5 Vehicle Maintenance That Every Car Owner Should Know
There are an estimated one billion cars in the world. That goes to show how vital cars have become in human society and the role they play in our everyday lives. And since your vehicle serves you so faithfully, it would only be fair to return the favor. Here are a couple of tips and hacks to help ensure you keep your car in good shape.
Keep It Clean
For a car owner, few things bring as much pride as a clean car. The opposite also is equally valid. Having a dirty car often draws stares from passersby. A simple car wash is a perfect remedy to help you avoid the blushes.
With the advent of pressure washers, you no longer have to spend too much time and effort washing your car by hand. They may be small, but they pack a mighty punch. With their powerful nozzles, they can easily slice through dirt and restore your car’s surface. They also come with a soap application function that applies soap evenly across your car’s surface for that thorough cleaning experience.
Pressure washers are an easy and quick option for all your car’s washing needs. They also help in reducing the scratches that are synonymous with hand washing. With one of these useful gadgets, you won’t always have to make a trip to the local car wash. Instead, take matters into your own hands and keep your car spick and span.
Maintain the Right Tire Pressure
Chances are your car covers a substantial amount of miles every day. That means your tires are subjected to a certain level of load daily. The whole purpose of having air in your tires is so that the air can carry and support those loads. Impact breaks such as hitting curbs or running over objects may cause your tires to lose pressure.
Other usual culprits of tire pressure loss are diffusion of air out of the tire, slow leaking punctures, or leaking/overtightened valve stems. Lower than recommended tire pressure could result in quicker tire degradation meaning that you’ll end up buying tires more often. Low tire pressure also affects braking distances and reduced steering and handling sensitivity. Whichever way you look at it, low tire pressure is not a good thing.
You need to keep your car’s tires inflated according to your manufacturer’s specifications. Be keen to check your car’s owner manual or the specification decal on your door frame for tire inflation information. For better tire pressure management, check your tire pressures once a week. Also, refrain from following the pressure molded in the tires’ sidewall and instead stick to your manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
Change Your Car’s Oil
The conventional narrative, when it comes to an oil change, is it should be done every three months or after 3,000 miles. But experts argue otherwise. The truth is your car can travel a bit further before requiring an oil change. With that said, changing your car’s oil is critical for your car’s health.
You may be wondering why oil and an oil change are essential in a car. Well, your car’s engine has a lot of moving parts that make it possible to generate power. As these parts move, they rub against each other, creating a friction force that produces heat. The oil acts as a lubricant, lowering friction force between moving parts as well as absorbing some of the heat.
The next time you’re changing your car’s oil, consider synthetic oil over regular oil. Synthetic oil breaks down at a slower rate than regular oil, meaning longer intervals between oil changes. Synthetic oil also has a greater heat capacity, meaning it can withstand higher temperatures. It can also hold out against the effects of cold and start flowing as soon as your car starts.
Keep an Eye on Your Battery
Have you ever wondered what powers your car’s stereo? Or maybe what gets the windscreen wipers going while you’re driving in a storm? Well, in case you didn’t know, your car battery does all that heavy lifting. Your car wouldn’t even start without a battery.
Given the battery’s importance, it’s paramount that it remains in tip-top shape. Battery checks go a long way in ensuring just that. That way, you won’t end up stuck in a parking lot all by yourself.
For an easy DIY battery check, get a voltmeter, and test your battery, especially during those summer months. Anything less than 12.29 volts means you should visit your mechanic. Acid build-up could also signal a problem, so look out for corrosion on your terminals. Remember, even car batteries expire, so look out for your car’s expiration date.
Check Your Coolant
Your car’s coolant keeps your engine running normally without a literal meltdown. So, it’s pretty obvious what the consequences will be if your car’s coolant fails in its task. Things will get hot, really fast.
That’s why you need to regularly keep an eye on your coolant levels to make sure there isn’t a leak. If coolant levels drop below the minimum required threshold, you might notice your temperature gauge rising rapidly, and that spells doom for your engine. Overheating your engine could end up permanently damaging your car’s engine, which is never good news.
Regular coolant checkups are quite easy to perform by yourself but also remember not to perform a check while the engine is hot. Otherwise, you might get splashed on by hot coolant or end up damaging your engine by adding cold coolant. If you notice particles, a rust color, or a colorless appearance in your coolant, it would be wise to check in with your mechanic for repairs.
There you have it, a simple list of steps that you can take as a car owner to ensure that your car is well taken care of. It would be a huge shame to have your car give up on you in the middle of running errands. So, give your vehicle the attention it deserves, and it’ll always return the favor of diligently serving you.