Many people use their car as the primary means of transport to work, grocery shopping, family road trips, and taking their kids to school. Keeping the car in the best condition possible through timely services and proper maintenance is the only fool-proof way to keep it in the best running condition for longer. Car maintenance includes checking the batteries, anti-freeze, keeping it clean, and regularly changing the oil.
There is more to car maintenance than simply keeping it clean and changing the oil after a specific mileage. Every part of the car is essential, a reason you want to ensure all these are in good working condition all the time. This is especially important when planning to hit the road (for a road trip or long drive) as well as when planning to keep it in storage for a couple of days. The last thing you want is to abandon the car in the garage/driveway and fly off overseas. Outlined below is a complete checklist and guide on key things to check before putting the vehicle for storage.
i. The engine
ii. Fuel levels
iii. Anti-freeze levels
iv. Car battery
v. Winter maintenance
vi. Car paint
vii. Car Storage
Top Car Maintenance Tips and Tricks
1. Engine Maintenance
Maintaining a car engine is relatively easy. Here are some of the critical things/processes to keep in mind. If you want to upgrade your car’s springs, you can choose high-quality VW polo-lowering springs.
2. Check Engine Oil Levels
Check the engine oil levels every once in a while or before embarking on a long journey. Engine oil helps the engine perform optimally by lubricating internal parts and gears. Use the dipstick to check the condition of the oil and its level as well. Consider topping it up to the recommended level if too low.
Experts also recommend checking your engine oil levels every two weeks. The rule of thumb here is to check engine oil when the engine is cool and off. The correct oil levels will not only facilitate optimal engine performance but also helps keep the engine cool as well. Be sure to park the car on flat ground before checking oil levels. To check engine oil levels:
- Pop open the car bonnet
- Find the dipstick
- Carefully pull the dipstick and wipe it with a clean cloth or paper towel (to reveal maximum and minimum markings).
- Push the dipstick all the way in the engine, then remove it
- Check oil levels (ensure the oil level is between the minimum and maximum marked levels).
- Top up the engine oil if levels are between the min and max levels or lower.
- Take care not to put too much, though.
- Put back the dipstick and ensure it is tightly secured.
- Close the bonnet.
Some cars have an automatic oil level monitoring system and hence do not have the traditional dipstick. Check with your manufacturer for more information on how to check engine oil levels.
3. Changing Oil and Oil Filters
In addition to checking engine oil levels, manufacturers recommend changing your engine oil after a couple of thousand miles. Most manufacturers recommend an oil change after approximately 3000 miles or three months. Oil change entails draining the old oil completely, then replacing it with fresh engine oil. The main idea here is to maintain the car’s performance and extend its lifespan. Changing engine oil on time goes a long way in maintaining/improving engine performance and protects internal parts from accelerated wear and tear.
You might also want to change your oil and air filters after the specified period as well. Most people, however, prefer changing their oil filter whenever doing an oil change or if the oil filter is already dirty or worn out.