Our cars offer us a high degree of independence, not to mention a great measure of convenience. But as much as we hate to admit it, we often take our cars for granted and skimp on the maintenance or repairs. We might either be too busy to do so or simply not know where to start. Either way, this can lead to a shoddy-looking ride and might bring on early wear and tear. Whether you are a pro driver or have just bought your first car, we bring you up to speed (pun intended) on the best ways to keep your car looking and feeling brand new. After all, nothing beats the feeling of being behind the wheel of a fabulous car, does it?
Brakes are one of the most important parts of your car – clean them regularly to get the gunk off. Brake dust sits (not so pretty) on the wheels curtesy of moisture and static electricity, so a damp sponge and a pail of clean water are a must to get every last bit of it off them.
Get your tyre air checked once a week while fueling up – every car has different tyre pressure requirements and it is critical that they are met for a smoother ride and efficient fuel usage. Similarly, bald tyres without good road grip can adversely affect your brakes and overall driving. Examine the tread wear bars on the tyres to determine if your tread is low – replace worn out tyres immediately.
The car AC
The cold months can make you forget all about your car AC, but it is very important to turn them on and leave them running a few times even then. This will help ensure that the compressor’s moving parts do not hold up. Additionally, the circulating coolant will keep the vents and seals yieldable.
Car engine oil can either leak or burn, leading to a drop in its levels and slow engine malfunction. If this happens, the bearings and crankshaft will take a hit next. Check the oil levels and general condition every few times you fuel up – it hardly takes a few minutes. Replace the engine oil if you detect something is off – this might also involve getting your car serviceman to seal off any leaks.
You do not want to be stranded at a traffic signal or worse, a lonely street because your battery gave out and you could not start the car back up again. Check the battery terminals (they must be tight and clean), and electrolyte levels once in a fortnight. Replace your car battery once in two or three years. Servicemen can easily run charge tests and tell you when to replace them.
Lift your wiper blades off the windshield and wipe them with a clean, damp cloth. Replace the water in the windshield’s water tank every so often.
Letting your car idle for long periods can have a negative impact on your fuel economy.
Issues like poor shock absorption, steering wheel vibration and nose diving when you brake can all be a sign of suspension wear and tear. Replace any faulty shock aborbers and ensure that there is no fluid leak.
Dirty air filters are a dead giveaway – besides, they may result in a failed road emission test. Replace your air filters once a year to avoid such scenarios.
Light it up
If your indicator lights are flashing faster than normal, it might mean that one of the bulbs is blown – replace them immediately. Make sure that your head and tail lights are intact and are as per the state requirements for brightness, dimness coating, etc.
While you can improvise on these car maintenance tips to come up with a to-do list of your own, periodic inspection and car spas can help in their prolonged upkeep. Look up our list of car maintenance services and pick one that suits your needs – you will not be disappointed with the results.