Car Maintenance: 9 things to check!

What is Car Maintenance?

Car maintenance is a routine check carried out on an automobile to ensure it remains in good shape.  All automobiles including cars, motorbikes, and trucks require maintenance but may differ based on the make, model, or type of automobile in question.

Keep your car healthy

The importance of car maintenance may not be very obvious to young drivers and first-time car owners.  This is because they believe their vehicles are in good condition and may not require the necessary routine checks till they get older. That's not very accurate. You don't need to wait until your maintenance required light or check engine light comes on before you take action.

Why should I check and service my car regularly?

As a car owner, practicing and observing safety measures helps you maintain your vehicle and keep it in good working condition. The importance of car maintenance cannot be overemphasized. Negligence will only make the problem pile up while your car degenerates.

In the end, it eventually breaks down and this can cost you a fortune financially and otherwise. Car dealers educate buyers on the importance of regular servicing and check-ups. This is to make sure that the vehicle is kept in a good and safe condition at all times.

Recommended read:

Things to look out for when Running a Car Maintenance Check

Regular checks must be carried out on the essential parts of the vehicle, including the brakes, clutch, transmissions, engine, cylinder head, and other mechanical parts. While most of these checks require an auto mechanic, some can be done by the car owner. Radiator water level, engine oil, Wipers, etc. some of the necessary routine checks needed to sustain your automobile are explained below.

The water level in the Radiator

A car radiator is a heat exchanger that is used to reduce the temperature of coolant/antifreeze in the engine. Water is the coolant used in radiators and car radiators work hard to keep the car cool.

It is, therefore, a necessary practice to check the level of water in the radiator regularly and top-up if necessary. Issues with the cooling system account for major car breakdowns. Research confirms that overheating is among the top 10 problems drivers face on the road. To see how to check the coolant level of your radiator watch this.

Brake Pads

Brakes perform the function of bringing a vehicle to a stop regardless of its speed level. The braking system of your car is one of the most important safety features to consider. Well-maintained brakes can save you an accident or a potential tragedy. In order to maintain your braking system, there are two important things every car owner should do:

  1. Check your brake fluid regularly
  2. Have the brake pads and brake discs inspected when necessary.

As a driver, check your brakes every 10,000 to 13,000 miles. Check also the thickness of your brake pads every time you rotate your tires. Do well to change them when they start getting worn out.

checking brake pads for car maintenance
 Structure of a Brake Pad

Check/Change Oil for Proper Car Maintenance

Engine oil is a very crucial component in an automobile. It is the blood of an engine system and just like red blood cells die off and get replaced by the bone marrow when engine oil gets old or dirty, they need to be replaced or topped up.

check oil level

Engine oil is a substance that lubricates the inner components of internal combustion engines. It also prevents corrosion and keeps these components cool while in use. Over time, oil gets dirty and needs to be changed to keep your engine healthy.

Check the owner’s manual of your car to find out how often the manufacturer suggests replacing your oil. General recommendations for an oil change suggest every 3,000-5,000 miles. Some modern engines can however run for 7,000 miles or more before an oil change is required. To learn more about engine oil, click here.

Change Oil for proper Car Maintenance

Check & Replace Wiper Blades

During winter or rainy days, it very difficult for car drivers to see through and this can be extremely dangerous because it can lead to fatal accidents and loss of lives. Wiper blades are, therefore, necessary and should be in good condition. These wiper blades are made of rubber and will wear and tear over time.

Old and worn-out wiper blades will leave streaks of lines on the windscreen of your vehicle that makes it difficult to see through and can leave scratches on your windscreen, hence scarring it permanently. It is, therefore, advised that you test your blades every month or two using a slight spray of your washer fluid.

Replacing your wiper blades should happen at least once or twice a year, depending on how frequently you use them. Changing wiper blades does not require any special skill or tools.  In other words, it is DIY-friendly. This video will guide you through the process.

Battery Charge level: A Necessity for Car Maintenance

Checking your battery level is very important for proper car maintenance. Your car battery can die spontaneously if you don't maintain it properly. Most batteries come with years of warranty which could be five or six years. It is, however, not unusual for a battery to last for about two or three years before wearing out.

Whilst performing other car checks, take a minute to check your battery’s voltage too. If you notice that the voltage is dropping significantly, it may be time to replace your battery. Click here for a step-by-step guide towards running a car battery check. It's fast and easy!

Check your Car Battery Charge Level

Rotate Your Tires & Check Air Pressure

Tires are perhaps the most important and delicate component of a car. This is because it almost single-handedly determines how your vehicle moves on the road.

Tires balance your vehicle on the road, making it possible for the car to be turned, moved, and stopped safely. When tires are worn out they run a high risk of blowing out or flattening out at odd places which is very unsafe. Worn-out tires are also very risky, especially when driving under bad weather.

Periodic and systematic rotation of tires is recommended and should be adopted. Another thing that maintains your tires is wheel alignment, this should be checked professionally twice yearly to ensure your steering is straight and your tires are rolling perfectly. This ensures maximum traction and functionality and helps prevent one part of the tire from wearing out badly

Fan Belts

Fan belts are belts that transmit rotation from one engine component to another thereby enhancing motion. As you drive your car over time, these belts become weak and wear out. This is natural due to the friction caused by constant use.

It is, therefore, wise to be conscious of them. Once a scar is noticed, it should be replaced immediately. These belts have a functional span of about 60,000 miles, but I wouldn’t hurt to be observant. Learn more about fan belts here.

Fan Belts

Spark Plugs

Sparks plugs are very important components of any car engine. Unfortunately, they wear out over time. It is, however, very easy to tell when spark plugs begin to fail.

Some of the signs that indicate a failing spark plug include slow acceleration, jerking of the car, etc. Spark plugs need to be replaced every 20,000-40,000 miles, depending on the vehicle model and specification. Click here to see a detailed description of spark plugs and how it works.

Air Filter

The air filter is responsible for preventing debris from getting into the engine when air is pumped in. As the mileage of your car increases, especially when you drive through dusty areas, your air filter will become clogged with debris and would need to be replaced.

It is recommended you change your air filter every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. Check out our detailed guide on the car air filter to learn more.

 Engine Air Filter

Watch this to see a step-by-step guide on how to replace your air filter.

Benefits of Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance saves time and Money

Sudden breakdowns and piled-up faults are both cost demanding and time-consuming. When your car is properly maintained, fatal breakdowns can be avoided. In other words, you barely find yourself in an emergency situation. This way, you save time, money and sustain comfort.

Proper Car Maintenance Improves the lifespan of your car

Undertaking regular maintenance can be likened to a routine visit to the hospital for a general health checkup. when you perform activities like exercising regularly, and eating healthy food, your health is stable,

The same thing applies to your car. Changing your oil regularly, checking your air and oil filter, as well as keeping necessary car parts clean and free of impurities will keep the car in good shape. This, in turn, extends its life span.

Less Inconveniencing and Embarrassing moments

Imagine driving on the road with faulty windshield wipers, only to be confronted with a heavy downpour on the road. You can tell how embarrassing, dangerous and inconvenient that would be. Inconveniencing moments and breakdowns are bound to occur as long as you own a car, but with good car maintenance, these occurrences can be reduced to the barest minimum.

Reassurance That Your Car is Fit for Traveling

When you perform regular car maintenance, two things are achieved at the same time. Firstly, fundamental issues that have the potential to cause huge problems are eliminated.

For example,  topping up or changing the engine oil of your car could prevent the engine from overheating or knocking out. It also gives you a chance to really understand your vehicle and notice when things look or sound off. This will help you identify issues before they become huge problems.

Secondly, if you are proactive with your car maintenance, the need for frequent checks would reduce as well. For instance, changing your air filter regularly keeps your gas consumption at an optimal level, and ensures a smooth running of your engine. Changing an air filter doesn’t cost a lot of money, but replacing an engine does. Which do you prefer?

Car Maintenance Enhances Safety

Regular safety checks will help prevent unwanted accidents and inconveniencing breakdowns on the road. A good maintenance check will include thorough and meticulous observation of the safety accessories, the electrical components of the car, the engine, fluid levels, and tire condition.

A good safety check will significantly reduce the chances of the car getting into a road accident due to a failure in one of its parts. For instance, unchecked tires could burst in the middle of the road or in some cases pull out totally and cause havoc.

maintain car to keep safe

It sustains Quality

Just like living things, cars have a lifespan. As they age, their quality diminishes. Regular checks, servicing and tune-ups will help maintain the quality of the vehicle, thereby stretching its longevity. These checks will preserve the car, as well as the owner from unforeseen breakdowns and wear-outs. \

When you run a check on your car often, it helps you identify parts that need repair or replacement. Maintaining the good quality of the car would mean a complete check on all the mechanical parts to make sure that they are all working fine. Even when they are, regular checks and inspections could uncover problems in their early stage and that would be a plus to the car owner.

It prevents Bigger Problems

Just like tiny bricks make a building, little problems lead to bigger ones. Neglecting the need for regular car maintenance could pile up smaller issues which could lead to bigger problems in the vehicle.

This is similar to being unaware of a treatable disease that eventually develops into a deadly one. Regular Car maintenance is all about preventive measures. This should not be disregarded because of the time and money it may require. In the end, more money would be saved with preventive maintenance than with a major repair, or worse, a road accident.

Key Takeaways!

  • Run a routine check on your car whether or not it is faulty.
  • Cars are like human beings, they need constant checks to stay in good shape
  • Car maintenance prevents havoc.
  • Your safety can be dependent on the state of your car.
  • Regular car maintenance saves time and cost.
  • keep your car in good shape, drive safe and stay safe!

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