10 Maintenance Things
Regular servicing and inspections is important in all makes and models, but there are some small, but important checks that will help to keep your car running smoothly, reliably and safely, if done regularly could help reduce the cost of repairs.
I have compiled a list of 10 items that can be carried out in a few minutes. They require no tools and in most cases only require a good set of eyes.
- Lights and Electrics are critical to the safety of the vehicle on the road. Electrical components such as the horn, wipers, power windows and window demisters need to be checked to ensure correct operation on a regular basis. This will also help to identify any developing problems. You should also check all lights regularly to ensure they work correctly.
- Tyres are essential for maintaining vehicle safety. Tyres should be inspected as part of a regular service on your vehicle and before any long driving trips. Well maintained tyres can improve fuel economy, extend tyre life and improve vehicle safety. Tyre inflation is best checked every two to three weeks when fuelling the car or we at springwood complete automotive services offer a free tyre pressure for all our service clients.The recommended tyre pressure can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker either in the driver’s door jam or inside the fuel cap .The tyres should be visually inspected for uneven wear patterns. This is an indication of possible wheel alignment or suspension faults, any vibrations in the steering are also an indication the tyres may require rebalancing.
- Engines are made up of a large number of important moving parts, such as pistons, valves, crankshaft, and camshafts to name a few. Your engine oil preforms several of the most important roles to ensure that these all work together correctly. The level of the engine oil should be checked on a regularly basis regardless of age and mileage. It is best to consult the owner’s manual for the correct oil grade and type to suit your vehicle. Failure to use the correct grade as specified by manufacturer can cause engine damage.
- Power steering systems are a closed loop and should not ever need to be refilled unless a problem is present. The fluid is checked at the power steering reservoir. The location of the reservoir can vary and can be checked in the owner’s manual. Only use the recommended fluid to suit your car, as the incorrect fluid will cause damage to the pump, rack and pipes. If the power steering fluid needs to be refilled it is a sign of a leak and we recommend contacting your mechanic to arrange an inspection.
- The battery is the key part of your car’s electrical system and one of the leading causes for vehicle breakdowns. There are a number of simple steps can be taken to reduce the risk of your battery failing and help keep it in good condition all year round. There are some easy checks you can do. Inspect the condition of the battery terminals to ensure they are clean and tight. Ensure the battery is secure and is not covered. Most new batteries are maintenance free, meaning that they are sealed and won’t require topping up. You can expect your battery to last normally between 2 and 3 years and should consider a replacement before it fails, often with no warning.
- The cooling system in your car is vital to the reliable operation of your vehicle. Driving in congested traffic and during those hot summer days, puts a large amount of stress on your car’s cooling system. There are some basic checks you can do to assist in maintaining your vehicle’s cooling system in a good working condition. Only use the recommended coolant for your vehicle, this can be found in the owner’s manual. Only inspect your cooling system when the engine is cold as a safety precaution and also for a more accurate reading. If the cooling system requires topping up on a regular basis there may be a leak in the system.
- Transmissions in modern normally have no service requirements and are best left to the qualified technicians; however, there are a few tips that will help ensure your transmission performs correctly.In older vehicles the transmission fluid level can be checked and should remain filled to the correct level, ensure the fluid is not discoloured or burnt. For the correct fluid and location of how to check level consult the owner’s manual. Late model cars are normally fitted with fluid sealed for life and can only be checked by fully trained technicians.
- Suspension is an essential component to your vehicle’s safety. Worn suspension components can result in poor braking of your vehicle. The most important function of the car suspension is to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle under braking and ensuring the wheels of the vehicle stay in contact with road. Changes in handling of the vehicle, the tyres begin to show uneven wear and problems with the car stopping at speed are the few warnings that your vehicles suspension requires repair or replacement.
- Brakes are the most important component of your vehicle. Cars with poor brake performance and that are poor in condition should not be driven as they are unreliable, endangering you and your passengers safety. Squealing brakes, grinding on your rotors or unusual vibrations may indicate your brakes need replacing. Another sign of worn brakes is they feel soft, too hard or spongy. Another good reminder that your brakes may need attention is an excessive build-up of brake dust on your wheels, normally seen as a black powder on the front wheel and rims.
- Interior and exterior maintenance of your vehicle is always important in maintaining the car in good condition. Keeping the inside of the vehicle free form any hazardous that could become lodged under your pedals or seat. Caution should be taken cleaning with products that contact wax or silicon as they may lead a build-up on the windscreen that could cause reflections or poor vision obscuring you’re the drivers vision. Washing your vehicle regularly will help reduce brake dust build-up and keep the paintwork in good order.
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