Basic Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car in Good Shape
Car maintenance is an important step that should not be overlooked. Indeed, if you fail in this task, some parts may break. Here is how to maintain your car, and what are the important steps to follow!
Read (and pay attention) to the Service Manual:
Listen carefully to what the mechanic tells you while keeping a reserve. You can very well go to several garages to crosscheck your information. An easy way to save money on car repairs and extend the life of your vehicle is to follow what the manufacturer says in the owner's manual.
Start with a Visual Inspection of Your Car:
Under-inflated tires burn extra fuel and cause faster wear. Over-inflated tires can damage your car's suspension and reduce traction. The grip will be weakened, the braking distance increases, the superstructure will be damaged with each turn of the wheel and with force, there is a greater risk of bursting.
- This is why maintaining tire pressure by examining them monthly helps prevent premature tire wear and reduces the chances of an accident.
- To maximize the life of your car's tires , rotate them evenly. This will make your tires last longer .
- Are winter tires required by law in your area? If so, this is the perfect time to have them rotated by your mechanic. No reminder needed! Don't put them on too early and don't take them off too late. Rubber is softer and will therefore wear faster on asphalt.
Do not wait until you are in a bad situation to replace your burnt out headlight!
- From turn signal indicators to backup lights, it only takes 5 minutes every month to check your car's headlights and tires. It's easy you turn on absolutely everything, put the reverse gear (just the ignition is enough to put tension), do not forget the front and rear fog lights. For stop lights, just be in your garage or back against a wall and brake. You will see if your 3 lights come on or not. Replacing non-working bulbs doesn't take a long time. To help you, you have your user manual.
- Do you have a cracked or broken headlight? Replacing the lights yourself is easier than you think: with a few basic tools, a CAPA-certified (or “aftermarket”) part, and a little patience, you'll be done in no time. You can adjust the really misdirected lights, already to rough up the glare towards others. Then different garages will have them sorted out for you in no time.
- Are yellowed and dirty headlights affecting your driving? Restoration kits available at many auto parts stores could be the solution.
If you don't know how to find the best windshield wipers for your car, it's easy these days to go on the internet and put your license plate on to find all the parts you want. In the stores, catalogs are available and if you need help, the sales people are there and can give you advice.
- Cleaning your windshield regularly can also help extend the life of your wipers. Likewise, replacing worn ones can prevent scratches on your windshield . Don't hesitate to clean your wipers too. Put them in winter position for cold nights. We think of snow which can harden them, stick them and if we are not careful we can tear the rubber. Snowplows with salt attacking every part of the car but there is also salt sea water, and sand. I recommend dusting before, either with a soft brush or with water to prevent the brushes from scratching the windshield with sand or salt. You will discover some very simple and quick tips to do in our workshops.
Do not overlook small corrosions or small chips of paint that have jumped for various reasons. They must be protected immediately to prevent the appearance of rust and the paint from exploding more. While waiting for a real paint job , depending on the size, clean the part well, dust with a sponge, wipe and put metal varnish.
Listen to What Your Car is Saying:
- Anything suspicious is worth a visit to the mechanic, especially when potentially toxic fumes could leak into the car.
- To keep you safe, have your mechanic check your car's major exhaust system components every six months or 10,000 kilometers. This includes oxygen sensors, exhaust manifolds, suspensions and clamps, mufflers and exhaust pipes.
Loose bolts on your shocks can also make a clicking noise. So when should you replace your shocks ?
- The rule of thumb is about every 80,000 kilometers (it also depends on your driving) - or if your car is imbalanced or bouncing when you push down on the bumper or while driving. Be careful because both grip and braking will suffer and indirectly tire wear. Your backs also with the multiple speed bumps and holes.
When it comes to maintenance, the brakes should be at the top of your list. The clear signs that the brakes on your car need replacement include:
- A squealing or hissing noise when you push the brake pedal.
- If your vehicle pulls to one side when it is idling, or if the brake pedal feels soft when not pushed.
- Leaking brake fluid - a huge red flag!
To keep your car moving (and stopping!) Safely, recognize the warning signs that your brakes are failing and follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for when to replace them. We'll show you a somewhat simple way to check them out with a bit of disassembly but no brakes.