Simple Do-It-Yourself Car Maintenance Tips

Maintaining one’s car in a good condition gets extremely easy once we know the right precautions to take, the necessary habits to be adopted and the correct way of tackling simple issues that keep on arising from time to time. So, here is a short and simple guide to car maintenance that can prove to be very useful for car owners in keeping away unnecessary car troubles over the days to come.

Wheels and Tyres

Wheels and tyres are one of the worst sufferers of everyday travel and hence they are one of those parts of a car that deserve the best care and the utmost attention of the car owner. Following are some useful pointers for those who wish to keep good care of their car’s tyres:

A regular check of tyres for cracks, bulges, extreme wear and other defects helps prevent dangerous accidents.

Timely check of tyre tread, whether by the use of tread indicators mounted on tyres or with the help of tread depth gauges, is important for knowing when tyres need replacement.

A weekly reading of tyre pressure and maintaining proper tyre pressure at all times helps improve fuel-economy, comfort, safety, road grip and handling in the car. however, these readings should only be taken when the tyres are cold as high temperature tends to alter them.

Uneven wear in tyres despite maintaining proper inflation indicates faulty wheel alignment, which should be repaired immediately by a professional mechanic.

For the tyres to have a long lifetime, rotation of wheels according to the timing and pattern described in the car’s user manual is extremely important.

The tough combination of dirt that usually accumulates on wheels and tyres can only be removed by strong cleaning agents meant exclusively for wheel wash. Using car body washing agents for wheels might result in improper cleaning.

Engine

For a car to function properly, its engine must function properly. Following are some tips that go a long way in keeping a car’s engine well-maintained:

The rubber drive belts of the engine should be checked after every 40,000km and replaced after every 80,000km.

The engine oil level should be checked after every 5,000km or after every 6 months and the reserve replenished if needed.

The engine coolant and antifreeze should be checked after every 40,000km, but only when the engine is cool. Their levels should always be within prescribed limits.

The transmission fluid level should be checked after every 40,000km, both when the engine is cold as well as when the engine is running. Proper levels should be maintained at all times.

Protecting sensitive parts like the air intake with plastic covers, the engine should be cleaned on a regular basis as it keeps heat generation at a minimum and makes fault-detection much easier.

A monthly check of engine hoses for cracks, leaks, disconnections and other defects is also recommended.

Changing oil frequently has always been known to keep the engine in good health.

For a car engine to function perfectly, auto-experts recommend changing the transmission fluid filter at every transmission fluid change, the oil filter at every other oil change and blow compressed air through the air filter after every two months and replace it when it seems necessary.

Spark plugs should also be replaced with new ones according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Battery

In order to keep the car’s power-supply going without any hitches, the battery needs to be maintained properly. Here are a few simple steps that can be taken to ensure that the car battery has a long life:

A monthly check of the battery is advised by auto-experts so that accumulated dirt on the battery’s case and terminals can be cleaned and in case of defects like cracks and bulges, a replacement can be done on time.

Keeping the battery clean is very important to ensure smooth and efficient flow of current. All that is needed is a wet cloth, a wire brush and a solution of a mild detergent in water. But, before the clean-up, the owner must disconnect the negative terminal (or both the terminals, disconnecting the negative first) of the battery to avoid getting any shocks. After the clean-up, the positive terminal must be reconnected before the negative one.

For batteries that need water, a regular check of the water level is recommended, and a refill (whenever required) with nothing but distilled water is advised by experts.

Brakes

For complete safety and absolute comfort, it is essential for the brakes and shock absorbers of a car to be in proper working condition at all times. Here is what can be done to ensure that these vital parts remain functional and can be repaired on time if ever they get faulty:

Monthly check of brake fluid should be done and the brake fluid reservoir should be refilled whenever required. Only the type of brake fluid prescribed by the car manufacturer should be used for the refill and care should be taken not to use fluid exposed to air and moisture for refill.

The brake fluid is toxic so it should be ensured that it does not come into contact with the face. Also, it can damage the car paint if allowed to spill on it.

An inspection of the brake system after every 16,000km is advised. In case, brake fluid is getting consumed at a rate faster than it should, a professional mechanic should be consulted as there might be some problem with the brake system in such situations.

Noises or vibrations experienced during braking are indicators of a faulty brake system. And so are brake pedals that are either too soft or too hard to press. An immediate check-up of the brake system by a professional is required in such cases.

Source : CarDekho