Scheduled car maintenance is fundamental to avoid major repair bills and keep your vehicle running consistently for many years. Whether you do the work yourself or hire a trained mechanic, these simple DIY tips will empower you to give your car the maintenance it needs and save money along the way.
Engine oil change: your engine oil is at the heart of your engine and possibly the most important non mechanical part of your car. So keeping a close eye on the quality and quantity of engine oil used is absolutely critical. Most engine oils need to be changed every 5,000-10,000 kms depending on the type of engine oil you’re using. If you are not sure about any of this information, you should refer to the owner’s manual.
*Caution: never perform any mechanical work on an engine including changing of engine oil when the engine is hot. Wait for the engine to cool, and then get started.
Maintain car battery: you car uses a plethora of electrical systems including a big computer (ECU) which controls all the electrical functions. All these electrical systems run on the battery. An ineffective battery could trigger an electrical problem or even knock out the ECU. Therefore maintaining the battery by changing the battery water or keeping the battery terminals rust free is absolutely essential.
Change brake pads: This is a relatively easy task to perform and can be done with a few tools at-hand. However, not changing the brake pads on-time could prove to be a costly and dangerous affair. While changing the pads it could also be a good idea to check the brake oil and bleed the brakes if necessary.
*Caution: Brakes are an extremely sensitive part of your vehicle. Only tackle this job if you have the technical know-how or experience of working on brakes. If not your safest bet would be to take it to your professional mechanic.
Fuel filter: Changing the fuel filter is not only good for your engine but also helps in improving your overall fuel economy, saving you some extra quid. There is no particular schedule for changing the filter, but the quality of fuel obtained at the petrol station is one good factor to keep in mind when considering periodic changes.
Air filter: Replacing your air filter, is a easy job that can be performed without much technical knowhow. Nevertheless, the air filter plays a critical role in the optimum performance of your vehicle. Cars need a mixture of fuel and air to burn in order to move forward. Obstruct either one of the two and it can result in drastic reduction of power to your engine.
Auto Guide: Maintenance #2
Tyres for a safe ride
Your tyres are your car's only connection to the road and are possibly the most vital part of your vehicle. Tyres affect your vehicle’s handling, ride, braking, and safety. Checking your tyres regularly is important for protecting your safety and your automotive investment. Here we have listed some pointers to keep in-mind to help you avoid any deadly mistakes on the road — especially in wet conditions.
Rotate tyres: Rotate your tyres every 5,000 kms. When done at the recommended intervals, it can preserve balanced handling and traction and smooth out tire wear. In some cases proper tyre rotation can even provide performance advantages.
Check tyre pressure: Incorrect tyre pressure can cause tyres slip or skid on wet and rainy surfaces. There is also a tendency for uneven wear and unwanted punctures. Check out your user manual to know exactly how much pressure your tyres need.
Check tyre depth: For your car to get the best traction possible your tyres should have the minimum recommended tyre depth. This will help keep your car stable while driving over wet roads. Additionally and more importantly, keeping the appropriate tyre depth will maintain the optimum braking efficiency of your car. Avoiding any unwanted collisions.
Use nitrogen instead of air: Nitrogen is a more stable gas as compared to air making it less likely to change in the event of any temperature changes, which changes the driving dynamics of a car ever so slightly. Nitrogen is also less likely to let-out through the tyre sidewalls, which means fewer pressure checks and fewer stops at the petrol station.