You live in a country where garage expenses are out of your budget, you should consider maintaining your vehicle on your own. New cars usually require a little maintenance as compared to older cars where expenses are higher for repairing or replacing the broken or worn out parts. There are some minor skills required to perform small maintenance tasks which you can learn easily. You can use car user manual to understand the mechanism and replacing the necessary parts or you can refer to video tutorials available at YouTube and other social media sharing websites where you can learn how to open, clean and replace certain parts. Auto forums are the best place to discuss and learn a lot of new things about vehicles.
Every car requires few parts to be regularly cleaned or changed to improve the performance of engine and extend its life. If you do not do this on time, you may suffer from damages incurred to engine parts and hefty repairing costs. These little maintenances will also help to improve the declining fuel economy, keeping the environment clean and making your ride worth praising. I have mentioned few works which you can do on your and cut short expenses on maintenance of your vehicle.
1- Changing Filters
Changing filters is an easy task. There are different kinds of filters installed inside the car. These include air filter which provides clean air to engine for combustion process, oil filter which cleans the dirt and scrap from engine oil to keep the engine running smoothly, fuel filter which filters the petrol or diesel before supplying it to engine, and air conditioning air filter installed inside dashboard which cleans the air before letting it pass through the evaporator coils. Refer to user manual to learn when you need to change the air filter, oil filter and fuel filter.
2- Changing Spark Plugs and Cables
In new cars, spark plugs that come factory fitted are long lasting and can survive tens of thousands of miles. But when the life span of these plugs is nearly at its end, yo need to change them. You can select from a wide range of spark plugs to fulfil your needs. You should refer to the user manual to get knowledge about when you should change spark plugs for best performance of car engine. Similarly, plug cables also wear out over time and you need to change them as well. Old cables resist flow of required current and you may feel jerks, vibrations or missing while driving. Changing the spark plug wires can rectify the issue if other things are working fine.
3- Changing Radiator Coolant
Radiator coolant helps increasing the boiling point of water and therefore keeps the car going without overheating the engine. It also helps to slow down the rusting process of metal parts of cooling system. Over time, coolant may reduce in quantity inside the radiator and reservoir bottle or get dirty with debris or rust. So, you need to change it altogether. Changing coolant or topping up is the easiest maintenance task which anyone can do. While changing coolant, make sure you also flush the cooling system with clean water to clear out hoses, radiator, water body and other components from waste materials.
4- Changing Belts
Alternator and air conditioner are two externally belt driven parts by engine. Over time, these belts wear out resulting into squeaky noises, reduced performance of alternator and air conditioner. Cracked belts may break if kept driving resulting into troubles on the road. So, the best bet is to change them. Engine also contains a timing belt or timing chain which also requires changing. The information about this belt can be obtained from car user manual when you need to change it. Changing this belt is mandatory when due as ignoring it can result into major disaster if it breaks while engine is running.
5- Tires Maintenance
Tires can last longer if roads are clean but their service life is shortened if driven off road often or the condition of roads is poor. You need to analyse the tread wears on tyres and total mileage for which these have been used and change them if required. Tubeless tires and tires with tubes both kinds require to maintain certain air pressure in them. So, check the manufacturer’s recommendation for air pressure and pump the air into them if they are running low on pressure. Neither overfill them as this can make them leak or burst nor use them on low air pressure as this can increase resistance and decrease the fuel economy.
6- Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment is necessary to make sure that wheels are parallel to each other. Poor alignment will not only damage the tyres but also increase the fuel consumption due to higher resistance. Driving off road often misaligns the wheels. The major symptom of misalignment is pulling of car towards left or right while travelling straight. Learning how to do the wheel alignment yourself will help cut expenses.
7- Waxing and Polishing
Waxing car body helps protect the paint and keep the corrosion away. Different types of waxing chemicals are available which one can easily apply with waxing machine or by hands. Polish helps restoring the shine of paint and removing ugly looking scratches. Atmospheric changes damage the paint shine, car body gets scratched over the period of time. Therefore, you need to take care of such things to restore the actual grace of car.
8- Cleaning and Washing
If you live in such area where there is too much dust in air, or you live in a region where rain fall or snow fall happens often, you have to repeatedly clean the car from dust, dirt or ice stuck to it. Washing car is another easiest job which one can do at home. Use water and soap or car shampoo to wash it. Remember not to pressure wash the engine bay as it can damage the electrical and sensitive components.