Let’s face it, not all of us are mechanically minded and for some people, working on their car is the last thing they want to be doing. However, even if you know nothing about how a motor vehicle works, besides getting you from A to B, there are essential car maintenance checklist items you should know and perform.
To ensure your car’s longevity and safety, we’ve gone through four essential tips you should follow – whether you know how a car works or not! Routine car maintenance such as checking your tyre pressure, your engine air filter and oil and coolant levels are all covered in our car maintenance schedule.
1. Checking and changing car engine oil
One of the most critical factors in any car maintenance checklist is checking for possible leaks in your vehicle fluids. The primary car fluids are engine oil (also called motor oil), transmission fluid and engine coolant, but engine oil is one of the most important.
Before we specifically look at engine oil or motor oil, you should always do a quick spot check to make sure no fluid leaks are coming from your vehicle each time you get out of your car. These sorts of fluids can often leak without the knowledge of the owner or driver.
It is essential to check that there are no fluid leaks by regularly inspecting the exterior and the ground underneath your car. If your vehicle is leaking, it may cause the ground to be slippery, and there could also be a danger of fire. Checking your vehicle fluids regularly, particularly oil, transmission fluid and engine coolant/coolant water mix, could also save you from a potentially dangerous situation.
In regards to engine oil, this should be at the top of any ultimate car maintenance checklist. Most manufacturers recommend that you have your oil and oil filter changes every 5000 – 10,000kms or every six months – whichever comes first. Many newer cars may even push this interval up to 15,000 or every 12 months – whichever comes first. Regardless, if you need your oil changed, the experts at Sutherland Automotive can definitely help you out!
2. Checking your tyre pressures
One of the most common reasons for accidents is under-inflated tyres. Make sure your car’s tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure levels as specified by the manufacturer – you can usually find this somewhere on your car, often inside the door. If you can’t find it, refer to the owner’s manual – it will guide you on how much air pressure should be used to inflate your tyres.
Your car tyre pressures should be checked at least once a month, preferably when they are cool. It would help if you also did this before going on a long road trip, so you don’t have to stop along the way and check them while driving. This will save time and ensure you have proper safety levels while driving. While you’re there, keep an eye on your tread depth. Your tyres should be replaced once the tread depth is low for your own safety.
3. Checking your windscreen wipers and wiper blades
Windscreen wipers play a very important role in keeping your car safe during rain and other types of inclement weather. It is best to check them every time before leaving for a drive.
You can inspect whether they are working properly by spraying some water on the windshield while the wipers are switched on; this will help you determine whether they clean well enough to see clearly while driving in any weather conditions. If not, make sure you replace them as soon as you can. It is also a good idea to inspect the wiper blades themselves and make sure they are in good condition. Australia’s harsh summer sun, especially in the warmer states, can decrease the lifespan of the rubber.
4. Car battery checkup
It is important to check the car battery regularly because it runs all systems that need power while your car is starting up or running. This includes headlights, your engine, your car’s entertainment system and much, much more. Even though most of these aspects only use a small amount of power, an older or weak battery will cause issues.
You should always ensure that your battery cable connections are tight and the terminals are free of corrosion. If the battery is more than three years old, you should get it tested by an expert to determine how much life is left and if it needs replacing.
To get your battery checked or inspect any other item on your car, the experts at Sutherland Automotive can definitely help you out! Make an online booking today.