Do you know that improper maintenance of cars is responsible for the reduction of their life time by over 30%? With the fuel prices and repair costs increasing every six months, you will never want your car to break down unexpectedly. With some simple tips followed regularly, you can maintain your car in perfect condition for a decade. Here are some such tips.
Nothing works as good as a regular service to keep your car in great condition. Read the car’s owner’s manual and find out if your mechanic is providing the necessary maintenance. This helps avoiding the expensive repairs related to engine, cooling system, suspension and other components. A well maintained car also makes availing the manufacturer warranty easy.
Minimize the Cold Starts:
When you start the cold engine, condensation occurs in the exhaust. If the car is not driven long enough till all the condensation evaporates, water accumulates in the muffler which causes rust that may cause a hole in it. Never start a cold car just to travel a few blocks or to pull it out of garage. For people owning more than one vehicle, using the one that has recently been used is the best thing to do.
Do Not Keep It Idle for More Than a Week:
Leaving the car idle may cause fluids to gradually drain out of the system. In situations where you will be out of town, consult your mechanic.
Keep an Eye on Fluid Condition:
Regularly monitor the levels of your car’s brake fluid, transmission fluid, anti-freeze oil and power steering fluid. Just if they do not leak, it doesn’t mean that the car is in perfect condition. Anti-freeze oil will be pink, yellow or green depending on the brand, but a brown colour denotes that it is filled with dirt or rust. Transmission fluid must be red; a brown colour and burnt smell means it has to be replaced. Engine oil should never be black – it has to be clear. Also, if it appears white in colour, it probably has water in it, due to condensation or an anti-freeze leak.
Replace the Air Filter When Necessary:
A dusty air filter simply sucks down the gas mileage. For every twelve thousand miles, you will have to replace the air filter. This job does not need a mechanic; you can purchase a matching air filter for your car at any auto parts store and the car’s manual will have the steps to fix it.
Care for the Tires:
Make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Insufficient air pressure in them reduces fuel efficiency and lifetime by 15% and 10% respectively. Keep a tire gauge in your garage to monitor the air pressure every 4 days. Also, if you feel like the tires are worn out, seek your mechanic’s advice and replace them to necessary.
Get Off to a Slow Start:
Every time you start the car, drive for two or three minutes at slow speeds so that the engine gets sufficiently heated up. This unburdens the strain on it. You can also install an electric engine space heater to start the car with a warm engine.
A well-maintained car that has limited emissions and long life does not only save you money, but also contributes to keep the environment green. Many people lack complete knowledge on car maintenance. It would be great if government comes forward with initiatives like testing a person’s knowledge on maintaining a car before awarding him the provisional driving licence. By getting driving licence you have full authority in driving a vehicle.