Cars are a complex mass of gear, wheels, belts, tubes, oil and a host of other parts. The perfect flow of this parts and systems, will keep your car purring beautifully. On the other hand, if one part is dysfunctional, it can disrupt the proper function of your entire car making it a nightmare to use.
Doctors recommend that you go in for a checkup every six months. They check your vital signs, do a few scans and maybe take a blood sample. This way they can assure you of your good health, and catch any pathology early on.
Similarly the systems in your car, need to be regularly checked to make sure that they are running efficiently. Maintenance keeps the car running smoothly, and it fixes minor problems before they metamorphose into big costly ones. If you carry out regular preventive maintenance, you can save yourself a load of money. The following is a basic guide to help you as you inspect your car regularly and performs routine maintenance on the car.
1. Rotate your tires.
Tires tend to wear differently. The front tires wear out more on the outer edges than the inner ones, this is because the front tires are the ones that lean when you turn a corner. The back tires wear more evenly as they keep to a straight path through out.
Rotating tires means that you move them from one wheel to another wheel. Rotating tires ensures that they all wear out evenly on all sides. This will keep you from having to replace the front wheels much sooner, and it will keep you safe.
2. Clean your brakes regularly.
Brake pads are constructed using minute metal or carbon components which are bound using an adhesive. When these get hot, they tend to burn into wheels leaving nasty marks. Hence, you should remove this brake dust with cold water and a cloth. If it get a little tough, you could use car wash liquid.
3. Routinely check tire pressure.
Tire pressure falls over time, so check your tire pressure weekly. Bad tire pressure can lead to an increase in your fuel costs, and can make handling of the road very difficult.
4. Assess the treads.
Tires are bound to wear out eventually. Shallow treads mean that the wheels grip on roads is weak, and on a wet road or in snow and ice, the vehicle is likely to skid. Thus you should regularly check the depth of your tire treads.
5. Check your engine belts.
The engine has two belts that require a regular look. The timing belt and the serpentine belt. Check your owner’s manual to see when they should be changed.
If the belts are intact, it is a waste of money to replace them. However, if you notice any damage, replace them immediately. This is because, if the belts break during use and go unnoticed, they can cause massive amounts of damage to other components leading to very costly repairs.
6. Check oil levels.
Oil is used to lubricate and cool the engine. If the levels of oil fall below what is optimal, the engine will start to overheat and there will be increased friction between the engine parts. To check oil levels, use the dipstick.
Also assess the appearance of your oil. If it looks murky or dirtier than usual, that may be a call to change it. However, always refer to your owner’s manual because different engines require oil changes at different times.
7. Check the level of coolant.
Engines produce a significant amount of heat. This heat makes them inefficient, and that is where oil and coolant come in. Should the level of coolant be low, you will start to notice that your engine overheats much more frequently. To prevent this, check that your level of coolant is optimal. If you do not know where to find the coolant, refer to your owner’s manual.
8. Look at the battery terminals.
The battery is what keeps your electrical system going. If the terminals are not clean the flow of electricity becomes impeded. Thus it is advisable to regular clean terminals with a wire brush. If the collection of sulfate is heavy, use water and baking soda.
9. Paint care.
The paint job of a car is very delicate. Stains like bird droppings can permanently ruin the paint job. Thus it is wise to clean the body of the car as soon as it gets dirty. Then use wax or polish to maintain its shine, and make it more difficult for the vehicle to collect dirt.
If you follow the above steps, your car should run smoothly and you can avoid expensive repairs. For a professional checkup, you can roll by Walmart for their auto services.