Maintaining Your Vehicle – Do-It-Yourself – Weekly Checks

The maintenance of your vehicle can add up to the costs you have if you keep on having it done in professional service centers. What you can do is to find out which maintenance tasks you can fulfill on your own. For example, car maintenance requires weekly checks on certain parts and functions to ensure that the car is safe to drive and is in good running condition.

Weekly checks that you can do on your own to ensure the good condition of your cars are:

1. Oil checks. You can do this whether or not you know the basics of car parts. Pop your hood open and look for your oil dipstick. It’s usually found near the sparkplugs. Take out the dipstick and wipe it clean. Toward the far end of the dipstick, you will find two level marks. Dip the oil back into place and then take it out again. If the oil you have in your engine is in between the two marks, then you are good to go.

2. Transmission fluid checks. If your transmission fluid is muddy, take your car to a service center. If the transmission fluid level is low, add the recommended transmission fluid listed in your car owner’s manual and be careful not to spill.

3. Brake fluid checks. Your braking system is an overly important part of your safety while driving your vehicle. The brake fluid container is usually transparent so you will be able to see through whether your brake fluid is still at the right level. Typically, you add more and more brake fluid as your brakes become worn out but sudden drops call fro professional car mechanic help.

4. If you have a power steering mechanism, there is another dipstick near the cap of the power steering reservoir. Check the level and make sure that you do not add this type of fluid more than once in a year. If you do, you will need to have this checked and maintained or repaired.

5. Coolant level checks. Make sure that the engine is not hot when you do this. The coolant has a tendency to spurt out suddenly once you take out the radiator cap and pressure is released. Add coolant when the engine is cold and if you have to do this frequently, take your car for professional maintenance.

6. Check your battery. Your batter should always be dry and that the bases are tight and uncorroded. Batteries need to be replaced depending on its life expectancy (you will find this in the manual too) and you need a professional mechanic to do this.

7. Tire checks. Tires are very important parts of your vehicle so you will need to check your tires more often than any other part. Before you drive off anywhere, check your tires for any signs of underinflation. You can have the psi requirements from your car owner’s manual and gas stations carry this kind of service. You will also need to check if your tires have worn out and whether the wear and tear is even on all your four tires. If it is uneven or your car is handling strangely, take your car in for wheel alignment and wheel rotation.

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