Much like ourselves, vehicles require routine maintenance to keep them running in proper order. Following a routine preventive maintenance schedule will help maximize the life and performance of your vehicle. It can also prevent any sudden breakdowns which can be very costly to fix, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.
Regular maintenance and upkeep of vehicles can seem complicated to first-time car users as well as freshly starting car rental owners. However, you don’t need to have the knowledge level of a seasoned mechanic to ensure your vehicles are in good functional shape. You just need a basic level of awareness of what a vehicle needs and stick to a well-organized maintenance schedule that ticks all the boxes.
So, what needs to be done to make sure your vehicles are maintained properly? Keep reading to find out.
This is one of the most important items you will receive with the vehicle, but will usually be stacked away in the glove compartment never to be read.
This should be treated as your car bible, it contains everything you will need to know about your vehicle, and will usually include a maintenance schedule section. This will show you maintenance info on oil change, belts and hoses, tire rotation and many more.
Routine oil and filter change
Know that oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine, it acts as a lubricant preventing engine parts from grinding on each other and causing damage to the engine. If motor oil is not changed regularly, accumulated contaminants will cause added friction damaging the engine.
Note: Make sure that the oil used meets the requirements stated in the user’s manual.
- Other fluids
Oil levels and changes aren’t the only things you need to worry about. Other fluids need a routine inspection as well, namely, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant and washer fluids.
You can check the transmission fluid using a dipstick, whilst the others will require you to visually inspect levels. It is especially important to check these levels before a long drive, for example before a road trip.
Bonus tip: DO NOT remove the radiator cap to inspect coolant levels, instead check that level from the transparent refill container.
Well maintained tires are imperative for a safe, fuel-efficient drive, you can make sure that the pressure is fine by visually inspecting your tires before each journey. You should check your tire pressure every month and before long trips or when you have to carry any extra load.
You can check your tire pressure using a tire gauge if you need to get an accurate reading. The owner’s manual will tell you how much air pressure the tires need. Always have a spare tire in case of emergencies. Also, it is important to note that tire pressure decreases in colder climates.
The tread depth of the tire is equally important, it helps maintain friction and prevents any skidding accidents. You can use the penny method to check the tread depth, place the penny in a way Lincoln’s head points down through a tread groove. If his head disappears then the tread depth is good if the head can be seen it means it is time to replace the tires.
The air filter in the engine regulates airflow and helps keep out engine harming debris. A well functioning air filter ensures fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and increased life of the engine. You can easily check the air filter at home by following the instructions given in the manual.
The vehicle has many lights that play an important role while driving, however, this is easily overlooked. Check to see if your headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights are in proper working order every month.
Waxing every six months will not only keep your vehicle looking shiny but also help maintain the paint and prevent rusting. The wax forms a protective seal over the paint prolonging the paint’s life and saving you an expensive paint job.
The battery is one of the most important components of the vehicle and will require regular battery tests to ensure it is in top shape.
These tips apply to single-car owners or multiple car owners – especially owners of rental fleets. Keeping your vehicles in tip-top shape is important for many reasons but mostly for safety and to save from unwanted expenditure due to sudden breakdowns due to lack of vehicle maintenance and care.
To help you with your automotive maintenance needs we have included a downloadable car maintenance chart. Your vehicle/s will be in top working condition if you follow our schedule.
Download FREE Car Maintenance Chart here.
Chevrolet Cruze – Click Here
Kia Rio – Click Here
Nissan – Click Here