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10 Basic Car Maintenance Tips for Beginners

April likes cars and growing up with people who are working in the automobile industry, she has gained valuable knowledge about vehicles.

Regular car maintenance is important regardless of what car you drive. It is imperative to ensure that your car is in top-running condition.

Regular car maintenance is important regardless of what car you drive. It is imperative to ensure that your car is in top-running condition.

The longevity and performance of pretty much anything depends on how well you take care of them. For example, a car can last you a very long time if you make sure that you keep up with its regular maintenance and fix any minor issues as soon as you see them. By taking care of your car, you are also ensuring your safety.


If you are not confident about handling the maintenance of your car yourself, you can ask assistance from a friend or a car professional.


1- Change your car oil

Your engine oil is essential to make sure that your engine stays alive for a long time. It reduces friction on the moving parts of the engine and helps in dispersing heat. The oil acts as a sealant between piston rings and cylinder liner, which prevents combustion pressure from escaping. It slows down rusting and makes sure that your engine is performing its best.


Automotive experts strongly advice car owners to change their car's engine oil every three months, or 3,000 miles.

Automotive experts strongly advice car owners to change their car's engine oil every three months, or 3,000 miles.

2- Rotate your tyres and check their air pressure

Your tyres are what keep your car on the road, you must check them regularly and before going on long trips. When the weather is a bit chilly, you should check inflation every 2 weeks. You can check the owner's manual for the correct pressure to inflate.

In the case that you see any abnormal wear patterns, you should know that this indicates misalignment or suspension problems. Any steering vibrations mean that the tyres might need to be balanced. Keep in mind that your tyres should always have a minimum of 1.6 mm in their tread depth.


Rotating your car's tyres is important to ensure that the tires wear evenly. Otherwise, your front tires will have significantly less tread than the rear tires.

Rotating your car's tyres is important to ensure that the tires wear evenly. Otherwise, your front tires will have significantly less tread than the rear tires.

3- Inspect your power steering fluid

You should check the power steering fluid regularly to make sure that it is filled to capacity. You can check how to do this on your owner's manual. You should follow and use the recommended fluid and make sure that you do not overfill. If you notice that this fluid needs filling regularly, you should contact a specialist because this might indicate a more significant problem with the car.


When you hear a whining or squealing noise when the wheels turn, ti can be an indication that the power steering fluid is low. Meaning, you need to visit the nearest automotive supply stores and have it replaced.

When you hear a whining or squealing noise when the wheels turn, ti can be an indication that the power steering fluid is low. Meaning, you need to visit the nearest automotive supply stores and have it replaced.

4- Check your batteries

Your car battery is an essential part of the electrical system, and if you fail to maintain or replace it, the battery can cause breakdowns. Check if your battery terminals are clean and tight and if your battery is secure. If you have been using the same battery for 3-4 years then maybe it is time for a replacement. Make sure that the electrolyte level is right. You should also only use distilled water when refilling it.


Typically. a car's battery can last up to four to six years. However, if you have bad driving habits, your car's battery lifespan can degrade faster than expected.

Typically. a car's battery can last up to four to six years. However, if you have bad driving habits, your car's battery lifespan can degrade faster than expected.

5- Check your lights and other electrical components

Your lights are a safety feature of your car. It can lower your chances of getting into an accident. Another essential component of your car is the electrical components which encludes your horns and windows.

Make sure to check if all your lights are working. If your horn and windows are doing what they are supposed to.


A car's electrical system consists of the battery, starter and alternator. In any event that one of these components are malfunction, your car won't start or run correctly. If you suspect there's a problem, immediately call a mechanic.

A car's electrical system consists of the battery, starter and alternator. In any event that one of these components are malfunction, your car won't start or run correctly. If you suspect there's a problem, immediately call a mechanic.

6- Fill up your transmission fluids

Car fluids keep your car running just as much as the machinery do. Make sure to check transmission fluid levels and to fill it to the correct level. The fluid should not be discoloured or burnt. Your owner's manual should have the right type of fluid to use. Taking care of your transmission can prevent the costly replacement of your gearbox.


Keeping track of your transmission fluid is highly important. Transmission repairs are often avoidable with some basic maintenance.

Keeping track of your transmission fluid is highly important. Transmission repairs are often avoidable with some basic maintenance.

7- Inspect your cooling system

Note: Checking your cooling system should only be done while your engine is cold. Do not even attempt to touch a radiator cap while the engine is hot.

Check if your coolant level is adequate. Only refill with the fluids recommended for your car. If there is a need for a regular filling, then there might be a leak somewhere.


After starting the engine, check if its warm and visually watch the coolant in the cooling system to see if it is circulating. If not, then immediately ask for a mechanic to have it checked. Or, if you know how to do it, that  would be great.

After starting the engine, check if its warm and visually watch the coolant in the cooling system to see if it is circulating. If not, then immediately ask for a mechanic to have it checked. Or, if you know how to do it, that would be great.

8- Checking your brakes

If your brakes squeal, grind, or vibrate, then it means that they need to be replaced. If your brakes also respond slow, then it is an indication that they are worn down. Check to make sure that the brake fluid is full, and only use the recommended brake fluid for your vehicle.


Maintaining your car's brakes must be done regularly. Have your brake and brake pads checked once per year. Plus, checking your brake fluid regularly is a must.

Maintaining your car's brakes must be done regularly. Have your brake and brake pads checked once per year. Plus, checking your brake fluid regularly is a must.

9- Retouch the paint and exterior detailing

You may think that the paint job and detailing do not really affect the performance of your car, which is true, but it does affect the value of your vehicle. Proper care and maintenance of your car paintwork can help protect your vehicle from scratching and natural elements such as tree sap, mud, dirt, bird droppings, etc.

By keeping your car looking brand new, you are working to retain as much resale value in your vehicle.


Heading to a body shop for professional auto paint services can be cost-effective rather than doing it yourself. Ask fro recommendations to ensure that  you get the best job for the money.

Heading to a body shop for professional auto paint services can be cost-effective rather than doing it yourself. Ask fro recommendations to ensure that you get the best job for the money.

10- Check your suspension

The suspension is another car component that is vital to your safety. Worn suspension can extend stopping distance by up to 20%, you should check the parts of the suspension for signs of physical damage or excess wear. You should also check the shock absorbers for fluid leaks. The suspension can be inspected while driving, by keeping an eye on steering wheel vibrations or even' nose-diving when stopping.


Be observant for any car suspension issues regularly. Watch out for diving, rolling and/or squatting, steering difficulty, oily shock absorbers and bumpy feeling when driving. If any of these happens, it can be an indication of suspension problems.

Be observant for any car suspension issues regularly. Watch out for diving, rolling and/or squatting, steering difficulty, oily shock absorbers and bumpy feeling when driving. If any of these happens, it can be an indication of suspension problems.

Conclusion

Before you think of buying a car on a budget, be sure that you'll be ready for the responsibility of owning one. Pretty much anything can last long if you take care of them. This principle applies to the car. When you invest in your vehicle, you invest in your safety too. So don't cut corners by neglecting your vehicle.


Comments

MG Singh emge from Singapore on December 28, 2019:

Great article, the simple points highlighted by you are something that can be easily followed