We all know that a car is a complex technical device that needs constant maintenance, diagnostics, and blah blah blah. Yes, this is what many car owners usually think, believing that these rules were invented by car manufacturers to feed their authorized dealership technical centers. Of course, owning a car always costs a pretty penny for the owner. Naturally, many of us are tempted to ignore certain types of car maintenance. It saves us money. Well, if the car continues to delight without the obligatory MOT, then God himself commanded. But, alas, the reality is that no car can serve you as long as possible without proper preventive maintenance. So saving on maintenance is often a bad idea. But it’s not that simple.
Why do you need to do car maintenance?
Why do some components and fluids change during maintenance? By checking your car on a regular basis and changing the consumable parts of the car on time, you make the basis for its long-term flawless operation, which will save you from expensive repairs in the future. Fortunately, you can do a lot yourself, even if you are not an expert on the device of the car. You can check many elements of a car by yourself, which will save your money, which you would have given for diagnosing your car.
If you regularly inspect your car, you might eventually realize that it looks unusual at the next inspection.
Also, by controlling the required tire pressure, you will save money on fuel, the consumption of which increases in the event of a mismatch in the pressure recommended by the manufacturer.
Check the rubber regularly for wear by checking the wear indicator and measuring the tread height. In case of excessive tire wear, be sure to replace the tires with new ones, as tires with high wear can contribute to accidents.
Depending on the car brand and model, you can find out the level of various liquids by directly looking at the level mark of the tank, which corresponds to the minimum or maximum level value. But almost all modern cars also have various sensors and indicators by which you can find out the engine oil level, oil level in the gearbox, amount of antifreeze, power steering oil, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.
Car maintenance tips that you can apply to any vehicle
Most motorists, fortunately, already know how important it is, before starting to use a vehicle, to carefully and more than once read the manual supplied. This is a rule, you should strictly follow after you’ve bought any new or used car. And even those car owners who do not consider themselves interested in how their car works should understand this.
Here, oddly enough, the well-known proverb fits perfectly: “We are not rich enough to buy cheap things.”
Do not ignore your car maintenance in any way
Anyone who has ever had major maintenance or major breakdown and spent a ton of money fixing their car will tell you: don’t ignore your car maintenance in any way. After all, such mandatory work as changing the oil, checking the tire pressure, and carrying out scheduled technical inspections, as well as performing scheduled work, are similar to regular check-ups with a doctor.
Preventive examinations by a doctor help to keep you healthy and give you and the doctors a chance to timely suspect and detect a disease at an early stage before it can become a serious problem for you. It’s the same with your car. Regular preventive check-ups can save you huge expenses due to unexpected major breakdowns. If we want our car to serve us for a long time and not let us down on the road, we need to take care of it regularly.
Do not be afraid to open the bonnet and take a close look.
If you find that some level of liquid is low, then do not be afraid to top up yourself and look under the hood or, if necessary, sign up for a car service.
If an authorized car mechanic informs you that the timing belt or drive belts are worn out enough, then you need to change them in order to avoid unforeseen belt breakage in the future, which can make car repairs even more expensive.
How often should I change engine oil?
You should also know what the difference looks like between clean oil and oil that is already contaminated. This will save you a lot of money that you can spend by changing the oil ahead of time or, on the contrary, late. Note that for an accurate determination of the timing of the oil change in the engine, you can buy a special device that can detect contaminated oils.
If you do not have a manual for a car, then you can read our great review of the best engine oils.
A clean windshield is the foundation of road safety.
Believe it or not, there are people who did not change the wiper blades because they thought it was very difficult. Unfortunately, such people did not turn to the auto repair shop for power, not wanting to give extra money for replacing brushes. Remember that it is very easy to replace the wipers yourself. Do not wait until your worn out brushes are scraping the windshield! Just buy the new ones.
Also, the windshield cleaning liquid should be of the best quality. We’ve made a review of the best car care products in our review article.
How often should I change the cabin air filter in the car?
By replacing the cabin filter, you will get rid of the polluted air in the car, which will make your trip more comfortable. In most modern vehicles, the cabin filter is located in an easily accessible place to replace it. It’s easier than opening any box. Of course, if you replace the cabin filter at the wrong time, it will not lead to critical breakdowns in the car, but if you replace the cabin filter on time, then your car trips will become much more pleasant, and if you change it yourself, you will save money from your budget.
So there is a difference in which mode you operate your car. If you go to work every day and stand in city traffic jams for a long time, then your filter may be heavily contaminated much earlier than the date specified in the car manual.
Symptoms of bad or failing spark plugs
It is important to know if spark plugs in your car are worn out or covered with various deposits, then the engine of your car does not work efficiently. This can lead to unnecessary waste due to increased fuel consumption. Make sure to check our review of the best spark plugs you can buy right now.
How long do shock absorbers last?
A car’s shock absorber generally lasts for 5 years. Well, they do not have an exact expiration date but your car will start telling you that the shock absorbers need to be replaced. When you apply brakes to the car, the car jerks and so does your body.
Also, when your shock absorbers go bad, your car starts tilting on one side.
Apart from your driving, the roads that your car travels also determine how long the shock absorber will last. Rough roads and potholes make the shock absorbers worn out and thus shorten their life.
These are just a few of the automotive consumable parts that you can check on your own and, if necessary, easily change. So for some types of vehicles, there may be some other recommendations from the automaker that we did not indicate here. If you do not have a manual for a car, then you can easily ask us and we will be happy to select the best spare parts for your car.
Keeping a better track of maintenance tasks performed to your vehicle will help you develop new skills and save you some money.