Vehicle Maintenance Tips You Can Perform Right From Home
Our auto repair mechanics will share a few simple maintenance tips that will help your car, truck or SUV perform better and extend its life.
These auto maintenance tips will be the cornerstone of preventative maintenance that will keep your vehicle in good working order and present any pressing problems that may need to be serviced.
Your vehicle already has a specified maintenance schedule by the dealer. Following the required service at the right time will also ensure your car is operating at peak condition.
If you are mechanically inclined, these vehicle inspection tips will be familiar to you. If you require an auto service or repair, we are here to help.
10 Maintenance Tips For Your Vehicle
Here are a few things to look for regularly bi-weekly or even monthly right outside your home. This inspection of your vehicle should only take an hour or so but will keep you feeling confident and assured your vehicle is in good driving condition.
1. Check For Leaks
Have a look underneath the vehicle for leaks. Brown, black, reddish, green or orange and clear fluids is what you're looking for. The brown and black fluids would most likely be an oil leak. The red colored fluid is likely to suggest a transmission repair or power steering problem. The green and orange may indicate an engine coolant leak. And a clear-like fluid would potentially be brake fluid leak. In some instances you may find a water like substance. This should be nothing to worry about as it is likely condensation from your cars AC in summer or melted snow in winter.
2. Check Your Heater & AC
Turn on your car heater & AC. You want to be sure it blows good heat in winter and keeps you cool in summer. Listen for any strange noises which may indicate a heater blower motor issue.
3. Wiper Blades
Make sure the blades are not cracked and hard. Test your windshield wiper fluid as well and look for any blurred film on the windshield from the wipers.
4. Check All Your Lights
Headlights (high and low beam).
Brake lights - You'll need an assistant for this one.
5. Test Your Doors Locks & Windows
6. Windshield Chips & Cracks
Check for stone chips or small cracks in your windshield. If spotted early and damage is the size of a dime, it may be repairable rather than replaced.
7. Your Sound System
Check radio and listen if your speakers front and rear left and right side are all working. Listen for crackling or distorted sounds with the volume slightly high.
8. Your Horn
This one's often overlooked and certainly one you want working when you need it.
9. Your Brakes
Take the car for a spin and listen for your brakes. Do they squeal, screech or grind. Does the pedal feel soft, hard or pulsate. If so a brake inspection will ease your mind.
10. Your Registration Papers
Make sure your papers are in order. License, ownership and insurance. This is not really for longevity of your vehicle. Just a precaution to keep you clear of unnecessary infractions.
If any of these inspections failed give us a call.
DIY Vehicle Inspection
If you are not mechanically inclined, this is a simple inspection that is mostly visual and can be done outside your home.
These milestone checks will extend your vehicles life and bring to your attention anything that may need servicing or repaired. It will also give you confidence while you're on the road, on your way to work or an outing.
We know many car enthusiasts and drivers enjoy repairing their own car. But if not, you've got a helping hand at our local mechanics. Feel free to stop by for servicing on all makes and models.
Car Maintenance FAQ's
Here's a few more vehicle maintenance tips from frequently asked questions we get from our customers:
+ How Often Should I Change My Oil & Filter?
In older vehicles, oil and filter change should be approximately every 5,000 kilometers. However, in more recent makes and models and the change in engine lubricants a recommended oil change is between 5,000 to 7,500 kilometers. Furthermore, if your vehicles engine takes full-synthetic motor oil, you can go as far as 7,500 - 10,0000 kilometerst between oil changes!
+ What About My Other Engine Fluids?
In addition to engine oil change, the different engine fluids to consider changing also include: transmission oil change, brake & clutch fluid change, engine coolant flush, power steering fluid change.
Transmission oil should be replaced every 3 years or 20,000 km, whichever comes first. In newer model vehicles transmission oil can go as long as 60,000km before changing.
Every manufacturer has a specific guidelines to flush your brake & clutch fluid. Generally every 2 years is recommended. However, some dealers recommend changing your brake and clutch fluid at the time of each repair.
For engine coolant, it is a good idea to get your engine coolant flushed every 3 years. In some makes it can be extended as long as 10 years or 100,000km.
Your power steering fluid and intervals are dependent on manufacturers guidelines. Generally, your power steering should be replaced every 3 years or 30,000 km.
+ How Do I Check My Tire Pressure & Treadwear
Your tire pressure should be listed on the inside of the drivers side door. Tire pressure varies on all tire types anywhere between 28 psi and 35 psi. There is a maximum pressure you should never go over. ususally 50 psi.
To check your tire pressure simply press your tire gauge firmly against the valve stem until you get a reading. Top up or deflate to the recommended pressure.
+ How About My Engine Belts & Hoses
Most car manufacturers suggest replacing engine hoses every four years. V-drive engine belt replacement should be every 3 years or 36,000 kilometers. It's always a good idea to have your mechanic inspect your belts and hoses when your vehicle is in for service. A serpentine belts lifespan is generally five years or 50,000 km.
+ Seasonal Tire Change
In certain Canadian provinces like Quebec, seasonal tire change is mandatory. If you live in a province where it is the drivers option, you should look to change to winter tires as soon as temperatures drop below the 7 degree mark.
Replacing your winter tires back to summer tires should also be done when temperatures rise above the 7 degree mark.
Following these temperature guidelines will increase tire tread longevity as well as enhance road safety conditions.
Contact our local mechanic shop
All The Best & Safe Driving!
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