Car Maintenance Tips and Checklists That Extend Car Life
You shouldn't distinguish between cars and humans when it comes to health. You always get an appointment with your doctor, but what about your car? If you are saying, "I don't know," then I might tell you that it needs to be maintained too. In fact, it needs to be maintained more frequently than you think as well as you should know car maintenance tips and checklists.
While you are thinking, I'm not a technician guy; I must tell you that you don't need to be. It is not rocket science. It is just some simple procedures to follow to keep your car in good shape. Also, I must tell you that this will reduce your car maintenance cost and will increase the car's life span. So, let's dig into our car maintenance and servicing basics to understand your car more than ever.
Why Should I Need to Take Care of Car Maintenance?
Like your body, your car needs to be maintained regularly. Most of us do not have any idea from when you need to start maintaining your car. Well, in my opinion, start it right after you bought the car. I mean seriously, you cannot leave your vehicle vulnerable right after purchasing it. Many would say, "Wait a minute. It runs just fine! Why would I take the car maintenance so seriously?" But trust me, if you do not make sure the proper maintenance of your car, it's going to kill itself no matter what.
You might also probably say, "Hey, I don't know anything about cars! I just ride them." Or, "I don't have much time for this. What should I do?" But listen, these excuses are no good for your car. You can't ignore the essential car maintenance, which is totally easy, and you can do it yourself. Always remember, prevention is a thousand times better than cure.
Read the Owner’s Manual
Reading the owner's manual is the most important part which we miss right after purchasing the car. We just leave these pieces of sheets just behind and jump into the car. Did you ever wonder why they give it to you in the first place if it doesn't have any necessities? Have you ever read it? Well, if you haven't, then you should. It comes with the basic car maintenance procedures like which fluid to use, how often you should refill it, how to check the tyre pressure of the car, how to get rid of engine overheating issue, how to change the bulbs in blinker lights etc. Now, don't freak out when you hear this. It is totally some of the necessary maintenances to perform all on your own. Most of the manuals come with visual directions for performing these maintenances, which makes it easier to understand for first-timers.
Never Skip the Scheduled Maintenance/Service
Roads aren't plain surfaces. If you don't feel any disturbance during the ride, that doesn't mean your car is totally fine. There could always have some faulty conditions which are hiding behind your back. It could lead your car to permanent damage anytime, maybe during a trip. Do you dare to take that risk? If you don't, then it is recommended to take scheduled maintenance and never skip them. You can get the scheduled maintenance timings from your owner's guide. This process takes several basic checkups like changing engine oil, replacing spark plugs, filters or timing belts, etc. Your car is diagnosed thoroughly during this maintenance & if anything is wrong with the car, it is fixed immediately.
Car Maintenance Tips and Checklists
There have been some revolutionary improvements in the car industries in the past few decades. Car technology has been changed a lot. Nowadays, you don't need to pull up the bonnet of your car and take a wrench to fix the issues.
Now, on our days, engines have a computer-controlled management system. Your engine is now more intelligent than ever. So, playing with wrench things are gone. Still, you can take some car safety measurements on your own to keep your car right.
BASIC CAR SAFETY CHECKLIST
· Seatbelts – check the tension of the belt and buckle operation
· External Lights – replace bulbs with same fittings if necessary
· Brake Pad– ensure that it is working properly, it can stop the vehicle when you press the brake pedal.
· Windscreens & mirrors – check for cracks at windscreens and mirrors
· Windscreen wipers – check the wear on wiper blades
· Horn – ensure horn works properly.
· Fluids – check car’s engine oil and engine coolant levels
· Tyres – ensure every tyres are at the ideal pressure, also check tread wear
· Spare tyre& jack – ensure they are operating properly, also check the toolkit
· Engine oil
· Radiator coolant
· Power steering fluid
· Windscreen washer fluid
· Clutch fluid (manual cars)
· Differential fluid
· Tyre pressures
· Treadwear and tread depth
· Spare tyre
· Car jack and tools
· Indicators/hazard lights
· Brake lights
· Reverse lights
· Park & Fog lights
OTHER GENERAL THINGS TO CHECK
· Radiator hoses – check for tiny leaks and cracks
· Engine air filter – ensure that the filter is clean and passes the air properly.
· Battery & Alternator– fix corrosion if any around the terminals & Charging capacity of Alternator
· Fan belts – ensure none of the fan belts are loose/squeaking on start-up
· Unusual engine noises – check for noises like hard to start, ticking, clunking or hissing
Some Common Mistakes That are Responsible for Damaging Your Vehicle
Trust me, we are all making some common mistakes regularly, which can lead to serious damaging issues for our vehicle. It is always better to find out those mistakes and act according to it.
1. Riding Over your Brakes down the Hill or Sloppy Roads:
Do you know what makes the brake pads wear out so easily? The Heat. Yeah, you heard it right. The more heat gets the brake pad, the more chances created for wearing it out. And the heat is produced when you frequently press your brake pad while you are riding down the hill or a sloppy road (a flyover). To reduce this risk, you need to frequently change between braking and letting off the brake.
2. Holding Brakes too Frequently:
While you are on the busiest road of the town, you might need to hold your brakes too frequently. But this will lead to permanent damage to your car. This is an unavoidable issue, but you can minimize the damage. It is proven that sudden speed can hamper the brakes too much. That is why you can ride at a low or constant speed to avoid this issue.
3. Forgetting to Change the Engine Oil:
This is one of the most common mistakes we do. We buy the car, ride over it, and we don't care much about it. We leave the engine oil unchanged unless it turns to a dark color oil. I'm telling you, this is no good for your car. You need to change the engine oil as frequently as the owner's manual of your car says. This may vary with the model of the car, so it is necessary to check for your car model. Also, try to change the oil filter frequently.
4. Neglecting to Use the Parking Brake:
We always forget to use the parking brake, but it is necessary to put while we are parking on a steep hill or a much flatter surface. Other than that, the parking brake helps to reduce the strain off the transmission. This habit of using a parking brake can easily add up to one year to your car's life.
5. Ignoring Noises:
You can never ignore funny noises that are made by your car. Remember, there's always something if that noise happens. Try to listen to it carefully and find out what it is trying to say. A technician can easily find out problems just by hearing the sounds of your car. You need to master these sounds if you want to find out what the real problems are happening with our car. You may need to replace CV Boot, Brake pads or Shock Absorbers. If you are unable to do so, you better call a technician ASAP.
6. Shifting from Reverse to Drive (or vice versa) while the Car is Moving:
Why would you do that? Never perform this operation while the car is still moving slowly. By doing this, you are basically asking to perform your gear to work as a brake, which puts an enormous strain. You take my suggestion and never do that again if you did already. It could lead to worn transmission, sloppy suspension handling, and damaged drive shafts.
7. Putting Stress on the Car Engine When You Strat It:
To minimize the stress, you need to turn off all of the accessories like radio, windscreen wipers, air conditioning, etc. This will help the car to start easily. Maximum wear over your car happens during the ignition. So, give it a break, let it start normally. After it starts, wait for one or two minutes before heading off. Oh, one thing again, don't rev the engine to warm up your car in the winter. That's a history long ago, buddy.
To conclude, I must say take care of your cars properly and regularly. Most of us might think it is funny, but our car is our family member. It is one of the must need devices in our lives. It is our responsibility to keep it well maintained for the sake of ourselves. I hope you really liked this "Car Maintenance Tips and Checklists" article. Thanks for reading the article thoroughly. Also, last but not least, "Ride safe, be safe."