We all envy our neighbour with an older, high-mileage vehicle that never ditches on road and keeps running smoothly. We often scratch our heads in the quest of unveiling its secret of it too. But the key to the chamber of secrets lies in the core of maintenance.
Maintenance and lubrication using the right kind of manufacturer recommended oil and grease every day, keeps the service mechanics away. Regular checks on your car will keep the power train going strong. Additionally, check the cambelt for signs of wear and tear to improve life of the gear box and combustion engine.
Let us look at more tips to know how to maintain our car in a smart way!
- Lubricate your engine
If you don’t possess the habit of changing the oil in your engine regularly, nothing can help you. Checking and changing the engine oil is very necessary. An engine will have a long lasting life if you keep changing the oil and filters regularly. Negligence towards oil-level checks may have a negative impact on your car.
- Keep it cool
Car cooling system is an important part of a car that protects the engine from overheating. Assuring the use of high-quality coolant is a must to prevent overheating of the engine. Changing the coolant once a year and flushing the cooling system is necessary too. Checking the level of coolant once a fortnight or at regular intervals keeps the engine well maintained.
- Gear it up
Try and use transmission fluid or gear oil to protect the gears properly. Changing transmission and differential oils at different service intervals is a good measure to adopt.
- Wash and Clean
Do not forget to wash your car periodically. Hosing off the dirt from an exterior of your car is a must. Washing and re-waxing your car with a dish washing detergent is a good option. Dish washers remove the old wax coat from the car and prepare the surface for recoating. Prefer detergent based products because soaps generally contain trace elements that may damage paint.
- Avoid Sun Burn
Try to protect your car from sun tan the way you protect your skin. Prefer to park your car in the shade, to protect the interior plastic of your car. Also, dust and dirt are the worst enemies of your car surface. Wipe down the dash and exteriors frequently to remove them. Providing seat covers in fabric or leather also helps keep the car cool.
- Take care of Brake
Brake fluid attracts moisture, it is hygroscopic. Moisture can cause severe damage and components may get corroded. You should try replacing the fluid and bleed system once a year. Brake fluid doesn’t come heavy in your pocket. Cruising around with the car is a strict no no. The accelerator and brake pedals must be treated gently. Experimenting with speed may leave you thrilled and excited, but it affects the fuel efficiency of the vehicle adversely.
- Plan it better
Planning on and combining trips also contribute to better fuel efficiency. It is because your car will consume more fuel in two short trips and less in a longer one. Check your battery and replace your windshield wipers whenever necessary. Changing your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles and using a reliable brand is also equally important.
Getting your brake pads replaced every 25,000 miles is a good idea. Before embarking on a journey take a tour around your vehicle and see if there are any leaks, check your tire pressure every 7,500 miles to enjoy a glitch free experience. The lesser the tyre pressure, the more will be the contact area between the tyre and the road. Hence driving with optimal tyre pressure makes a considerable difference.
- Windshield Wipers
Replacement of old blades from time to time is very necessary. Rubber-clad blades are best suited for harsh climates. Also, try to clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank. Wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel gently so that loose dirt or oil gets removed.
- Replacing air filters
Replacing cabin air filter and engine air filter from time to time promises you a comfortable ride. Dirty engine filter must get replaced. If you drive a regular commuter who travels a lot, chances of dirtier engine filters are more. So, remember to check it on a regular basis.
- Spark Plugs
Worn out spark plugs imply that engine is not working properly. It would decrease the fuel efficiency and may lead to a breakdown. So, getting them changed from time to time is quite necessary. That can cost you money in fuel for one, but it can also lead to a breakdown.
- Speed on Wheels
Tyres of a car make it wheel around and let them do the talking with air. So, making sure that tyres are inflated at the manufacturer recommended levels should be the first thing that you check in the morning, a minimum of once a week.
- Avoid Electrical Faults
Have electrical faults of your car hampered your journey? Such a scenario is quite frustrating, isn’t it? So, make sure to assess the electrical system of your car before you plan a journey so that you can have a memorable experience. Remember to inspect all the lights and bulbs before leaving and replace them when needed.
- Condition it well
Applying a few concepts of Physics, not very typical ones though, may also bless your car with longevity. Aerodynamics, i.e. the interaction between the air and your car moving can affect fuel efficiency. So, turning on air conditioner instead of opening car windows is worth to be considered. After all, it promises you comfort and gives you a smooth driving experience.
- Spend Wisely
Be careful while you take your car for servicing or for repair. Spend wisely and don’t leave your car for service for long. Try not to neglect even minor problems. Even a minor problem may turn out to be a serious one. So, being alert to all the problems is a wise thing to do. Each and every part of your car calls for rapt attention whether engine or tyres, gears or fuel system. Even the electrical system requires proper care.
- Be Attentive
Any unusual noise or sound of your car is worth checking. It is better to note performance changes if there are any before the development of the serious problem. During the break-in period, the speed of car must be kept under 88 kmph and stick to the speed recommended by your car’s manufacturer. This will keep your engine healthy for a long period and will increase car’s fuel efficiency. Never compromise on the quality of spare parts and always prefer to go for the original ones. Local spare parts might adversely affect the performance of your vehicle in the long run.
- Battery Life
The entire electrical system of a car revolves around its battery. It stores the energy produced by the alternator or generator and supplies uninterrupted current to lights. So, clean the top of the battery and corrosions from cables using a tablespoon of baking soda, a cup of water and a non-metallic brush. Keeping an eye on the level of electrolyte is also crucial.
- Check Shock Absorbers
Shock absorbers must be in a good condition. For checking your car’s shock absorbers condition, take one of the two front corners, and push it down with your weight and release it. If the car returns to its stationary position after one or two bounces then it denotes a good set of shock absorbers. If it takes longer time to return to stationary position after bouncing or bounces for long, then a mechanic needs to look at it for possible issues with suspension.
- Cleaning the tank
A vehicle’s fuel pump cannot be said to be a maintenance item, but it requires replacement at times too. Before you replace a defective fuel pump with a new one, you must ensure that the fuel tank is properly cleaned and does not have any debris, dirt, and contaminants.
Many of these maintenance tips come handy and are easy to try. So, try to steal some time from your busy schedule for pampering your car. It deserves your care. After all, cars if maintained properly, promise to be your mate for long journeys, no matter how twisted the roads are, when you take care of it, it will take care of you. Maintain it well for a pleasant and hassle-free experience in the long run.