DIY Checks and Maintenance for your Car18 Jul, 2021
Our cars need proper care, routine maintenance, cleanliness and check-ups to ensure proper well-being. How else can you ensure long car life longevity? Read more...
Our cars, like us, need proper care, routine maintenance, cleanliness and check-ups to ensure proper well-being and life longevity. With the amount of driving and commuting we do, general wear and tear are expected, depending on the age of the car, use and any existent damages. As owners of our cars, we bear the responsibility of ensuring routine maintenance, adequate care and good health overall.
As far as checks and maintenance go, you may not necessarily require the assistance of a mechanic or professional. You can carry out DIY (Do It Yourself) routine checks and maintenance to ensure car life longevity, given that your car does not have any evident damages or breaks. Should you notice any visible signs of damage or issues, have the professionals take a look.
DIY Checks You Can Do at Home
As part of ensuring car life longevity and better overall health of your car, what checks can you do at home?
A sufficiently inflated tyre will ensure a smooth driving experience and extends the life of your car. Check tyre pressures well. Tyres should not be overfilled with air as this may render risks of a blow-out (especially in the summer) and should not be under-filled as well because it may cause improper tyre alignment which in turn causes braking and handling issues.
Things you’ll need:
- Pressure gauge
- Air compressor
How to check and fill the air:
First, remove the valve cap slowly from your tyre
Press the pressure gauge deep enough until the hissing sound fades; you will get a reading on the gauge. Note them down, and compare the readings with the recommended pressure in your car’s manual (If you cannot find one contact your car dealer/ manufacturer).
Inflate or deflate appropriately, depending on the readings derived.
Tip: Make it a habit to check your tyres at least once every month to ensure car life longevity.
Sufficiently filled tyres allow for better performance and driving overall. You may notice considerable differences upon filling tyre air appropriately.
Oil & Fluids
As part of ensuring proper car care, servicing your car after driving the recommended distance is vital for car life longevity. For example, with some cars it is every 5000 kilometres, with others it is 2000.
It is important to ensure adequate oil levels for your car, as insufficient oil may lead to breaking downs and engine damage in the long run. You can check for oil levels by following the below steps:
Things you’ll need:
- Clean rag or cloth
How to check and fill oil:
First, look for the location of the dipstick in your car’s manual. A dipstick is a thin object that helps to measure the levels of oil in your car.
Wipe the dipstick with a clean rag to ensure a spotless measurement. You will also find readings or markings of the oil levels on the dipstick and if you look closely, it will have markings of the recommended high and low levels of oil.
Insert the dipstick and draw it out again (ensure that your engine is cold and turned off for a few minutes at least).
Check the oil mark on the readings of the dipstick, and see if it is on low or high (it is recommended to check at least twice).
If the markings are low, fill oil up to adequate levels.
Tip: As a rule of thumb, if your markings read low, about half a litre will be required to fill it up sufficiently.
Your car manual will also guide you about the grade of oil you should use, and other requirements necessary.
Once filled sufficiently, leave a few minutes for the oil to reach down to the sump and check your oil levels again with a clean rag or cloth.
Windscreen blades and wipers are an important part of keeping your view clear and visible. As much as windscreen hygiene is a part of the cleanliness of your car, a dirty windscreen can also cause a safety risk during times of dust, fog, mist and rain, especially with the weather fluctuations in the UAE. Ensure that your car windscreen is spotless and that your windscreen or wiper blades work well.
Things you’ll need:
- Some cleaning solvent
- Clean rag or cloth
- Pin or needle
How to clean and fix:
Firstly, start with cleaning the topmost part of your car (around where your windscreen begins) with water and some cleaning solvent and clean well. You can find specialised cleaning formulas, made just for glasses and windscreens.
Make use of a clean cloth to ensure a clean and dry windscreen surface.
Make certain that your windscreen blades are in proper working condition. Should any problem arise, have it shown to a professional.
As part of efforts for car care, check if your windscreen water jet is in proper working condition. Should the flow not work well, make use of a needle or pin to clear it. You may also re-aim it using the same needle.
Tip: Use a good glass cleaner to clean grease and fume stains for a clearer windscreen and safer driving.
The above are DIY maintenance checks and efforts you can do to ensure car life longevity. Others like brake system, air-conditioning system etc. require professional opinion and assistance. However, there are other maintenance checks and measures you can carry out to ensure car life longevity:
- Clean and sterilise the steering wheel of your car and other hard surfaces such as car handles with 70% Isopropyl or Rubbing alcohol to sanitise from dirt, bacteria and viruses.
- Use a damp cloth with soapy water to clean leather interiors as alcohol can damage its protective layer and upholstery.
- Keep the rest of the interior clean from garbage and waste
Owning a car is not easy. And maintaining and taking appropriate care of the car can be tricky. However, if you wish to ensure protection and car life longevity, it is vital to ensure efforts to sustain its well-being. Some DIY maintenance efforts may be taken from the convenience of your home, and others require professional assistance. Make it a habit to carry out these maintenance measures to protect your car.