Top 10 Quick Car Checks

Posted: July 11, 2017 in Maintenance tips, Tips and Advice
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Some car breakdowns are avoidable by carrying out simple maintenance. There two ways to avoid car breakdown, viz: 

(a) The first, and foremost, is to stick to your manufacturer’s advice on servicing (see your car owners manual). 

(b) Carry out  simple car maintenance checks. Below are Top ten car checks:

1. Tyres

Every two weeks, check your tyres pressures and the condition of your tyres (including the spare). Look out for cuts or wear and make sure your tread is within legal limits.

2. Toolkit

Your car should have a spare wheel, and you need to carry a jack, fire extinguisher, reflective triangle and spare fan belts, bulbs, spanners, screwdriver and plier.

3. Engine oil

Use your dipstick to check oil levels every week (or everyday if your car has started smoking) and before any long journey, and top up if needed. Regular Oil Servicing will help your engine last longer. Also, check and change gear oils at intervals (say every six months)

4. Water

Every week (or everyday), before you start your engine, check if your coolant/water level is between the MIN and MAX marks and top up if necessary.
Seasonal tip: In cold regions, get your anti-freeze checked and topped up before winter, if needed. Also, flush the cooling system once a year and fill with mix a 50/50 mixture water and coolant to avoid corrosion and deposit build up.

5. Windscreen wipers

Replace your windscreen wipers once a year to prevent smearing.

6. Screenwash

In certain countries, it is illegal for your screenwash to be faulty. Keep it regularly topped up with a good screenwash additive  – one that prevents it from freezing, and clears oily grime. Some people use detergents as screenwash.

7. Windscreen

Get your screen repaired as soon as you notice a crack because they with time. In the tropics, park your cars in shades or use reflective windscreen sheet to prevent blaring sun from causing  cracks on your windscreen. Do not follow closely trucks with sand/stones as they can fall and break your screen. If the damage can’t be repaired, or it’s in a place where it will not get clear view of the road, your windscreen  need to be replaced. Also, try to park your cars in shades or use window deflector screen and and applying a UV protectant to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.

8. Lights

Check all your lights for  blown bulbs and cracks or dirt on the lenses– including indicators, reversing lights, brake lights and fog lights – once a week. Also, broken lights allow water in and cause the lights to fade or blow out the bulbs.

9.  Hydraulics: Check once a month, the hydraulic levels (for brake and clutch) and top up with a recommended fluid. Also, flush/bleed clutch and brake this is because it is adept at attracting moisture. Moisture causes components to corrode and fail.

10. Bodywork

Once in a while, check your car for rust, and damages and fix them or go to a car body shop. Wax the body of your car bi-annually.

And remember to grease shafts, ball joints etc especially if you drive mostly in a muddy or wet environment.

Remember that washing and cleaning your car is the cheapest maintenance.




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