If you own a car and you want to live a penny-wise life, it is imperative you understand doing a few things without getting assistance from a professional. Even though you will need a car mechanic to check the overall systems of your treasured possession, there are those maintenance services you can handle on your own. It is just similar to home improvement jobs that you normally perform without hiring a specialist.
You can save a few bucks on several auto maintenance and repair tasks. However, some cars might be too sophisticated to tackle the most basic maintenance and repair work. For such vehicles, you are free to call your auto mechanic. But if you own the ordinary cars, there are types of repairs anyone can handle easily and quickly.
If you are thinking of selling your car, hold on first. Check if our car maintenance guide can help you to retain your investment. In this post, we’ve inspired from caroutfitter.com
Maintaining Your Car Braking System
If the brakes are not working properly while driving, this is a big problem. You don’t need to risk your life and others’ lives. The braking system is a vital safety feature that should never be ignored. Unless it’s a big issue involving the entire vehicle’s system, it is easy to restore normal functioning of the brakes.
- Refer to the car manual book
- Check brake fluids. Refill if it is at minimum level
- Check the condition of the brake pads whether they need replacement or not
You don’t need an auto mechanic to examine the condition of the brakes. These are the signs to tell you;
- Brake light showing on the dashboard
- If the vehicle is taking longer to stop than usual
- If the brake underfoot feels soft indicates brake pads are thin and need replacement
- If there is harsh grinding when you apply brakes, indicates worn out brake pads
It is worth noting that the condition of your brakes may depend on the model of your car and how you drive. If you use the brakes too often or you drive a lot, your brakes need regular checkups.
Oil is vital for keeping moving parts in the engine running smoothly. If your car engine is producing grinding noise, it indicates that oil level is too low. Over time, grinding of parts against each other will wear them out. So, this is how to check your oil;
- Use the car manual to determine the location of the dipstick
- Wait until the engine cools down, and then pull out the dipstick and rub it with a soft cloth
- Return the dipstick in the oil
- Pull it out and check the level of oil – it should be between the lower and upper marks
- If it’s closer to the lower mark, you need to top up
- Return the dipstick and tighten it
Note that, the amount and type of oil suitable for your car are indicated in the manual. When topping up, do it gently one at a time to avoid overflowing/spilling.
Check the Condition of Your Tyres
The need to check the condition will depend on where you drive, how you drive, and how often you drive. So, here is how to check the tires’ condition;
- Check where threads are worn out
- Use a tire thread depth gauge to see the minimum depth, usually 1.6mm
- Check the tire pressure using a pressure gauge – refer to manual to know the recommended tire pressure for your car
- Repeat the above process to check the spare tire too
Note that, it is against traffic laws to drive with inappropriate tire condition.
Check Engine Coolant
Engine coolant is also known as anti-freeze, and it is also important to check the water level regularly. If the coolant and water are inefficient, it may cause serious damage to the engine. Here is how to check engine coolant;
- Find the coolant reservoir under the bonnet – usually, it’s labeled
- While the engine is cool, check the coolant level – should be between the lower and upper marks (it’s similar to checking oil)
- During the winter, ensure the antifreeze concentration is sufficient (refer from the car manual)
- Check if you have been using the right coolant (refer from car the manual)
Check Air Filter
A clogged air filter will allow dirty air into the car’s engine. This may affect the normal performance of the engine, leading to a costly replacement of parts. Checking air filters is a simple task. Use the handbook to determine the air filter’s location. If it’s dirty by looking, it should be replaced.