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How to Maintain Your Automobile: A Maintenance Checklist

Automobiles offer convenience for humans that make them arguably one of the best inventions ever made. However, despite being useful machines that make life so much easier, many cars end up in the dump earlier than they should.

Keeping your car running in its prime can be challenging, but it’s not impossible if you know the basics. If you want to prevent your vehicle from going to waste, you must have correct knowledge of maintenance tasks that need to be done and how often you need to do them.

To help you get started, here are six things you need to inspect or have checked by a licensed automobile mechanic:

1.   Tires

Since they carry the weight of the car, tires are one of the most crucial components that you need to check. The maintenance of this part of the vehicle is integral not just for a fuel-efficient drive but also for safety as well.

To keep the tires in tiptop shape, make sure to make a habit of visually checking on them. You should also make sure to check if the pressure of each of these inflatable components is well within the manufacturer’s recommendation using tire gauges every month. This should also be done before you go on long drives, and if you plan to transport a load that is heavier than usual.

Wheel alignment should also be checked every once in a while. If the car seems to be pulling to one side during a drive, you might want to consider having your wheels aligned and balanced.

It is also a good idea to rotate tires regularly to extend their lifespan. This is because regular rotation reduces uneven wear on them, especially the drive tires. Never forget to have a spare tire ready, in case of emergency.

As much as possible, don’t attempt to mount your own tires. Untrained mounting of tires could cause accidents that may result in serious injury. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when matching tire and rim diameters.

2.   Fluids

Fluids need to be checked regularly and replaced when necessary. For most vehicles, the fluids that require your attention include:

  • Engine oil
  • Automatic transmission fluid
  • Clutch fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Radiator coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Battery electrolyte fluid
  • Windscreen washer fluid

The kinds of fluid required will depend on the type of vehicle you have (e.g., automatic transmission fluids are for automatic transmission vehicles only). These fluids should be checked every couple of gas fill-ups, or on a monthly basis.

Fluids should also be inspected before long drives. Pay close attention to the coolant and oil levels, especially before going on long road trips as low levels of these fluids may cause problems with the engine if left unchecked.

3.   Filter

Another vital component you need to maintain is the air filter. As the name suggests, this part of the vehicle regulates the flow of air into the engine, making sure that particulates and debris don’t get to it.

Maintaining the health of your engine air filter will help ensure that your car is fuel-efficient. It also helps reduce emissions and extend the lifespan of the engine.

Checking the air filter can be done at home. You can check the operations manual of your specific vehicle to know the right way to do so, and how to determine when it’s time to replace it.

4.   Lights

Lights are also crucial for a safe drive. From headlights and turn signals to parking and brake lights, you must conduct ocular inspections to see whether these components are working as they should. A monthly check should be enough.

5.   Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers help ensure that the driver’s visual of the road is clear, so they must be maintained as well. These components require annual replacement, but you can choose to change them when you feel that their effectiveness has already been compromised.

6.   Batteries

One of the common reasons why vehicles stop working unexpectedly is because of the batteries. This is why it is recommended that you inspect this component of your car regularly. To do so, you must:

  • Monitor the age of the batteries;
  • Inspect battery terminals for possible corrosion; and
  • Fill up battery fluid using distilled water, as needed.

It is also important to note that infrequent use of a car may lead to battery drain. To avoid this, make sure to run your vehicle periodically. You should also watch out for flaky powder-like substances around a battery terminal that have been corroded as they are extremely acidic.

How to Maintain Your Automobile: A Maintenance Checklist

Complete Your Checklist

Cars provide humans with great convenience and should be treated with the utmost care.

Proper maintenance is the best way to ensure that your vehicle stays in optimal working condition, so make sure you complete your maintenance checklist regularly.

Also, don’t forget to bring your automobile for regular inspection by professionals to make sure it stays in excellent shape.


Author-Bio: Luigi Rubinacci is the Director of Strategic Ventures at AW Rostamani Automotive Group. AUTOTRUST Multibrand Car Service and Accident Repair is the Group’s strategic division that deals with the accident repair and service of all brands and makes of cars. Its service centers currently operate from Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

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