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Home » Car Maintenance – How To Maintain a Car Properly

Car Maintenance – How To Maintain a Car Properly

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It is one thing to own and to drive a car that is in good shape, and it is also another thing to make sure that such vehicle remains in that good shape for as long as we want to make use of it or when we decide to sell it.

How to a car properly is something that is really ignored by people who have the privilege of owning vehicles. Most people do not know what is wrong with their vehicles until it disappoints them on the road or totally packs up or gets them into serious trouble. This misfortune happens, not because the signs weren’t there, it’s because of ignorance, negligence and any other adjective that suits the situation.

It is important to understand that car maintenance doesn’t just begin and end at filling up your fuel tank and throttling away. There are other simple things which can be done to keep your vehicle in good shape and make it give you optimum performance no matter how old it might be.

How To Maintain a Car Properly

There are some simple steps which can be done or taken from the convenience of your garage to make sure that your car is alright and ready for work. Before going into this you should know that a car is like a human being, it deserves care and attention so it is important that you pay attention to everything that concerns your car from paying attention to the signs on the dashboard as this would tell you the imminent problems of the car, to the sound of the car to tire pressure and even down to alignment and wheel balancing.

For the basics it is important that you check your radiator to ensure that your car is hydrated (I told you it’s a human being), this is to avoid overheating which can lead to burning the top gasket and you don’t want this to happen.

Also you should check the engine oil. The lid of the engine oil has a gauge which shows you whether there’s a shortage of oil or if It’s in excess, it also shows you how hold the oil is and the need for a change therefore it is important for you to understand how to read the gauge in order to know exactly what to do. It is important to note that your vehicle is due for an oil change after 3months or after every 1000km covered by the car. As it is done in most developed countries and cities of the world, after a particular servicing session of a vehicle, the date for the next session is clearly stated and placed either on the wind shield or on the dashboard and this is to constantly remind the driver of his next time of service.

 Again you should check the power steering oil together with the transmission oil. This is responsible for the smooth running of the vehicle. It is important to note that the power steering and transmission oil is different from the engine oil and should never be interchanged. Also check the axle oil for vehicle with axle drive.

Also check your tires to look out for expired or worn out tires and also make sure that you’re driving on the right tire size and tire pressure of your vehicle. The information as to your vehicles recommended tire size and air pressure can be seen on the frame of the driver door when you open it. Again tire rotation is very important. The engine of a vehicle is the heaviest part of the vehicle and because of this the front tires tend to age faster because of the weight it carries in front therefore one should pay attention to it and move the back tires to the front and vice versa to enable the tires age at the same time.

An illustration of tire rotation.

These are some of the basic things that you can do to keep your vehicle up and running for as long as you want it to.

In order to check other things like when your vehicle is due for a wheel balancing or alignment it would require a person who pays close attention to his vehicle to notice this. But I’ll talk a little about how to know when your vehicle is due for an alignment:

1. You know your vehicle is due for an alignment when it begins to go sideways if you aren’t holding the steering

2. You know your vehicle is due for alignment when the tires give off this screeching sound whenever you are trying to make a full turn

3. You know your vehicle is due for an alignment if it leaves black trails from the tire after you so it is important that you use your rear view mirror when you drive.

4. It is also important that you check your alignment if you go on vehicle unfavorable terrains more frequently perhaps as a driver or a transporter who covers very long distances with bad roads.

5. You know that your vehicle is due for an alignment when there’s an anomaly with the power steering feature.

Power Steering

Power steering.

Power steering is a mechanical feature installed on a vehicle that assists drivers in steering by lowering the amount of steering effort required to turn the steering wheel, allowing the vehicle to turn or navigate easily at lower speeds.

Speaking of a power steering, it wasn’t a very common feature in automobiles up until 1951 when the first commercially available vehicle with a power steering was produced which was the 1951 Chrysler imperial and later in the 60s this feature was present in almost every American built vehicle. But before then, the first power steering feature on a vehicle was put in place in the year 1876 by a man called Fitts but the car wasn’t commercially available.

It is also important to note that up until recently, some vehicles were still produced without the power steering feature like the Alfa Romeo 4C which has been in production from the year 2014 up until year 2020. I know right, such a modern vehicle to come without the power steering feature. A car without a power steering is more like a punishment this is because controlling the car would be as herculean as driving or controlling a tipper or a lorry which requires physical strength to control. The power steering in vehicles makes driving pretty easy and interesting. With this feature you don’t have to return the steering of the car after making a turn, it just returns by itself and all other features.

A Little Extra…

Again in order to know if your vehicle is due for wheel balancing, these are the things you should look out for:

1. If your vehicle vibrates when you approach 80kmph and normalizes when you exceed it, then it is due for wheel balancing.

2. Generally, if you feel your vehicle vibrates with abnormal movements then your car needs wheel balancing.

So these are some of the things a car owner can look into to make sure that their vehicles are in good conditions and would serve them better over a long period of time.

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