10 Tips For Checking Your Vehicle
Most sensible car owners know that they should do a little maintenance on their vehicles. Some know the basics of what to check, but many honestly don’t know the best place to start. We though that we would put together a list of the Top 10 things to check. These will help with three things:
- Making your vehicle more dependable and reliable
- Fuel economy
Many people will wash and polish their car and also give it a good vacuum a few times a year and that of course is a good thing to do. We would recommend washing your vehicle once a week and using a polish and wax once a month to get the best results.
That will take care of how your car looks, but this article is about checking the parts that are not seen, but are critical in how your car performs and runs. The most critical areas to check are engine fluids, radiator hoses, belts, tires and brakes. If you look after those, then your car will be in as good a condition as you need it to be.
1. Check the overall condition of your tires. – If you have all-season radials, then don’t forget to rotate those. You want to check that the tires have no obvious damage such as blisters on the side or large cuts. Now is also a great time to check that the tread is now worn and especially check the inner side of the tires for wearing. Tire pressure is vitally important. If this is set at the manufacturer’s recommendation, your tires will last longer, and you will get a lot more miles for your money.
2. Check Your Brakes– It may sound like a difficult thing to do to check your brakes. However all you really need to do is roll your windows down and when driving the car slowly, listen for any noises such as excessive grinding, squealing, or screeching. Now is also a great time to check the level of brake fluid and make sure it is at the recommended level. Remember brakes could save your life so look after them.
3. Check Your Wiper Blades -Wipers work hard especially over the winter months, wiping away dirt from your windscreen. We recommend replacing these in the spring before a shower makes it difficult to see. There are plenty of choices for these in the market place and it is worth spending a few extra pounds to buy good quality wiper blades.
4. Clean Underneath Your Car – In addition to washing the exterior, be sure to spray the under body of your vehicle and underneath the rear and front bumpers to rinse away any salt build-up, which can lead to erosion and rusting. Use a high-pressure sprayer or garden hose for best results. There are many places who will do this for you for a few dollars. Doing this one single thing can help a lot with preventing rust to body work on your vehicle.
5. Apply a Protectant -On many cars you will find different vinyl surfaces. Typically these can be door panels, dashboards, seats and the steering wheel. Vinyl is susceptible to cracking, sun damage, and fading-so be sure to apply a protectant at the beginning of the season and touch-up regularly.
6. Change The Oil – Oil inside your engine is what keeps it running smoothly and more importantly is also what offers protection to your engine. This should be changed at least once a year and we strongly recommend using the oil recommended by your manufacturer. Different cars need different types of oil so make sure to get the right one. Now is also a good time to change the oil filter.
7. Check the Fluids -Fluids are used up as your engine works. Make sure to check, top up or replace all fluids. We have already mentioned brake fluids, but you should also check the levels of transmission, coolant, power steering and wind shield washer fluid.
8. Examine Belts & Hoses – You don’t have to know what each belt and hose does in a car. That said you should check them and make sure that they are tight, don’t have any holes in them or are suffering from wear and tear.
9. Clean The Interior – It is amazing what you can find in a car especially if you have kids. They have a knack of being able to store things in places that you didn’t know even existed. Give it a very thorough vacuum and now is a good time to apply your vinyl protection as well.
10. Wash Your Car Regularly -All vehicles regardless of the finish should be regularly washed throughout the year. To preserve your car’s shine and protect the surface, wax your vehicle once it has dried completely.
So those are our top 10 tips to look after your vehicle. If you did this just twice a year, you will have many happy hours of trouble free motoring.