A car is like a family member for those who are into automobiles. People either use their family car that has been passed down from their parents or buy a shiny new one for themselves. Either way, taking care of a car becomes essential if one expects it to keep running without any performance hiccups. To get a car running smoothly, one needs to carry out regular maintenance. This is where basic car maintenance tips for beginners will be helpful. This allows the car owner to be aware of any problems that may hamper the performance of their car during a ride and resolve them. Professionals or people who know the anatomy of a car can take care of their four-wheelers in a better manner. But not everyone may get time to learn everything that is to know about maintaining a car.
Primary Maintenance Tips
For those who want to acquaint themselves with the basics of car maintenance, we suggest you take a look at the following car maintenance tips for beginners. Carrying out these car care tips will help you maintain your vehicle without
1. Change Oil and Oil Filter:
Your car is nothing but a complex machine that contains multiple small and large parts. Since a car is a machine that can move, it is obvious that multiple moving parts are also involved. A car cannot run smoothly without a lubricant, it is present to ensure the smooth functioning of these parts.
Oil lubricates moving parts and absorbs the heat created due to friction. On the other hand, an oil filter keeps the oil clean and free of contamination. Here is how you can change the oil and oil filter of your car:
- Refer to the user manual and locate the oil drain plug of your car and remove the old oil.
- Next, replace the oil plug as shown in the owner’s manual and then remove the oil filter.
- Before installing the new oil filter, you need to lubricate it with the help of fresh oil.
- Now proceed to pour new oil. Make sure that you fill only the required amount of oil and that suits your car type.
- Place the cap and power the engine. This will help you identify leaks.
- In case of no leaks, shut off the engine and wait for a few minutes.
- Now check the oil level with the help of a dipstick.
- Add more oil if required.
After prolonged use, oil and oil filters need to be replaced as dust and other contaminants may accumulate hampering the performance of moving parts. The good news here is that even a beginner can successfully change the oil and oil filter of a car.
2. Keep the Engine Clean:
The engine is the heart of your car and you need to care for it. While you can do only so much to keep it clean internally (For example, using clean fuel), you should also clean it externally from time to time. It is important in terms of identifying an area of concern. For example, leaks. Leaks together with dust and debris present on the surface can cause damage to the engine. Thus, use simple engine cleaners to wipe any gunk.
3. Look for a Faulty Spark Plug:
Your car will fire up only when you have the spark plug in working condition. The good news is that you can easily judge if the spark plug is faulty or if it is going to put you in a spot anytime soon. So, don’t forget to add this point to your basic car maintenance checklist. Here are a few instances that will help you identify a faulty spark plug:
- Issues with starting your car: When you have a faulty spark plug you will find yourself struggling to start the car. You will have to turn the key in the ignition a few times before it actually powers the engine.
- Dip in mileage: You will notice that the car’s mileage is dropping even when everything else works just fine. This is when you should consider changing the spark plug.
- Increased noise and vibrations: This is likely to happen when your car is idling.
- Uneven acceleration: If you have a faulty spark plug, you will notice a dip in acceleration. It will be uneven.
4. Keep the Interiors Clean:
It is not necessary that you spend money on a car wash every two days. Using a simple vacuum cleaner to keep the interior dust-free can also be helpful. Nowadays, many creative cleaning items are available in the market. For example, you can use a blob of scented slime to clean tricky places like air vents, the base of a gear stick, or the area under the steering wheel.
5. Carry Out Battery Maintenance:
Learn the basics of a car battery with the help of the owner’s manual and if necessary, the internet. You should be aware of where your car battery is located. Next, you need to understand how to safely disconnect the battery and clean the terminal contacts as required. Remember to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery first. This will effectively cut off the electrical supply and reduce the chances of an accident.
Now clean the contacts with the help of a brush that is safe to use on batteries and reconnect. This time, connect the positive first. Cleaning the battery once in a while will help you prolong its life.
6. Check the Brake Fluid:
A car’s braking system is a complex mechanism. A brake fluid helps in the proper functioning of this system. You can ensure that the brake fluid is not spoilt and is present in sufficient amounts. Check the level of the fluid present in the braking system (The user manual will be helpful here). Also, check the color of the fluid. If it is dark, you need to replace the braking fluid.
7. Maintain Fuel Economy:
It is an open secret that maintaining a car on a regular basis will help you retain good mileage. Maintaining the fuel economy is also lighter on the pocket. Here are a few general car maintenance tips that will help you achieve the desired result in terms of fuel and mileage.
- Maintain average speed: Continuous speed fluctuations and rash driving take a huge toll on the mileage of your car. It decreases the life of your car’s engine in the long run as well. This will result in your car not running smoothly, ending up in a garage more than usual, and so on. Instead, try to maintain an average speed between 40 to 60 kmph.
- Don’t burden your car with heavy weights: Do not use your car frequently for moving heavy objects. Remember, the more the weight, the lesser the mileage. So, if you own a business that requires you to move heavy objects on a daily basis then consider buying an appropriate vehicle for the purpose. Or else, the mileage of your car is likely to get compromised.
8. Replace the Cabin Air Filter:
If the car’s air conditioning system does seem up to the mark lately, you may have to replace the cabin’s air filter. This will ensure clean flow and proper cooling of the air inside your car. Pertaining to the tropical weather of India, you may have to change the filter every 6 months. Refer to the owner’s manual or contact a trusted mechanic for the exact steps to change the cabin air filter. It is usually located under the glove box and can be accessed easily.
9. Keep a Check on the Tire Pressure:
Car tires are one of the components that keep your car mobile. Incorrect tire pressure for a prolonged time can reduce their life. It may cause early wear and tear or even tire bursts. Thus, it is important that the recommended amount of air (or nitrogen) is present in the tires. Nowadays you can use simple, inexpensive devices to check the tire pressure yourself. Use these in addition to visual checks for cracks or objects stuck on the exterior of the tire.