Buying a car is expensive. Although it is considered a depreciating asset, unless you buy a rare or classic car, many people still buy it since it can be a necessity and it offers convenience. Since a huge amount of money has been invested to purchase it, you need to make sure that it will last for a long time. That is why it is important to maintain it properly by keeping it in tune and up-to-date with repairs. By doing so, your car and its components will not suffer premature wear or damage. Some of the automotive repair tips that can help maintain your car include regular inspections of your engine, brakes, tires, belts, hoses, lights, and fluids as well as repairing or replacing them if any of them is showing problems. You also have to change your oil, filters, windshield wipers, or brake pads regularly.
There are many automotive repair tips that every car owner should know and it usually involves maintenance and services that should be done routinely. Your car is made of many components that work together to make sure that it functions properly and efficiently. It is important that when you notice early signs of a component problem, may it be an illuminating warning light, odd sounds or smell, you need to have your car checked immediately and find out what caused it. It is true when they say that prevention is better than cure and when it comes to cars, the cure can be very costly.
Automotive Repair Tips: What are the Car Maintenance Tips?
A car needs to be maintained well to ensure that it won’t cause problems along the way. A car needs to be always in good condition to make sure that you're always safe and secure when you are driving. Now, people seem to confuse auto maintenance and auto repair since they are both very important to the overall performance of the car. While car maintenance is known as the regular service that is needed for your car, auto repair is something that is performed when your car or any of its components is not functioning properly or efficiently. You may see a list of the needed maintenance and service of your car and when you should perform it in your owner’s manual.
Car maintenance and automotive repair go hand in hand to make sure that the car will not suffer premature damage and will last for a long time. Unfortunately, many people tend to delay car maintenance due to many reasons. They may be busy or think that their car is still in good condition, or maybe they’re trying to save some money by delaying it. Whatever the reason may be, maintenance should never be delayed since you might end up paying more in the long run on repairs and part replacements.
That is why car maintenance tips are also considered as automotive repair tips. Many might ask, what are the car maintenance tips? The car maintenance tips include:
- Checking the fluids.
Your car has different fluids that help with the car’s operation. These fluids have to be at the correct level to allow the car to run properly. The car’s fluids include engine oil, power steering fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid.
Checking all your car’s fluids is very important since inappropriate fluid levels can cause a lot of problems. One of the automotive repair tips is to open your car’s hood when the engine has cooled down and check your fluids, top it up if necessary.
- Following the recommended oil change interval.
Oil changes are crucial in keeping the engine in its good running condition. You can consult your owner’s manual to know the recommended oil change interval of your car. You can either have someone from your local auto service shop perform the oil change for you or do the oil change yourself.
If you want to do the oil change yourself, you need to make sure that you purchase the right type of oil for your car. Again, you can find this information in your owner’s manual. You need to follow the recommended oil type, viscosity, or weight to make sure that you won’t experience any problems.
- Checking and changing your air filters.
Clogged air filters or loose-fitting can often lead to a lot of car issues. This is because air filters are responsible for keeping dirt and other particles from entering the engine. One of the automotive repair tips is to change your filters after hitting 12,000 miles or every 12 months whichever comes first. Delaying this maintenance or ignoring it can lead to many engine problems.
- Checking the car battery.
It can be a hassle when your car battery suddenly dies without a warning. To make sure that this won’t happen to you and leave you stranded somewhere, you need to check your car battery regularly. You can inspect its cables and the connection to the terminals. Make sure that they are not loose. You also need to check for mineral build-up or corrosion that might look like bluish or white powder that might’ve formed on the battery’s terminals.
One of the automotive repair tips is buying a wire brush or battery cleaning brush to clean the terminals regularly. By doing so, it can extend the life of your battery. You can check it for corrosion and also test if it's fully charged using a multimeter with the engine off.
If the car is on, the voltage should read around 13.7 to 14.7 volts. If the voltage reading is low, you may have some issues with your alternator. To check whether the problem is caused by the alternator and not the battery itself, you will have to start the engine and turn on your lights. If your lights start dim but brightens when you rev the engine, then the problem might be the alternator.
- Checking your tire pressure, having regular tire rotation and wheel balance.
A flat tire can compromise your safety and the safety of your car. That is why one of the automotive repair tips is to regularly check your tire pressure. Experts are recommending that you check it every week.
When you regularly check and maintain the tire pressure, it can help reduce wear on the tires as well as prevent flat tires and tire blowouts. When we say check your tire pressure, it means that you should also check the PSI and find the recommended pressure that is right for your tires. By doing so, you will save a lot of money in the long run since it can help extend the life of your tires.
Regular tire rotation and wheel balance can also extend the life of your tires and prevent a blowout. If you find time to maintain your tires, it can also help improve your fuel economy and handling.
- Replacing the windshield wipers.
Windshields need some maintenance and service too. To ensure that there is nothing that can block your view while you’re driving, you need to make it a habit to clean your windshields and replace your wipers regularly. This keeps any dirt or other particles from accumulating or building up in your wiper that can scratch your windshield when you use it.
You need to check your wipers and have them replaced when necessary, especially when the rainy season is coming. When your wipers have been compromised and you use them, it may result in scratches on your windshield which can warrant a windshield replacement.
- Checking the brakes.
The car’s braking system is considered its most important safety feature. It can slow down or stop the car instantly and prevent accidents or collisions. That is why it is important to make sure that your brakes are well maintained. If the brakes were to fail, it can result in disaster and it is usually caused by any issues with its components such as the brake pads, rotors, brake pedal, or the brake fluid.
To make sure that you won’t ever encounter brake problems, one of the automotive repair tips is to always perform a regular inspection on your brakes and if some of its components are worn and need replacements, you need to replace it immediately. You will know if the braking system needs immediate attention when you hear any odd noises when you brake or when your brake pedal is vibrating or shuddering when you step on it. When this happens, do not delay the repairs. Have your car checked and repaired immediately.
- Changing the spark plugs.
An engine that seems to perform poorly might have issues with the spark plugs. Spark plugs tend to wear out or develop build-ups over time. It is for this reason why you need to regularly check your spark plugs and replace them if necessary. You should be able to find in your owner’s manual regarding this and when to replace them. They usually last for more than 30,000 miles.
- Checking the cooling system.
The car’s cooling system is responsible for making sure that the engine is running at its optimum operating temperature. You need to ensure that your cooling system and radiator are always clean so they can work efficiently. Build-ups can develop in your radiator and this can cause issues in the cooling system. To fix the problem, you might need to perform a radiator flush which is a repair that costs less compared to what you might pay when the problem becomes worse. A radiator flush should be performed once a year or after every two years.
You also need to check the cooling system’s hoses that carry the coolant throughout the system. These hoses tend to weaken over time since they are often exposed to high pressure and heat. When this happens, leaks may start to occur and it can cause your fluid level to drop. If you spot any signs of damage or cracks, replace the hoses immediately.
Automotive Repair Tips: Do it Yourself Car Repair Tips?
When you experience some issues with your car, you will usually take it to your local car repair shop to have it checked and repaired. However, there are a lot of car owners that are more confident in performing do-it-yourself repairs thanks to the tutorials and how-to videos, and articles you can find online. If you are one of the people who prefer do-it-yourself repairs, here are some of the automotive repair tips that can help you become better at it.
- Take pictures or videos.
One of the automotive repair tips we can give you is to take pictures or videos when you are disassembling a car component. This way, you won’t end up confused when you reassemble, trying to remember which part goes to where or which wire connects to what terminal.
- Use a marking pen.
When you are making adjustments on some parts such as the engine timing or the steering wheel, you can use a marking pen to make sure that you place the said components at the right spot and not mess up the alignment. Marking pens are pretty useful too when you are working on your undercarriage. Marking the areas that need to be changed or repaired will be useful since these areas are usually dirty and it can be hard to identify these parts.
- Use magnets.
Using magnets is probably one of the useful automotive repair tips. It can be hard to handle small screws especially when you are working in your engine bay. You just don’t want to mess up and lose the screws somewhere since it will be hard to retrieve it. To make sure that this won’t happen to you, you can use magnets or magnetic retrieval tools when you do some DIY repairs.
To make sure that you won’t lose any screws, nuts, and bolts, or fasteners while you are repairing, you can use some organizers or bags to store and label them. You can label each organizer or bag for the car part which the items came off of.
These automotive repair tips can help you become organized as well as remind you of the things your car needs to ensure that it will run properly and efficiently. This regular maintenance or services might demand some of your time, but doing these things will save you from having bigger problems and expensive repair bills later on.