The modern car is no longer just a piece of luxury that only people of stature can have bragging rights. Almost everyone, every family, has a vehicle they can call their own.
Some have even decided to give up the idea of ownership of the entire house and instead opt for a mobile home, giving them the freedom to “live” wherever their vehicles take them.
For many, it is an important part of the business, providing mobility when public transportation is simply not the best option.
For others, it is the best way to enjoy the beautiful views and experiences that the world has to offer. Whatever the reason, the types of vehicle is here to stay and will continue to be a very important part of man’s evolutionary development.
That is why it is imperative to keep your car in excellent condition so that you can enjoy all the benefits that derive from it.
We have prepared a very complete types of car Care checklist to help you keep your vehicle in optimal operating performance.
Types of Car Care:
Common maintenance that every vehicle needs:
As we promised at the beginning of this article, we will present a very complete guide on how to maintain your car properly.
We have compiled about 20 basic car maintenance tips for you to observe and, hopefully, comply with. While these tips are meant to make your life as a vehicle owner easier, we can’t really emphasize enough the importance of reading the owner’s manual.
To begin with our list, we will see two of the most basic prerequisites for vehicle maintenance.
Inspect your vehicle regularly:
Performing the activities on the maintenance checklist of your car is quite easy. As we have already mentioned, the owner’s manual contains everything, including how you can perform a variety types of basic car maintenance.
As far as possible, you should perform the inspection yourself. This is just the simple process of evaluating the different parts and components of your vehicle so that you know what you need to do next.
If you can perform the required action, then you are performing basic car maintenance. If you require some advanced tools or even an extra pair of hands, then it may be useful to take it to a professional.
Performing an inspection is quite easy, especially if you know what to look for. Again, the owner’s manual can give you an idea of what to look for. In this way, if something seems wrong, you can take note of this and ask a professional to confirm or discard it as usual.
Either way, the mere fact that you are sticking your nose around your car will greatly increase your knowledge of the different parts that make it such a wonderful machine.
Learn the meaning of different warning light indicators:
Modern cars have sophisticated sensors and warning systems that notify you that something is wrong. Even with meticulous inspections and maintenance, it is unnoticed that you can cover them all.
That is why, as part of the basic maintenance of the car, you must learn the meaning of the different warning light indicators that flash on the instrument panel. Here are some of them.
Check the engine light: this usually indicates a problem in the various types of engine components of your car that has sensors actively connected and monitored by an OBD-II interface.
There are more than 4000 OBD-II codes that have their respective meanings. If this indicator light comes on, you may want to use an OBD2 scanner tool or have a technician do it for you.
Engine service light: This is an indicator light that will usually indicate that you are approaching scheduled maintenance.
It can come in several prints such as “service”, “maintenance request” or “service engine”. You can consult your manual to know the exact meaning of this indicator light.
Electric fault light: if it stays on even after the car’s self-test, it simply means that your car’s electric charging system has some problems that need to be further evaluated. Most of the time, a problem in the alternator will be to blame.
Brake warning light: There are many reasons why this will flash suddenly on the instrument panel. It may be that your parking brakes are activated or your brake fluid levels need to be recharged. It can mean other things, so your best option is to check with your manual.
ABS warning light: if this flashes, it would be better to take it to the nearest automotive workshop for a proper diagnosis.
Types of anti-lock braking systems keep your car stable and controllable in sudden stop situations. Special tools are needed to find out what’s wrong.
Coolant warning light: know what this means. Your engine is overheating. Stop, open your hood and just let it cool. Never try to open the radiator cap as the cooling system is very pressurized. Do it when the engine has already cooled.
Oil warning light: usually flashes if the oil pressure in your engine is too low. Never attempt to drive your vehicle with this warning light on, as it can seriously damage, if not completely, your engine.
This warning light can be turned on due to low oil levels, oil pump failure or even blockage of the oil filter or oil filter.
Check tire pressures:
One of the things that impact types of fuel economy is tire pressure. It also affects comfort and handling. The owner’s manual will have the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.
There are also simple devices and tools that you can use to check tire pressure. Ideally, this should be done weekly, although making it part of your daily routine will not harm you. Some cars have factory-installed tire pressure monitoring systems.
Check tread depth:
In case you wonder why riders can put slippery tires on their cars and you can’t do it in your own car, the answer is quite simple.
They have a team of boxes that can literally put a different type of tire in the car every time there is a change in the weather and they do it in less than 10 seconds; you don’t Race cars need optimal contact with the ground surface; That is why their tires are unusually larger, wider and come with a very smooth surface and no prints.
However, in wet track conditions, these super slippery tires are replaced with more suitable rubber to help channel the water on the race track away from the contact patch. Otherwise, a billionaire F1 car could be a pile of billionaire debris.
In the real world, you need tires that can work in all weather conditions, be it dry, wet or very cold. This is where the tires come into play.
If you look at your tires, you will see tread patterns with wider contact patches to give you a more versatile rubber. As we said, we cannot afford to have an F1 pit crew replace our tires in an instant when the weather suddenly changes.
The good news is that today’s tire manufacturers already integrate treatment wear bars into their compounds to eliminate the hassle of guessing if the treads of their tires are still deep enough to help channel water away.
Of the tires and maintain excellent contact with the ground even in wet conditions. So, if your tires do not come with these tread wear indicators, you could also get a new set. It may sound expensive but not as much as a vehicle accident.
Turn the tires and check the alignment:
Balance and wheel alignment are important aspects of basic car maintenance, as they can play a role in your car’s fuel economy, not to mention road safety.
Therefore, it is crucial to rotate, balance and align the tires according to the mileage indicated in the owner’s manual. The general rule is to make it turn every 5,000 miles, although you can always check with the manual for better accuracy.
Clean the brake dust from your wheels:
While brake dust does not affect the full operation of your brake system, they do make your wheels a bit unpleasant to look at.
One thing to understand is that brake dust is simply the accumulation of a variety of materials that come from the brake rotor and the brake pad itself when they come into contact when applying the brakes. Iron represents approximately 92% of the powder.
The remaining 8% will be carbon, dirt, dirt and other particles that, if baked in the sun, will leave you with a very stained wheel. As such, it is important to clean wheel dust with a damp sponge. You will also need cold, clean water because brake dust usually adheres to the wheels through static electricity.
Check the drive belts:
Your engine not only produces power on your wheels, so your vehicle will work. It also generates energy for other parts and accessories to work as well. This is the function of the transmission belts.
They transfer the energy from your camera or crankshaft to the car’s alternator, the air conditioning compressor, the power steering pump, the air pump, the water pump and any other device that relies on mechanical energy.
Modern cars use a single belt (also known as a serpentine belt) to connect and turn from the crankshaft pulley. Unfortunately, because these straps are usually made of rubber or other polymers, they wear out a lot even with normal use.
As such, it is important to check these belts from time to time to inspect visible fine cracks or any changes in their integrity. You should observe the integrity of both your serpentine belt or V-belt and your timing belt (unless your motor is driven by chain).
Most people will tell you to replace your serpentine belt every 40,000 miles and your timing belt every 60,000 miles.
Actually, we don’t have any number to recommend because we know that only the manufacturer of your car has solid backing to recommend the ideal mileage to replace your drive belts.
Still, we do not recommend following these guidelines blindly because these numbers are the result of tests in laboratory conditions, not in real-world applications.
However, let these numbers guide you so that if you are already approaching the recommended mileage, it may be time for your drive belts to be inspected and thoroughly evaluated.
Of course, a better approach is to inspect them visually more frequently. This should help reduce the average maintenance costs of the car by avoiding costly repairs.
Check oil levels:
Your car’s engine contains many moving mechanical parts that create friction when they rub against each other.
That is why minimizing, if not eliminating, the friction of these moving parts is essential to ensure smoother operation; otherwise, you will definitely experience loud noises or blows from your engine and even a substantial reduction in fuel economy.
Therefore, checking the oil level of your engine should be an integral part of basic car maintenance. It is quite easy, really. Simply locate where the oil dipstick is, remove it and evaluate the oil. Well not exactly.
Always make sure your car is parked on flat ground. Remove the dipstick and clean it first with a clean cloth. This helps eliminate oil that can obscure the level indicators on the dipstick, which makes it quite difficult to read accurately.
Once clean, reinsert the dipstick to the bottom and remove it. Now, you should see exactly where the oil level is. The dipstick usually has indicators near the tip.
There may be two notches or even points marked with an H and an L. In some vehicles, the area between these two points is also shaded or comes with patterns to allow an easier evaluation. Make sure your oil level is within these two points.
In addition, it is essential to observe the color of the oil. It really shouldn’t be black. The engine oil is usually amber. Dark colored oil generally indicates the presence of contaminants, excessive heat, the addition of chemical additives or, worse, mud.
As for the frequency of the oil change, the owner’s manual can tell you exactly when to change the engine oil.
There are also different types of oils, which can vary from regular to semi-synthetic to completely synthetic. You should also check the correct viscosity grade for your car and for the environment in which it normally operates.
Check the engine coolant level:
All things in motion generate heat. And although there is oil in your engine to help reduce friction between moving parts and prevent it from getting too hot at a much faster rate, your engine will also need a system that helps you eliminate the heat generated.
That is the function of your radiator and the liquid that is supplied is the coolant of your engine. If there is no coolant in the tank or it is running low, then the heat of the engine will not dissipate to the environment. This can lead to engine overheating.
As part of your car’s maintenance checklist, you should check your engine’s coolant levels even before starting to get out of your driveway. Checking it out is quite easy, since most cars today come with coolant tanks that are somehow translucent and with appropriate level marks on the panel.
Even without opening the tank lid, you should be able to visually inspect whether it is running out or not. The question now is where to look for the engine coolant reservoir in your car. The answer is simple: read your manual.
Take note of fuel economy:
The performance of your engine is affected by many things. And while there are several factors that may require a certain level of technical competence to evaluate, there is one thing you can try to evaluate yourself without even striving to save fuel.
The idea is that an efficient functioning engine burns fuel at a much more constant and constant rate. If it works very hard, then it burns more fuel. If you burn more fuel, you’ll feel it in your wallet.
You will find yourself going to the service station to refuel much more often than you used to do despite the fact that there are no changes in your driving habits. This is often an indication that the engine is working too much and that it is already burning more fuel than necessary.
That is why it is important to take your speedometer and travel readings into account. There are also certain devices and applications that help you evaluate your current fuel consumption.
One of the most common reasons why you can have a sudden change in fuel economy is the tire pressure. If the tire is inflated below or not aligned properly, your engine will have to increase its power to drive your vehicle down the road.
Adding additional weight to your car also affects fuel economy. Sudden acceleration and braking can also negatively affect your fuel economy.
Replace engine air filter:
The efficient operation of your engine depends a lot on the excellent mixture of air and fuel. And for this, it is very important to make sure that the air sucked into the engine of your car does not contain debris, particles or any other contaminant that can undermine the efficient operation of the engine.
If not, you are observing mediocre fuel consumption, significantly reduced power and unusual sounds emanating from the engine.
Your engine may also fail in some cases. It is for this reason that the engine air filter must be replaced according to the recommendations of the manufacturer of your vehicle.
However, while basic car maintenance guidelines dictate that you must comply with the recommendations of the car manufacturer, we should say that it is better for you to gain access to your air filter and carefully assess its condition and integrity.
If it is already too dirty and has not yet complied with the mileage recommendation for the manufacturer to replace it, it is best to replace it. Keep in mind that many factors can affect the integrity of the engine air filter.
For example, if you use your car in daily intermittent traffic situations or drive it on long trips every weekend, there is a great chance that dirt and debris will accumulate in the air filter much faster than if you were driving Open roads or drive long distances very rarely.
The point is that while the owner’s manual can give you an idea of when you need to replace the air filter, a better approach is to visually inspect the filter.
Accessing the engine air filter should not really be a challenge; although it depends on the model of your car. Your manual can show you how. If not, you can always ask a mechanic to do it for you.
Replace spark plugs:
If your car’s engine has a fairly irregular idle or occasionally fails, you may consider replacing your spark plugs.
Other symptoms of a spark plug malfunction may include lack of acceleration, problems starting your vehicle, unusually high fuel consumption, or even engine overload. Ideally, you should replace your spark plugs after every 30,000 miles if it is the standard copper type.
However, if yours is from the most advanced iridium spark plug, these can last up to 100,000 miles. Again, you should consult your vehicle owner’s manual or even your car’s maintenance checklist to determine when you should replace your spark plugs.
Replacing them shouldn’t be really difficult. With the right tools, you can access these by simply turning a few screws. However, if you lack these tools or are simply not sure enough of your skills to verify and replace these plugs, then having a professional do it for you should be an option.
Comply with the octane rating recommended by the car manufacturer:
There is this notion that higher octane fuel means more power. Well, technically, this is true. But you have to understand how this came to be in the first place.
Sports cars and cars with specially designed engines that run at very high compression ratios tend to “hit” if they use lower octane fuel. To provide the necessary power for such a high compression, a higher octane fuel is needed to help avoid “knocking” or detonation.
Unfortunately, people have quickly grasped the idea that higher octane fuel means more power.
Or they forgot that the reason for the high octane fuel is to avoid detonation in higher compression engines or simply chose to ignore it. Returning to your car, if you do not intend to drive it as a race car driver, then keep the regular fuel as the owner’s manual says.
Now, if your manual specifically says that you need to paste premium high octane gasoline into your tank, then do so. Otherwise, it clearly makes no sense to spend a few dollars per gallon on something that your car engine really doesn’t need.
To know more about Car care you can check here: Which Kind Of Car Wash Is Best For Your Finish?