John McKade
John McKade

7 Car Maintenance Tips You Can Perform on Your Own

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In order to keep your car in good condition, both performance- and aesthetics-wise, you need to keep up with various maintenance procedures. There are some jobs that are best left to professionals, but there are also plenty of tasks that you can take on yourself. Doing them on your own can help you save money, not to mention help you be more familiar with your vehicle so you can better take care of it.

Here are some simple car maintenance procedures that you can perform on your own to ensure that your car is always roadworthy:

Refill Your Engine Oil

The engine oil or motor oil serves multiple purposes. Its main function is to lubricate the moving parts of the engine, keeping it cool and allowing your car to run smoothly. In addition to this, the engine oil also helps keep the engine clean and even aids in dampening mechanical shock. In short, if you don’t have enough engine oil, you’ll experience a lot of problems.

The ideal oil level is just between the minimum and maximum indicators. Use the dipstick that came with your vehicle when performing an inspection. If the oil level falls below the mark, then it’s time to top up. Do it slowly and make sure to measure with the dipstick from time to time so you don’t put in too much.

Top Up the Coolant

Another kind of liquid that you can refill by yourself is the coolant. This mix of antifreeze and water keeps your engine at the right operating temperature, preventing it from overheating. There are signs to watch out for to know if you’re running low on coolant, but you can also ensure that you don’t go below the recommended level by performing regular inspections.

Usually, the minimum recommended amount of coolant is about 30% of the way full. Check the owner’s manual for the exact information regarding your car’s coolant needs and then top up when needed.

Lubricate Hinges and Joints

Your car has a lot of parts that need proper lubrication for them to work. For example, the tyre rod ends and ball joints need a little lubing from time to time so that you can enjoy a smooth ride. Meanwhile, hinges and latches should be greased so that it’s easier for you to open your car doors, the hood, lift gate, and the like. You also need to lube or grease the wipers and wheel hubs, among many other components.

The key is to buy greases and lubricants that suit the application because different parts require different kinds of lubrication. Some might need thicker greases, while others may require sprayed-on oils. There’s also dielectric grease, which is used for electrical connections. Check your owner’s manual or ask your trusted mechanic about the best products to use.

Clean the Battery

One of the best ways to prolong the lifespan of your car battery is to keep the terminals clean. If you let the corrosion accumulate, it could cause further damage to the batter—it could even lead to cracks and big leaks!

Thus, as soon as you see signs of corrosion (it usually looks like bluish-white or greenish powder), clean the terminals immediately. You can do so by using a mixture of water and baking soda to neutralise the acid from the battery. Use a wire brush or even an old toothbrush to get all the corrosion off, then dry off with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Of course, make sure that the terminals are disconnected before cleaning.

Change the Spark Plugs

If your spark plugs are giving you trouble like hard starts, engine misfires, poor fuel economy, or rough idling, then it’s time to replace them. Get long-lasting, heavy-duty ones if your budget allows; those made from iridium or platinum are some of the best ones available in the market.

Also, make sure that you replace bad spark plugs as soon as possible. If not, you’ll not just experience poor engine performance but also risk damaging the catalytic converters of your car.

Replace the Wipers

If you can’t see the road ahead, then you shouldn’t be driving in the first place! Thus, quality wipers are important. They can give you more peace of mind while driving, knowing that you can easily remove rain, water, washer fluids, and small debris from your car’s windshield and rear view mirrors.

Make sure to replace the wiper blades once they go bad, to prevent scratching the glass. Fortunately, the rubber blades—which are essentially mini squeegees—are easy enough to remove and replace.

Get New Cabin Filters

Your car’s cabin air filter prevents pollutants like dirt and pollen from coming through the vents. Once this filter gets dirty or clogged, the air quality inside your car will definitely suffer. In addition, an old and extremely dusty cabin filter can also damage the air conditioning system. Save yourself from dirty cabin air and a huge repair bill by replacing your car’s cabin filters on time.

When you take good care of your car, you can count on it to stay in tip-top shape for years. It’s not only good for your wallet, but also good for the planet. Indeed, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

John McKade
John McKade

I'm passionate to help people pass their learners tests first time. We need to improve the safety on our roads and this is the foundation to do that. Go through our tests and ensure that you pass your learners first time!

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