If you want to keep your vehicle in good shape, you have to take preventative maintenance seriously. You certainly don’t want to be driving a clunky machine that can put you and others in harm’s way.
Moreover, a properly maintained car retains its value. Indeed, even old-model cars can still fetch a high price tag if ever you want to resell in the future.
As long as you repair or replace parts when necessary and get components from a trusted auto parts supplier, your car will run smoothly for years. Getting high-quality car parts is a must because they fit better, last longer, and are much safer.
You should also have a regular car maintenance schedule. This way, you won’t get caught off-guard when something wrong does happen.
The main thing you have to consider is that different parts of your vehicle will get worn or damaged at different times and intervals.
Therefore, you have to know when to do routine checks for the most critical components. Here’s a simple car maintenance guide to know the best times to conduct inspections:
You need to check your tyres at least every month to make sure they’re properly inflated and reduce the risk of blowouts.
Visual inspections are great. Using a tyre pressure gauge is even better. For the best results, use a tyre pressure gauge with a .5 psi margin of error. Ideally, you should check the pressure and add air only when the tyres are cold (driven no more than 2 kilometres).
It’s best to memorise the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle. This information is also in the owner’s manual and on the driver-side door jamb.
You should also learn how to add air to your tyres in cases of emergencies. Don’t forget to check your spare tyres as well.
Engine Oil: Between 10,000 and 15,000 Kilometres
If you don’t change your engine oil and oil filter regularly, bits of carbon, dirt, and metal can get into the engine.
This will result in excessive and premature wear on the engine. Most car models nowadays use synthetic oils, which can last up to 15,000 kilometres.
However, if you’re somehow still using a car that runs on non-synthetic oil, you have to change it every 5,000 kilometres.
Air and Fuel Filters: Between 25,000 to 50,000 Kilometres
Your car’s air filter is like its lungs: the clearer the filter, the easier it is for your engine to “breathe.” It also prevents debris like dust and sand from getting into the engine. Ideally, you should change the air filter after about 25,000 kilometres.
However, you should replace it sooner if you drive in dusty and high-pollution environments.
Meanwhile, your fuel filter ensures that your engine will run smoothly.
If the fuel filter is clogged, your car’s engine will feel rough when you drive; sometimes, your car won’t start at all.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing the fuel filter after 50,000 kilometres. However, if you want to check the health of your fuel filter, it’s best to go to a mechanic and ask for a pressure test.
Brake Fluid: Between 32,000 and 72,000 Kilometres
Sometimes, your car’s brake fluid gets contaminated with water. When this happens, your brakes will feel “squishy.”
It can also affect the overall performance of your brakes. To maintain your vehicle’s brake systems, replace the brake fluid every 32,000 to 72,000 kilometres.
Check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Brakes Pads and Rotors: 80,000 Kilometres
Your brake pads and rotors need replacement every 80,000 kilometres or so. This can either be shorter or longer depending on how often and how aggressively you drive.
Note that brake pads will wear down faster than the rotors. You’ll know when to replace them when you hear screeching sounds when you brake.
Meanwhile, the rotors should be replaced every 95,000 kilometres. You can have them resurfaced if you’re a little short on money, but this can be done only once.
Coolant: 90,000 Kilometres
You should replace your coolant every 90,000 kilometres, earlier if you notice your car overheating frequently. Your mechanic should flush the entire cooling system when they replace the coolant to ensure the best results.
Belts and Hoses: Before 90,000 Kilometres
To kick up your car maintenance checks up a notch, perform regular checks on the belts and hoses before you reach a 90,000-kilometre mileage.
These belts and hoses ensure the smooth operation of your engine, so check them for cracks, bulges, and warps and have them replaced when necessary.
Some of the other components you need to check in your car include the power steering fluid, spark plugs, and the transmission fluid.
For manual transmission cars, you’ll likely have to replace the transmission fluid sooner. You should also inspect the wipers so they don’t scratch the windshield and back window when you use them.
Car maintenance might sound complicated but it’s quite easy to learn with a bit of patience. Hopefully, this guide has helped give you a clearer picture of what you need to do to keep your car in good condition.