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Car Maintenance 101: The Basics Every Car Owner Should Know

You should check your car’s performance before driving on the street. Knowing the problem and the best remedy is crucial to maintaining and servicing your car. This article will thoroughly explain several fundamentals related to vehicle maintenance.

Examine the history of your maintenance.

If you intend to maintain your car for a long time, it is crucial to understand the type of maintenance it has undergone. Consider getting this information from a mechanic or auto repair business if you still need access. 

The best option is to request an email copy of all documentation about repairs and maintenance over the last two years (or more). Before making significant purchases or decisions on future care, review these documents to ensure everything looks good.

Keep it tidy.

When examining a car, one should start by looking at the exterior. The windows, trunk lid, door handles, and other surfaces should all be cleaned of any mud or filth right away. Take them out for inspection by a professional in vehicle body repair, like a BMW body shop in Houston, if there are any indications of rust in these locations!

Tire Inspection.

Before leaving, check that all four tires have adequate tread depth (the quantity of rubber still on them); this will help you avoid accidents brought on by slipping traction in wet circumstances like rain storms or snowstorms.

  • Check the tire pressure.
  • Check the tread on your tires.
  • Check your owner’s handbook or ask your dealer for the recommended tire alignment specifications.
  • Compare the amount of tread still on each tire to the suggested mileage provided by the manufacturer for that specific tire size. If you need assistance figuring out whether your vehicle requires new tires, speak with a mechanic who can provide that information.

Change Oil.

Oil changes are crucial for keeping your car’s engine in good condition. Changing the oil when needed will reduce friction, prolong engine life, and prevent damage. You have a choice as to whether you change the oil yourself or have a mechanic do it in a repair shop.

When should I replace the oil in my car?

The suggested period is every three months or 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). Assume you are driving your car in everyday circumstances rather than inclement weather or high elevations. Depending on the make and model, this could take three to four months.

However, before doing anything connected to replacing an engine’s fluids, always verify with your car’s manufacturer because different engine types demand different degrees of care while changing them out regularly.

Lubricants and fluids

Your car’s fluids and lubricants keep it operating smoothly and effectively. Knowing precisely what a fluid is and how it functions will help you define it. Liquid substances like fluids transport or transmit energy via space (like oil in your engine). Given that they are composed of one or more molecules, they can be organic (like water) or inorganic (like sand).

Petroleum jelly, the most popular fluid used in automobiles, is a sealer and a lubricant when combined with engine oil. Oil is mainly used for two things:

  • By shielding them from the air, it stops them from rusting.
  • So that you can change gears without becoming stuck, it enables smooth movement between moving elements.

Rims and Tires

Your car’s two most crucial components are the tires and the rims. You can feel the rubber when you foot on the road since the tires are composed of it. They give you traction while driving and let you go ahead or backward by breaking abruptly.

Rims are metal and join one end of a wheel to the other, creating an axle. They have numerous functions.

  • They aid in distributing weight uniformly among the four tires.
  • They allow air to circulate through your car’s engine compartment so it does not overheat under heavy loads, and they aid in preventing any harm from happening during acceleration or braking.
  • They serve as the basis for other components, such as suspension components.

Washer fluid and wiper blades.

Two popular auto maintenance supplies are wiper blades and washer fluid. These components should be changed annually, but if you live in a hot environment where your windshield gets particularly dirty or reside in a high-traffic region, you may want to do it more frequently.

If you struggle to recall when to replace your wiper blades, track how much rain or snow falls over a month. This should progress at a rate of one inch every month. Imagine there is no rain throughout that time, but your wipers still make a loud noise whenever you turn or stop at a light. Then it is most likely time for new blades.

Check the Battery

The following actions can be taken to achieve this:

  • With the use of a hydrometer and voltage tester, assess the health of your battery.
  • Suppose you are replacing a dead or dying battery. In that case, you must ensure the new one is the same brand and model as the old one (unless it is an aftermarket kit) to avoid inadvertently fitting your car with an incompatible battery.
  • Verify the connections.
  • Use a thread locker to ensure all connections are solid and tight enough to avoid leaks or corrosion.
  • Investigate the electrolyte levels. To function well and persist long enough, they should be positioned between 1/8th and 1/4th of an inch below the surface of each cell.

Take good care of your undercarriage.

Your car’s underside, which includes everything below the chassis, is called the undercarriage. Automobiles parked outside in all weather situations can be harmed by water, mud, and other debris.

When you wash and dry your car after leaving it outside for a while, it gets damp, making it vulnerable to rust. Even if you live in a dry climate, rusting is more likely to happen on older cars with less corrosion protection than newer ones with better construction elements at their core!

Take the initiative!

Maintaining your car is similar to keeping an eye on any other significant aspect of your life. Taking proactive measures to stop issues from growing and escalating would be advisable. The more knowledgeable you are about necessary auto maintenance, the better off you will be.

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