids
In every car, no matter what kind of it is has some kind of fluids like antifreeze, coolant, power steering, and wiper fluid that need to be checked regularly. Though you cannot change it but not a tough job to check it. All you need to open the hood of your car and try to see if you can find it. It may be done in two ways, either you can see the tank level directly or use gauges, dipsticks to check the current level of the fluid if it is at the specified level or not. If it is running low then you need to fill it or get it changed.
4. Testing the Battery
Though these days car batteries don’t need any kind of maintenance, still you have to take care of it unless you need to replace it early. You can see the two main things, if it is leaking or not and the next if there are any kind of minerals or other build-ups on the contacts. In the first case, you have to take help from a service center, but in the other case, you have to clean off the contact using a battery cleaning brush.
5. Looking at The Belts
The timing belt and the serpentine belt both are essential for your car. But both of them don’t last long. After a scheduled mileage, you need to change them. Though many people may give their own ideas about the time of change, it would be better for you to follow the manual. But before that ask the mechanic to check the condition of these belts. If you find them in a good condition after a certain mileage, then you do not need to change them immediately.
6. Replacing the Cabin Air Filter
The cabin air filter is an essential part of your car as it keeps the air fresh inside the car. This is probably one of the few tools that can be changed all by yourself easily. Replacing a cabin air filter requires only after you find it in the dirtiest condition after a long drive.
7. Changing Engine Air Filter
Engine air filter helps to keep the engine free from dirt as much as it can. But if you have a long drive or if you have to go through tough traffic problems for quite sometimes, it is certain that your engine filter may certainly get dirty soon. In this situation, you have to consider changing the filter quite frequently. This could not be done by you, but you have to call a mechanic for this purpose.
8. Fixing a New Spark Plug
To give your car a quick start you need a spark plug fixed with your car. But after long use, this tool tends to cover with build-up or worn out, then you have to remove that and go for fixing a new one. Unless you would be experienced with a breakdown anytime anywhere. Changing the spark plug is not a difficult job. But if you have a little hesitation doing this, you may follow the manual where you’re told to change it quite frequently.
9. Cleaning the Brake Dust
Though the brake dust doesn’t affect much on the function of the brake system of your car, it makes the wheels look very unpleasant. Brake dust is nothing but a combination of iron and carbon that comes from brake rotor and brake pad. If ignored, it may leave the wheels severely stained. To clean up the dirt you have to take a sponge or a cotton cloth with some cold water. You have to do the cleaning job quite regularly.
10. Rotating and Checking the Tyres
While driving a car the balance and alignment of wheels are necessary for the safety on the road. All the wheels of your car are needed to be rotated, balanced, and aligned properly as they are supposed to do. Therefore, it is obvious for you to check the tires of your quite frequently to avoid any kind of hassle or accident while running on the road.
You have been dreaming of owning a car since the long past. Thank God now you have made it true. Now it is your terms to keep it for a longer run. To make this possible you need to maintain your car properly. And to make it happen you need to know the ways and to learn the ways you need to follow the things that I have told so far. Best of luck.