Here is a compiled list of car-maintenance tips
We recently did an article on car myths, and now we are going into more detail and informing our loyal readers on some tips for the basic upkeep of your car. It is not just important for you to be a safe driver on the road, but it’s as important for your vehicle to be maintained correctly. Many accidents caused by vehicle failure can be prevented and many stranded motorists face the risk of getting in contact with criminals (we don’t want that).
The maintenance of your car benefits you and the environment in different ways: it reduces long-term maintenance costs, it minimises harmful exhaust emissions and protects the environment, it increases the resale value of your vehicle and it saves you a lot of time, money and fuel. Although it is best to leave the servicing of your vehicle in the hands of a trained professional, preventive maintenance by the driver might however also help avoid vehicle breakdown.
These may be a bit technical and sound a little bit daunting, but ask someone you trust to point these things out to you. Once you know, not only can you impress the men out there with your car knowledge but you will always have the upper hand when taking your car in for a service as you will know a bit more about what the serviceman is trying to tell you.
Here are some tips on maintenance (especially when your car is old):
Tyres: Mechanical irregularities will show up early on tyre wear patterns. It is important to have professionals check your wheel alignment and balance. It is also important to have your tyre inflated to the recommended pressure for your car.
Battery: This might not be relevant to a lot of our readers but it is worth mentioning if you do the odd spot of DIY. Remove the earth strap (usually the negative pole) on a battery to avoid activating the starter if you accidentally touch an open wire when repairing the starter or working in the battery area.
Exhaust: Have the exhaust system checked if it sounds noisy or rattles. Look underneath for loose or broken exhaust clamps and supports. Check for holes in muffler or pipes. Replace the rusted or damaged parts.
Seat Belts: Keep seat belts clean to prevent dirt and moisture from damaging them.
Fan belt: You should inspect the belts and hoses. Glazed, worn or frayed belts should be replaced. Bulging, rotten or brittle hoses and tighten clamps should also be replaced.
Water: Take care to ensure that it is regularly changed.
Wiper Blades: It is recommended you change your wiper blades every six months, even if they haven’t been used very often. The rubber deteriorates over time when exposed to the atmosphere.
Air filter: Check monthly and replace it when it becomes dirty (it is located right under the big metal lid, or in a rectangular box).
Oil: It is recommended to check your engine oil regularly.
A few more tips:
– Always use spare parts or car parts that are genuine.
– Avoid accelerating and braking abruptly.
– Shut off the engine whenever you expect to wait.
– Give your vehicle an anti-rust coating.
– Avoid riding on the clutch pedal- release the clutch pedal fully while driving.
– Maintain optimum air pressure in your tyre to improve mileage.
– Try to avoid hitting your tyres against kerbs, especially when parking. It can cause the tyre to weaken without showing any damage on the outside.
– Check your spare tyre from time to time for when you might need it in the future.
The most efficient method of knowing about your car and keeping track of it is through the owner’s manual which provides complete information on how to go about it. You can inspect your vehicle on a regular basis just by using the manual.
You can also use your senses to monitor your car. If you hear/smell/see something that is not right, find out what it could be or take your car into the manufacturer to have the problem looked at.
We hope some of you ladies have learnt a thing or two! Safe driving!