No matter how much you may love your vehicle, how it works can be a mystery for many of us. Yet, basic car maintenance is vital in keeping your car in good, roadworthy condition. Even if you’re not a tinkerer or mechanically minded, there are some basic maintenance tips that anyone can master with a little effort and some elbow grease.
By understanding the very basics, you’ll be able to keep your car running smoothly and reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs down the track. Best of all, by keeping your car in tip-top shape, you’ll be able to price it competitively when it comes time to sell.
So where should you start?
Your engine is among the most costly parts of a car to fix – so it’s well worth ensuring your oil levels are adequate. Luckily, doing so only takes a matter of minutes.
The NRMA recommends checking your oil levels once or twice a month to make sure everything is sound. To do so, stop your engine and wait a few minutes for your oil to settle – it’s best checked when the car is still warm and on level ground. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean on a cloth. Push it back in and then withdraw it to check the level. Ideally, your oil level will be between the high and low markings – the higher the better.
Top up your coolant
Another potential threat to your engine is the coolant levels. Coolant, a mixture of water and anti-freeze, is responsible for transferring the heat created by the engine, and low levels can lead to overheating.
To check your coolant levels, you need your engine to be completely cool. Pop your bonnet (in most cars, your coolant will be found in the front of the car) and look for a clear plastic container connected to the radiator. If it is low, top it up with the coolant recommended in your owner’s manual.
Check your tyres
Tyre pressure is critically important – not only to ensure better performance and handling, but to maintain the life of your tyres and provide better fuel mileage. Your tyres should be checked every couple of weeks to ensure the pressure is optimal and check the tread for wear.
If possible, check the pressure when your wheels are cold. You’ll also need to know your ideal tyre pressure, which can be found in your owner’s manual, the driver’s side door frame, glove box or fuel door.
Even if you don’t have a pressure gauge at home, you should be able to access one at your local petrol station. Simply follow the instructions on the unit to measure your tyre pressure and inflate them if necessary.
Change oil filters
To extend the lifespan of your engine, you should regularly change your oil and filters.
Most of us will have this addressed during our regular car service but if you need to do it between visits to your mechanic, there are a few steps you can take. Supercheap Auto has a comprehensive checklist to changing both your oil and filters, as well as a handy guide to which oil may suit your vehicle.
Address windscreen chips
Found a windscreen chip? It might seem easy to ignore but before you know it, that chip can become a crack – leading to a costly windscreen replacement.
For some chips, it may be possible to fix by injecting an epoxy or acrylic compound into it, which can act as a filler. For others, or if you’re not confident repairing it yourself, it’s best to call in a professional windscreen repairer.
Keep your paint up to date
If you’re looking to maintain the value of your car, one of the simplest things to do is to keep your car paint in good order. Ensure you’re washing and waxing your car regularly to maintain colour and appearance.
Most experts recommend washing and waxing your car on an ongoing basis – around once a week – to prevent damage to your paint. But ensuring you’re washing your car right is critical, otherwise you could be doing more harm than good! Bumpertek has a comprehensive guide to washing your car the right way, to maintain your car’s paint and its value.
Importantly, if you have any car scratches or paint scuffs, it’s important to get this addressed. Not only can it impact the value of your car but can lead to long-lasting damage if rust sets in. To fix your car scratches and dents, Bumpertek can help. We provide an easy, cost-effective solution to car scratches and dents and best of all, we come to you!
For your free no-obligation quote, get in touch with Bumpertek today.