doing car maintenance on your own

Vehicle Maintenance Basics Everyone Should Know


No matter which vehicle you drive, maintaining it is a must. There are certain things that you should take care of regularly. There are both short-term and long-term checks that you should run. Proper vehicular maintenance and upkeep can save you on extensive repairs and replacements, thus saving money and troubles in the long run.

To check your vehicle, you don’t have to be pro; be aware of some fundamentals. Ultimately, you need to take the vehicle to the garage or service station for servicing. Therefore, knowing the basics about your vehicle will help you understand what to be done and whom to go to. Does it need professional help, or can you do it yourself? Get all the answers below.

Coolant and Oil Levels

Every month and before you venture out on long trips, it’s highly suggested to check the coolant and engine oil levels. If the levels are low, it can lead to engine problems. Without being a professional, you can quickly locate either of them through your vehicle manual. Maintaining the correct level of coolants prevents overheating. Always check the level of coolant with the engine off. It is the essential fluid for your car after fuel for engine oil. It keeps the engine running, like in well-oiled machinery.

Apart from cars, people are also using yachts. If you see around the place, you will find quite a few parked in front of houses. They are in demand in the travel industry as well. It is more common near the harbour or beach side. Most owners check the boats for snags before releasing them in the sea. It is a safe way to travel today, apart from land transport. You should know these vessels also run-on fuel and need coolants if you own one.

So, if you are well-conversant with vehicular guidelines, you check both. They should undergo maintenance every 100 hours. On the contrary, if you hire a BBQ boat or some other variety, then it’s less hassle for you.

Air Filter Condition

Your engine’s air filter regulates airflow into your machine and keeps debris out. By getting your air filter to work well all the time, you can ensure fuel efficiency. It also decreases emissions and increases the longevity of your vehicle. The air filters can give off several signals, like a drop in mpg, change in engine light colour, and unusual sounds coming out of the engine. Dark smoke may also emanate from the exhaust.

You should learn to observe and identify these, to get notifications at the right time. The part is usually located on the front side of the vehicle. Changing it at least once after covering 20,000 miles is beneficial for your vehicle. You will get to read the standards in your vehicle manual.

changing car's air filter

Headlights and Tail Lights Condition

You will surely be fined for driving without lights on at night. All vehicles should have headlights, indicators, taillights, and number plate bulbs. If any of these do not work, you will be putting yourself and the other person at risk while driving. Checking your headlights is the easiest thing for you to do. You can turn your car battery on and switch on the lights. Check out if they are bright enough from the front. Checking the taillights or brake lights is more difficult. You need to slam the brakes and ask someone outside the car to check if they are alright.

Fog lights are also worth checking, especially for winter vacations. They are a bit on the yellow side and dimmer. Indicators are crucial safety features, which you should ensure working all the time. Test your signals from inside, or check them from the exterior of the care. The back and front lights should both blink when you set them on. Apart from the above, you could invite trouble if you are not displaying your number plate on the road. So, keep checking on all the lights that your vehicle comes with.

Transmission Fluid Levels

This is another lubricant that your vehicle cannot do without. If the levels of this fluid are low, the car will not be able to move. However, it will take a little more effort on your part than checking coolants and engine oils. If the levels drop to zero, the gears will also not move. And, all the mechanical movable parts inside the vehicle will get damaged due to friction and may even catch fire.

If you hear roaring sounds when accelerating the vehicles, it may be time to check the transmission fluid levels. You may even get a burning smell or have difficulty in shifting gears. These are the most common tell-tale signs. All of these safety standards apply to marine vessels as well. These are common aspects that are a part of vehicular maintenance.

Air in Tires

Well-maintained tires are your best friend on the road. You should get your tires’ air pressure every month and do not forget to carry a spare one. You ought to note that tire pressure decreases faster in winters. Most vehicles have the best pressure range mentioned. If you find your vehicle making noise or relatively slower than usual, you may need to fill in some air.

These are a few of the essential maintenance checklist points to consider. Get your vehicles checked regularly for best performance and avoid bigger repair and replacement costs.

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