What Does Routine Car Maintenance Include?
To prolong your car’s life, there are dozens of things you need to do. Some of them need to be performed every so often, some according to mileage consumption, while others depend on the state of your car’s health and your driving style. Some services are needed as part of a strict maintenance schedule for your car to run smoothly and safely. Let’s take a look at some of those:
1 – Check Your Car Tires Regularly. Not doing so can lead to driving on the low tread, which will reduce your grip on the road. Tires get worn, they develop cracks, bulges, you can get pressure points in odd places, small objects can get in the tread. These are all terrible things. Most car tires have tread wear indicators; these are usually six small ribs across the bottom of the grooves of the main tread. When the tread surface gets to the same level as the ribs, it’s time to get your tires changed.
2 – Check Your Tire Pressure When Your Tires Are Cold. Tire pressure should be checked once a week; you can get the correct tire pressure from your owner’s manual. When your tires have the right amount of air in them, the car brakes and handles correctly. If the tire pressure is too high, then you will lose stability in braking and cornering. It’s also easier to damage a high-pressure tire. Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold – within a few miles of driving, tires become warm, and checking warm tires gives an inaccurate reading.
3 – Check Your Engine Oil. Most modern cars tend to be good at retaining oil. With that said, if your car isn’t topped up with oil, then the engine could get damaged, or overheat. First of all, make sure the car engine is cold, and the car is on level ground. Find out what kind of oil your car takes from the owner’s manual, and get some. Next, take the dipstick out and wipe it clean. Reinsert the dipstick fully, pull it out again, and check that the oil goes up to a point between the “F” and “L” marks. L stands for Low, so if the oil is low, you need to add more. Locate the oil filler cap; this is usually on the top of the engine. Unscrew the oil filler cap carefully and place it on one side. Pour in a small amount and re-check the level with the dipstick. Over-filling can cause as many problems as having insufficient oil, so err on the side of caution.
4 – Check The Engine Coolant / Anti-freeze. Nobody wants their car to overheat – a lack of coolant could cause this to happen. It’s best to check the level of coolant before a long journey. It’s important to note that engine coolant is poisonous and corrosive – if it gets on your skin or the cars’ bodywork, wash it off quickly. Your owner’s manual will help you find the engine coolant reservoir. Check that the current level is between the minimum and maximum levels. If the coolant is low, add extra fluid. Make sure that the car is cold before attempting to re-fill with coolant. If the car has been running, then the engine and radiator will be hot, and hot fluid could escape from the radiator and scald you. Place a cloth over the coolant filler cap and slowly unscrew it, enabling any pressure to escape. Then fill the reservoir to the maximum mark, and replace the cap.
5 – Check Your Shock Absorbers. This is a nice and easy test; it can be kind of fun too. Just push down on each corner of your car, and then release. The car should settle into its’ normal position after one or two bounces. If it takes longer than one or two bounces, then you need to replace your shock absorbers.
- Check Your Brakes. You should get your braking system checked every 10,000 miles or once a year. It helps to be aware of the feel of the brakes when you are driving – if you notice a lack of firmness in the brakes, or if you have to push the brake to the floor before anything happens, get it checked – it could be that you have a leak in your braking system, or that the fluid level is low. If you’re getting a shaking or vibration in the pedal, or the steering wheel, that may suggest that you need replacement rotors, or they may just need resurfacing. If you get a squealing sound, then that says your brake pads are wearing thin. If you get a grinding sound or metal-on-metal, then you could have serious problems, and should get a trained mechanic to look at your brakes ASAP.
- Top Up Your Brake Fluid. Without brake fluid, your brakes won’t work. So it’s important to make sure you’ve got some in the car. Brake Fluid is very toxic, so if you’re not comfortable handling poisons, get an expert in to do the job. If you are handling it, keep it away from your hands and eyes, and avoid spilling it on the ground – pets have been known to eat it off the floor and die. Also keep it away from paint-work, as it’s corrosive too. Check the owner’s manual, and find the brake fluid reservoir. As with the other fluids in the car, if the fluid is below the MIN level, then add fluid until it reaches MAX.
Yes, there are a lot of systems on your car that need frequent maintenance. How can you keep up with it all?
Looking for a reliable partner for your scheduled car care in Allen, TX?
If you are in Allen, TX, and need routine car maintenance, bring it to Aloha Auto Repair. We will inspect your car and let you know what maintenance you may need to consider. We also keep accurate records of your maintenance so that we can inform you whenever you are due for the next service. Take the worry and concern out of car ownership. You drive. Let us worry about your car. Give us a call at (469) 617-6121 and visit our website—www.alohaautorepairtx.com. Also, check out our blog for more helpful tips!