Keep your engine running

Overlooking oil checks will destroy your vehicle. Engine oil is an essential factor that governs your car’s
performance. Lower oil level will grind and tear your motor to dysfunction. This simple check can be
done few minutes after you turn off your vehicle and the oil drains back to the pan.
Here is what to do: Locate your engine oil dipstick. This typically has an image of an oil can or reads OIL.
The dipstick usually has two marks at the bottom; the oil level can be read by tracing the oil stain. If the
oil is between the two marks, you are in the safe zone. If it is below the bottom mark, add just about
950 ml. Never add more than 950 ml without driving, testing and taking a new reading.

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Is your engine too hot?

Keep your engine cool. Coolant is a fluid that protects your engine from excessive heat. Check for
leakage that drains out the coolant—do not ignore it. Coolant needs to be changed once a year. A 50-50
mix of coolant and distilled water will keep your cooling system in perfect shape. This will prevent
erosion and deposits that may build up inside the cooling system.

Caution: Never check your coolant while your engine is still hot there are possibilities of severe injuries.
You could be scalded by the fluid.

Do not stress your tyre

Maintaining proper tyre pressure will keep you safe and even save you from falling into a dugout.
Overinflated or underinflated tyres do not break or handle bumpy roads as efficiently as ones with
precise pressure. Tyres with correct pressure will also reduce your chance of a blowout or flat tire.
Besides, maintaining the correct pressure will increase the longevity of your tyre and your fuel efficiency
will be spot on too.

Rotate your tyres

While we are at it, tyres need to be periodically rotated. This simply means changing the position of your
tyres. This means removing each tyre and putting it back in a different location. For instance, switch
your left and right tyres. In this way, all the tyres experience the same amount of wear and tear, which,
in turn, increases their life span.

Replace your timing belt

In case your timing belt fails while you are driving, it could lead to some serious damage. The damage is
to not only the belt but also other parts of the engine that has to be replaced due to the sudden
damage. Follow the schedule in your owner’s manual for replacement of the belt. As a basic rule, the
belt needs to be replaced every 60,000 miles or 95,000 km.

Change your engine’s air filter

The maintenance of air filter will vary from each manufacture to each vehicle owned; it is recommended
to follow the instructions on the manual. What affects the air filter is driving in harsh conditions or in
mud or dirt roads that clogs up the filter quicker than normal conditions. If you find yourself exposing
your car to such circumstance, consider a replacement earlier than the recommended timeline.
Clean the windshield

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A dirty windshield is a major hazard. Keep it clean for your own safety. Especially after a highway drive,
your windshield is clogged and stained with insect carcasses that obstruct your vision. Your wipers play a
key role in keeping your windshield clean and keeping your line of sight clear. When your wipers wear
out, they start leaving streak lines. Get them replaced immediately. Poorly functioning wipers are a
threat as it might impair your vision.

Check your battery

Do not drain your batteries out. Get your battery tested at an auto shop for any potential problems that
may occur. As part of regular maintenance, car batteries need to be changed every 4 to 5 years. If your
car is already old, prepare yourself beforehand. Replace your old dead battery and keep a look out for
signs so you are not stranded by the road looking for a tow truck.

Flush brake fluid

Brake fluids are hygroscopic. They tend to attract moisture from the air. The moisture content will erode
and fail the system; it is advised to flush the brake fluid before the water content reaches 3 percent. For
regular maintenance, brake fluid needs to be changed every year. It is also advised to change the fluid
every 30,000 miles or 48,000 km. Brake fluids are comparatively cheaper but do not put this away.

Keeping it cool

Get your refrigerant level checked during every general service at an auto shop. It is easily neglected on
the checklist. It is advisable to service the entire air conditioning unit every year. In addition, it is a good
practice to leave the windows down and let fresh airflow into the car to uplift the air circulation and
interior air quality. Create a checklist for monitoring air vent temperature, recycling or replacing gas,
replacing the air filter, checking operation valves and thermostat, cleaning the condenser fins, most
importantly, deodorizing, and sanitizing the system.

Lastly, how good is your driving?

Apart from mechanical knowledge and maintenance, it is essential to use your car well to minimize its
wear and tear. You need to practice good driving habits. For example, slow down on bumpy roads and
avoid speeding. What we do not realize is speeding causes more wear and tear over time. This leads to
premature mechanical aging.

Also, keep your car clean. Do not let it catch dust and grime. Even if your car gets dirty, clean it regularly
to maintain hygiene and freshness. Follow and adhere to the maintenance schedule as suggested in the
owner’s manual of your vehicle. To summarise, here are some thumb rules to bear in mind:

 Change oil every 5000 miles or 8000 km
 Change air filter every 12,000 miles or 19,000 km
 Rotate tyres every 5000 to 10,000 miles (8000 to16000km)
 Wash and clean regularly