Basic Car Maintenance Everyone Should Know
Most people use their car every day without a second thought. They will get in, turn the key, and head out on their way. It’s almost always the case, unless you are a car person, that you don’t think something is in need of repair till a light shines or a weird noise starts to occur. Afterall keeping up with a vehicle requires some amount of attention.
But what if you could minimize the likelihood of an expensive repair, by doing only simple maintenance items? In this post, we will look at simple car maintenance items you can do that will potentially save you from experiencing a catastrophic event or costly car repair.
Tires are the essential features of your vehicle. They are what makes contact with the ground. Having good tires versus a bad one can make a huge difference. Have you ever experienced a tire blow out, or know someone that has? At high speeds having a tire, the blow can be incredibly dangerous. It can also do much more damages than just having a flat tire. Almost all tire blowouts can be avoided by simply checking your tires periodically, and having them replaced when needed.
A good rule of thumb is to inspect your tires every month for wear, tread, and that they are correctly inflated. The tire sidewall will tell you the max psi they should be filled to. Overinflating can be just as bad as under, so it is best to stay a little below the max. Check for signs damage to the tires as well; if anything looks suspicious, you can take it to our German auto repair shop.
CHECK THE OIL
There is no way of avoiding the topic of engine oil when talking about the maintenance of a vehicle. It is the fluid that keeps everything in your engine working the way it should. Oil reduces the friction of the metal movable parts within, and it an absolute must. Checking the oil isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Most vehicles are equipped with dipsticks that are labelled check oil on them. In fact, the dipstick will also have at the end clues as to if you are low on oil, clearly marked, low. If there is one maintenance item you should routinely do, and be in the habit of doing is checking the oil levels. If you find that your car is consistently low on oil, it could signal a leak or possibly other issues within the motor.
CHECK COOLANT LEVELS
Lastly, make sure to maintain adequate coolant in your vehicle’s cooling system. Each car requires a different type of coolant. BMW recommends the use of their own specially formulated coolant for their vehicles to run at their best. TIP: Use caution when checking your coolant levels. Never try to open the radiator cap if your car has been running and reached it’s operating temperature. In doing so can cause injury. The coolant is a pressurized system. When it is hot, pressure builds, the second you turn the cap it will spray out. At close to 200 degrees, this is something you don’t want touching your skin. Instead, wait until your car has had time cool down or even better let it rest overnight and check before starting it in the morning.
1. Read The Owner’s ManualWhen it comes to vehicles, there is no ‘one size fits all’ prescription. For example, the oil change schedule of your car depends on the type of car that you drive. Contrary to the common misconception, you don’t need to change the oil after every 3,000 miles.
Hence, before everything else, make sure you read the owner’s manual to double-check what your vehicle needs during maintenance. If you don’t, you will probably end up putting the wrong oil into your vehicle’s engine and cause serious damage.
2. Learn The Meaning Of Different Warning Light IndicatorsMost modern cars will notify you via warning lights whenever there are some issues that require immediate attention. However, those warning lights will be useless if you can’t interpret what they mean to choose the appropriate course of action. Here’s how it goes:
• Service engine light – You see that little print on your dashboard written “service engine”, “service” or “maint reqd”? When you see that indicator light, it’s a reminder that the recommended maintenance schedule is due.
• Check engine light – Otherwise known as the malfunction indicator lamp, it will tell you whenever the sensors in your engine detect a problem that ought to be fixed. Usually, it doesn’t specify the exact issue but you can consult a mechanic or use OBD2 scanner to find out the root cause of the problem.
• Brake warning light – If the brake warning light indicator automatically turns on, it could mean your brake fluid level is low or the brake pads are worn out. The brake warning light can also activate when you’ve engaged the parking brakes. But just to be sure, you can refer to the owner’s manual.
• Coolant warning light – Don’t wait for a whistle! In case you see the coolant warning light, you should pull over immediately, open the hood and wait for the car to cool down. The coolant light tells you that the engine internal temperature is beyond the limit and if you keep driving you may damage it. Don’t forget: never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot!
• ABS Warning light – Just like the brake warning light, if the ABS warning light flashes, it’s a sign that there could be a problem with the anti-lock braking system. In other words, it could be harder for you to suddenly stop your vehicle in an emergency situation. Otherwise, if both your ABS and brake warning lights are on, you shouldn’t risk driving your vehicle until the problem is fixed.
• Oil Warning light – Once the oil in your engine is lower than recommended, the oil warning light will engage. It could also be a symptom of a bigger problem like oil filter blockage or oil pump malfunction. Mind you, driving your car when the warning light is on can completely wreak havoc to the engine.
• Electrical fault light – Obviously, it means there is an issue with the electrical charging system. You can run a diagnostic to dig deeper into the cause. In most cases, it’s usually the alternator that is misbehaving.
Maintaining a good running vehicle is as simple as checking its primary components. These simple care tasks only take a few minutes and are well worth the time. Many repairs, breakdowns, or troubles can be avoided with proper care.
If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!
sources: ryangmw, carcarehunt
35 years+ in the automotive industry in a variety of roles finally settling into the ...