Maintaining your car doesn’t just mean that you have to send it in to the workshop at every service interval, but it is something that you can do every week. Here’s a simple guide to do the little things to ensure that your car is in tiptop condition and most importantly, to spot the problems early. It’s best that you should have your car’s owners’ manual with you as reference.
POP THE HOOD
• Make sure that the engine oil is full, the oil level has to be within at the top most notch. If the level is below the lowest notch, refill until the oil level reaches at max.
• Check the coolant level by looking at the coolant reservoir tank, the one with the rubber tube sticking out. Make sure the water level at at ‘MAX’ or at the top most notch. Refill when it’s below that mark.
• The brake fluid reservoir can be found on the driver side, typically the cap is labelled or coloured in yellow. Again, the level can be seen on the side of the filler. Check your owners’ manual to use the right brake fluid. Typically, newer cars use DOT4 fluid.
FOLLOW SCHEDULED SERVICES
• Please follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals to ensure that your car is in tiptop condition.
• This is the time where wear and tear parts to be replaced by trained professionals and to retain the car’s warranty especially cars that are below five years old.
• Even if your car’s warranty is up, sending it in back to the dealership is crucial as they know the history of your car. If you choose to take it to a third-party workshop, you can do so, but be extra vigilant on your car’s wellbeing; spotting out noises or abnormalities is crucial especially for cars over 10 years old.
CHECK YOUR TYRES
• Check your car’s tyre pressure periodically, ideally right after refueling. You can find the pressure chart behind the driver side door, on the car’s frame located on your bottom right or behind the fuel filler door.
• Set the desired air pressure on the air pump based on the numbers of the chart.
• Do ensure that your car tyres are inflated correctly as under inflation and over inflation can cause uneven wear on them over time. Not only that, an under inflated tyre can cause sluggishness in acceleration and high fuel consumption, while over inflated tyres causes lateral instability at high cornering speeds.
• Especially during the monsoon season, it is important to make sure that your wipers are in good condition. Please ensure that they are not hard and brittle.
• If they begin to ‘chatter’ or leave streaks behind, then it is time to get the changed. Wipers should be replaced annually.
• For improved visibility, you can use windshield after treatments like Rain X or similar products. However do keep in mind that they are permanent after the first application and could make windscreen repairs slightly difficult.