Maintaining your vehicle is vital for keeping it in top condition and to ensure your safety, and the safety of your passengers and drivers around you. Here are some ways to assist in keeping your vehicle running smoothly.
Vehicle Maintenance Checklist
Tyre care and maintenance
Maintaining your vehicle’s tyre pressure can help reduce wear on the tyres and ensure you are getting better fuel consumption. Checking your tyre pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI, and inflating or deflating your tyres accordingly. Also, investigate the tread on your tyre to ensure that it is exceeding the legal minimum.
Driving with worn tyres can be dangerous to you and may lead to vehicle damage even causing an accident. It is recommended that tyres are rotated every 10,000 km or once every 6 months.
Changing the oil
Routinely checking and changing your vehicle’s oil is important for keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil monthly and change it as directed in the vehicle owner’s manual.
You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service centre. If you choose to do it yourself, ensure you buy the correct oil and oil filter for your vehicle, learn the required steps to drain the fluid and adding the new oil. Old oil should be disposed of responsibly by being collected by a registered waste management company, and not disposed of with your normal household waste. You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your vehicle, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service centre.
Check the fluids
There are several fluids that must be kept at suitable levels to help keep your vehicle running properly. The following 5 fluids should be checked regularly:
- Engine oil
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluid
A leak with any of those fluids can affect the way your vehicle drives. If you notice a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its colour. This can assist you and your mechanic to determine where the leak is coming from thus speeding up the repair process.
Change your engine air filter
An air filter is an essential component in the vehicle that prevents foreign particles such as dirt, dust, and grit from entering the engine. A dirty air filter can lead to poor engine performance, a decrease in acceleration, and a decrease in fuel efficiency. Replace your vehicle’s air filter in line with the manufacturer guidelines with a quality replacement filter.
Regular service intervals
Some basic vehicle routine checks can be done at home, but others require trained mechanics or service centres. Take your vehicle to a reputable service centre should you experience any concerning issues. Trained mechanics can diagnose the problem through the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.
A qualified service centre will also be able to inspect and service your vehicle accordingly. Following regular service intervals will ensure that your vehicle is in top-running condition. Refer to your vehicle owner manual for the maintenance schedule.
Inspect your brakes
Your vehicle’s brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any abnormal noises when applying your brakes and pay attention to vibration on the brake pedal. Consult a service centre as soon as possible should any concerns arise.
Inspect the belts and hoses
Having your vehicle scheduled for regular maintenance will ensure that belts and hosepipes are inspected and replaced when necessary. This will help your vehicle operate efficiently and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road.
Inspecting the lights
A broken or burnt-out globe may be a safety hazard as it might be decreasing the driver’s visibility. If a globe on your headlights is not working, take your vehicle to an expert to determine whether it’s the globe or the fuse that needs replacing.
Headlights are key safety items on your car. It is important to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your vehicle before driving and to take extra steps to assist with keeping them shining bright, like cleaning the lenses and replacing globes as they begin to dim.
Replace windshield wipers
Worn out or damaged wiper blades can reduce visibility during heavy rain or a storm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replacing them when necessary is one way to help keep you and other road users safe on the roads.
Wash your vehicle regularly
Your vehicle is exposed to different sorts of contaminants, from bird droppings, dirt, pollen, bugs to tree sap. Over time these contaminants can cause damage to the paint and the undercarriage.
Keeping your vehicle clean may help prevent long-term damage. Washing your vehicle on a regular basis can help prevent damage over time.
Keeping your vehicle in good condition by following a regular vehicle maintenance schedule to avoid expensive repairs. And remember, if you’re uncertain about how to inspect or replace a vehicle part, be sure to contact a reputable mechanic or service centre for assistance.