1. Check Your Air Filter
Many car problems are due to clogged air filters or loose fittings. The air filter prevents dirt and particles from entering the engine. During combustion your engine needs air, and a clogged filter may impact performance.
You should get your filters changed every 12 months or after 12000 miles, whichever comes fast. Don’t ignore this maintenance as it could lead to problems in your car engine or car cabin as you also breath air that is filtered by the internal cabin air filter.
2. Inspect Fluids and Tire Pressure Regularly
Tire pressure is something, which you shouldn’t ignore or delay. Tires are one of the most important component of your car for safety, efficiency, and comfort. Getting in the habit checking the tires regularly will help you save time and money.
Your tire pressure, wheel balance, and regular tire rotation will help you have a comfortable and safe drive. Your tires will last quite a bit longer and you can easily add air and check the pressure yourself.
If your not in the habit of checking on your car tires you can start by setting a monthly date on the calendar to check them.
3. Check Your Battery
I have had my car battery stop working. Everything seemed fine then my car just wouldn’t start. We all may be faced with a situation like this, where we are left stranded somewhere. It wouldn’t be fun if I was stranded at night with just my cell phones.
To avoid this I can check my car battery. I can first check the cables and their connection to the terminals. You can check for leakage or any mineral build up around the cables and terminals. Clean the terminal with a battery cleaning brush if needed and you can always apply dielectric grease to help them stay corrosion free.
Using a multimeter with the engine off, you can check if the battery is charged fully (about 12.4 to 12.7 volts). When the car is on you can carefully check the voltage. It should be around 13.7 to 14.7 volts.
If the battery is low, it might be the alternator. To check this you can start the engine and turn on your lights. If the lights are dim or brighten as the engine is revved, then the alternator probably is the issue.
4. Change Your Spark Plugs
If you notice that your engine is not working efficiently, then the reason could be the spark plugs. If not checked, they could wear out and be covered in a buildup. Your car manual should let you know when to replace them.
If your car is not performing as well as it usually does, you might want to check the spark plugs and spark plug wires if they are old. If you find they are in bad condition, replace them for better performance. Spark plugs usually last for 30,000+ miles; see the owner’s manual for more information.
5. Get Your Tires Rotated and Balanced
This is the easiest trick in the book to prevent wearing of tires and make them last longer, and the trick is to get them rotated about every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. All tires do not wear at the same amount. So by rotating the front and rear tires, you balance the wear and make them more long wearing.
Ensure that the tires of your car are also aligned. Non-aligned tires can cause problems with steering. It may even make you lose control of your car and cause an accident.
6. Clean your Windshields and Replace the Wipers
A dirty windshield can prove to be a lot of hassle when you can’t see clearly. If they are not cleaned regularly they can cause visual impairments and can result in accidents at times.
It is very important for the driver to have a clear view of the road for safe driving. If you don’t clean them, the dirt and particle can accumulate and scratch the windshield when you use the wipers.
If the rainy season is approaching, check your wipers and get them replaced if needed. Using damaged wipers can cause scratches on the glass and obstruct your view, which might lead the need to replace your entire windshield.
7. Inspect and Replace Serpentine Belts
Thoroughly inspect your serpentine belts and check for wear. If these belts fail, they can cause damage to the engine parts, making a small priced item that needs to be replaced turn into a huge bill.
If you get regular maintenance, your car dealer service center should let you know when it’s time to replace the belt. It is recommended to get it checked every 60,000 miles but you should look at the owner’s manual to get the best information for your car. Replacing a belt is usually easy with a few tools.
8. Ensure the Working of the Cooling System
The hoses, which carry the engine coolant can get damaged from high-pressure, heat, or from being old. Often if this happens a leak will occur. In addition, the heater hoses face the same problem as they carry hot coolant to the car heater core under the dash board.
When you go get your car serviced or to an oil changing shop, they’ll usually check the hoses for you, but you can always ask if your not sure if that’s included.
To check them yourself, look for the white/clearish coolantreservoir and see if it is at the correct level. If not you may have a leak, so check for residuethat is similar to the color of the coolant. It should be around where the hoses and connections are made or under them. Any cracks in hoses mean you need to replace that hose. Any loose hose clamps should be tightened or replaced if damaged.
The best way for efficient cooling is for the engine to have enough coolant. Get hoses checked regularly will prevent leaks, that can cause the engine to overheat and creating major problems. So inspecting hoses once in a while is a great idea. And replacing them if needed is relatively cheap.
9. Check your Brakes
You may have seen a movie where someone can’t sop their car because their brake line were cut. In real life we won’t have this scene play out, but is we ignore brake problems we can find ourselves getting into an accident.
If the brakes fail to work properly, it can be caused by some of the following: the rotors, the brake pads, the brake fluid, and the break pedal. The most common reason would be the brake pads or a leak in the brake fluid.
It’s a good idea to check your breaks if you notice any issues out of the ordinary. If you want to check the breaks yourself, you’ll need to inspect the brake pads and brake fluid reservoir. This usually requires removing the tires and possibly getting under the car if you suspect a brake fluid leak.
10. Keep it Covered
This may seem like a very easy tip, but it has a major impact on maintaining your car. Keeping your car out of the reach of the sunlight, trees, and birds can help your paint and interior remain in good condition. Harmful radiation, weather, and nature can take it’s toll on your vehicle.
Washing your car regularly and using protectant on plastic and rubber parts is important but this will only do so much. To keep your car looking it best for year to come a car cover is a good investment. If you have a garage or carport cover this can help as well.
So cover your car when not in use and try to keep it in your garage whenever you can.