5 Essential Auto Self-Maintenance Basics
The key to your car’s safety, performance, and longevity is in how well it’s maintained. Neglecting the fundamental maintenance checks and requirements can not only assure you that eventually your car will breakdown, but you can also be assured you’ll be paying some pricey repair bills. And, as you know, these events usually occur at the worst possible times.
Maintaining your car does not mean you need to contract a personal mechanic who services your car weekly. You can actually be your own mechanic for routine maintenance as long as you rely upon your owner’s manual and develop a regular car maintenance routine and schedule.
Here are the 5 essential things to check and do yourself to get the best performance and longest life from your car.
The Manual Do you have your original owner’s manual? Can you get to it easily? This reference will be your guide for everything about your car and anything that can and could go wrong and need attention. Learn how to read your manual. Find the section on Maintenance Schedule, flag the pages. And note the schedules and routines for regular maintenance like tire pressure and tire rotation schedule, replacing hoses and belts, and oil change; all of which are featured below.
Oil and Filter Change Your car’s oil is the source of your engines’ life. As a lubricant, your oil assures key engine parts that don’t grind against one another. If this occurs, over time the engine will be destroyed. Furthermore, if your oil is not changed in a timely, regular manner, contaminants will accumulate and create a friction that will also cause parts to rub together.
Knowing the kind of oil to use is important. Your choices are synthetic, or petroleum-based. You need not feel you have to stay with one or the other. Basically, what is most important is if the oil meets the two requirements – viscosity and service – that are stated in the owner’s manual. As long as that criterion is met, you can use either or switch back and forth.
Tire Checks Your tires are critical to your safety and your car’s safety performance in all sorts of various conditions. Proper tire inflation is vital in order for your tires to do the best job and of course, to avoid a blowout. While most car owners know how to put air in their tires, many are never quite sure of the proper tire pressure.
If you open your driver’s side door, there is a placard on the door jamb that tells you the correct tire pressure. This information is also in your manual. It is recommended to inflate your tires when they have been driven less than a mile so the reading you get is accurate. If that isn’t possible, it’s advised to add 4 PSI in addition to the amount recommended. Using a tire gauge, verify the tires’ pressures with a tire gauge when your tires are rested.
Hoses, belts, and all fluids In addition to oil your car also has these other fluids – washer fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. Check transmission fluid the same way oil is checked – using a dipstick. To find out the levels of brake and washer fluid and coolant, remove the covers and look. Don’t ever take off the radiator cap in order to check how much coolant you have. Doing so is very risky. So, to check your coolant level, look in the refill container which is close in proximity to the radiator and transparent.
And, always make a point to check your air filter, wiper blades, and your battery for terminals corrosion.
Looking for an Auto Repair in Macomb County, Michigan?
Car Guys Auto Center is located at 32639 Groesbeck Hwy., Fraser. Give us a call for all your auto repair needs at 586-285-4444.