Automotive technology continues to improve vehicle components all the time for pedestrians and driver’s safety. Today, a car engine is much more advanced than a few decades ago vehicles that your parents grew up with. Now, your car is not just a vehicle for you but a precious part of the family that makes your life comfortable from innumerable aspects. So, for the selection of the right car, from the research to the maintenance process, everything is meticulous for us.
When it comes to your car maintenance is thousands of times better than prevention. But for some reason, lots of people ignore the basic maintenance of their car. Their viewpoint is: “My vehicle is running properly, so why should I inspect daily?”. Or, “I don’t have enough time for car maintenance” and so on. Well, the excuses never end.
Most of us ignore the maintenance or service requirements that our car needs. Usually, forgetting to change the oil, or driving too long on the same spark plugs. All these ways kill a perfectly good vehicle and thus resulting in significant damage that surfaces in the long run. In UAE, you could be fined by police for failing to look after your car.
But how do you come to know what needs to be done? And, how often vehicle needs to be serviced? By knowing all the routine car maintenance needs, you will ensure that your car is in top-running condition. To make it easy, this blog has created a simple car maintenance service checklist to help you keep your car running on the road.
Basic Service Maintenance Checklist
- Tyres – Check tyre pressure, tread wear, and wheel alignment.
- Fluids – Check engine oil and all other fluids.
- Vehicle Lights – Check lights periodically and replace them if necessary.
- Handbrake – Make sure it could hold the vehicle.
- Windscreen – Inspect windscreen for cracks and check wear on wiper blades.
- Seatbelts – Inspect the belt to ensure that it is free of cracks or other wear and tear.
Fluids Maintenance Checklist
- Engine oil.
- Transmission fluid.
- Windscreen washer fluid.
- Power steering fluid.
- Engine Coolant Fluid, and others.
Tyres Maintenance Checklist
- Tyres Pressure.
- Wheel Alignment.
- Treadwear and Tread depth.
- Spare tyres.
Lights Maintenance Checklist
- Reverse Lights.
- Dashboard lights.
- Brake lights.
- Park lights.
Other general things to check
- Battery – Look for rust on terminals.
- Engine Air Filter – Check whether it is clean or not.
- Unusual Noises – Hearing clunking, growling, or squeaking noises.
- Seatbelts – Check belts are fitted correctly.
- Radiator – Check for cracks or leakage.
Servicing and Maintenance of Spark Plugs
Spark plugs play a vital role in engine efficiency and they can be easily harmed which will ultimately affect the overall performance. It ignites the gas and air mixture that powers your vehicle. Usually, the owner’s manual tells that how often you need to replace the spark plugs. But they might need to be replaced sooner if:
- You are having some trouble starting the engine and hear unusual sounds.
- You notice excessive fuel consumption or worsening fuel economy.
- Your vehicle struggles to accelerate.
If the spark plugs of your car are not functioning properly, then your engine will lose power and would not run at optimal capacity. Check the electrode should not be black, if it is then it means you need to either clean or replace the spark plug.
Check Engine Oil Regularly in Your Vehicle
Every vehicle is not the same, nor is every engine. Motor oil is the most important component of your engine that serves a whole slew of functions. It cools the engines, helps act as a sealant against debris and prevents engine corrosion, reduces wear and tear. So, keeping it clean periodically is vital for a good engine.
Depending on your car and the kind of oil you are using, you might need to change both the oil and oil filter after every 3 months. You can also check oil levels yourself by using the dipstick, or an electronic gauge. If the oil is dark or looks muddy, then it’s time to change it.
Maintenance of Other Car Fluids
The engine oil is not the only fluid that needs to be checked periodically. Other fluids like transmission fluid, engine coolant, brake fluid, and washer fluids also need proper maintenance to guarantee their respective performances.
- Washer Fluid: The washer fluid quickly runs out in the winter. It is very easy to refill when you are running late low.
- Transmission Fluid: This fluid is just like the engine fluid that helps keep all of the parts inside your transmission functioning properly. So, whether you are driving a manual vehicle or an automatic car it is essential to checked and changed the transmission fluid when needed. This will avoid costly damage or replacement for you.
- Antifreeze and Steering Fluid: These two come with gauges or dipsticks, making it easy for you to check fluid levels at one glance.
- Engine Coolant Fluid: Your car radiator is a vital component that helps keep your engine cool and functioning properly. Regularly checking and maintaining the coolant system will help get rid of contaminants that can build up inside. For more detailed information, check your vehicle owner’s that how often coolant needs replacement.
Frequently Check and Service the Battery
The car battery is one of the most important parts for your vehicle to run. It supplies a large amount of electrical current for the engine, starter, and other electronic components in the vehicle. The extreme hot and cold weather temperatures affect the performance of the battery. So, test the battery regularly to ensure that it will perform whenever you need it to.
- Always keep track that how old your car battery is.
- Do check the battery terminals for rust or corrosion.
- When necessary use distilled water on top of the battery fluid, but remember don’t overfill.
How Often Need to Change the Filters?
The two key filters i.e engine air filter and cabin filter shouldn’t be ignored because they protect the engine and also affect the air quality. The engine air filters prevent dirt, dust, and other contaminants from getting into the cabin to the engine. The cabin filter blocks smog, pollen, and other pollutants that could possibly flow through the car’s HVAC system and contaminate the air inside. Generally, the more you drive on dustier roads, the more often it would need a change.
So, to keep your car running, you would need to replace the filters. Automakers have recommended some guidance on when is the right time to replace. An odd or odor in the cabin, especially when the AC is on, could indicate that the filter is in bad shape. When you try to inspect an engine air filter, try raising it towards a source of light.
Inspect Your Car Tires Often
The tyres fitted with the correct pressure on your car will increase the life of your tyres and reduce fuel consumption. If you feel like your car is pulling to one side when you drive, then it might be due to improper wheel alignment and balance. And, to avoid these situations, a good way is to rotate tyres regularly to reduce the uneven wear.
Check the tread wear of the tyres and ensure that they are not too worn. It would be good if you have a tire pressure gauge in your car. Tire gauges are cheaper and easy to use to know how much air is actually inside each tyre.
If you want to save your money while maintaining cars, our car maintenance checklist will ensure to cover all the bases. When it’s time to kick the tires on road, keeping any vehicle in good shape is a smart step. The maintenance procedures would increase your car safety and there would be less strain on your car engine and other components. Not only your vehicle will run smoothly, but your driving ability wouldn’t be impeded by any other vehicle
M Junaid Lead Writer, Content Marketer at PitstopArabia, A writer by Day and reader by night