How much do you know about your car’s inner-workings? You do not have to be an automotive engineer to know the basics of car maintenance. As a vehicular transport owner, you should know a few core things that you must regularly check in your car. Most car malfunctions result from neglecting a few basic things that make a car function smoothly and safely. Read on to know what factors determine whether your car is ready for driving.
Windshield Wiper Fluid
Do you know unobstructed visibility is crucial for a safe driving experience? You must ensure that your vehicle’s windshield is prepared for heavy precipitation. Keep a good stock of washer fluid before you head out for a long road trip. Keeping the reservoir filled with this fluid is simple and hardly takes any time. All you have to do is open the hood, look for the windshield fluid cap, and fill it up.
Besides the washer fluid, you should check if the wipers are in good condition. This also involves an easy task. Oftentimes the windshields come with a built-in clip. Hence, swapping them essentially involves clipping them into place easily. To replace the blade, you have to push a small button, and other times they slide onto a hook. To check whether your wipers are in good condition, just make sure that they are wiping rather than smearing.
This may be one of the most critical components to check inside a car engine. Fortunately, it is very easy to check motorized vehicles. This may not be a problem for people with electric or modern cars without dipsticks. You must keep an eye on the oil.
Checking engine oil hardly takes a second. Remember to park your car on a level surface for an accurate and precise judgment. After parking it, it is advisable to wait a couple of minutes, as the oil takes some time to drain back into the pan. Checking it before it completely drains could result in an inaccurate reading.
Once all of these factors are in place, simply pull the dipstick out, and wipe it up with a cloth. After you wipe it thoroughly, stick it back inside the tube. Now, you can pull it out again to read the level. You will find two levels on the dipstick, indicating the low and full marks.
If the level of the oil is between the low and the full mark, then your vehicle is good to go. In this case, more is not good. Having more than necessary levels of oil is just as bad as having less oil. Keep it between the marks if you do not want to face the problems of aeration, overheating, and engine failure.
This is the only part of your vehicle that touches the road. All motorists should know how to check the tire pressure. Tire pressure determines the overall road grip of your car. Not having the optimum tire pressure before you head out for a drive puts you at risk of fatal accidents.
Checking the tire pressure involves simple and easy procedures. All you need is a good air pressure gauge. Removing the valve stem cap and sticking the gauge firmly on the ends gives you the correct readings of the air pressure. If the gauge is not sitting tight, then it could lead to an inaccurate measurement.
Unless there are special circumstances, you must maintain the factory-recommended air pressure of your tires. If the air pressure falls below or above that pressure, you can inflate or deflate according to the precise readings.
Unfortunately, spare tires have become less common. However, you must equip your car with a spare tire, along with a jack and a lug wrench. There is always a possibility of encountering a flat tire while on a road trip.
Having the skill and equipment to change a flat tire can be life-saving when stranded in a place with no phone signals. Therefore, you must learn how to replace and install a spare tire.
Jump Start Cables
Another thing that you should know how to do is jumpstart your vehicle in case the battery dies. Nevertheless, this is impossible to do without a set of cables and another car that is fully charged. When you are attempting to do this, make sure that you do not mix up the leads.
A positive terminal connects to a positive terminal, and a negative connects to a negative. Switching them up can lead to dire circumstances. Keep in mind that red is associated with the positive sign and black with the negative.
Engine Air Filter
It is important to keep a check on the engine air filter before you determine whether your car is ready for a long day on the road. Air filters help provide a free-flowing supply of oxygen to your engine. Without oxygen, the process of internal combustion is impossible.
Therefore, the quality and maintenance of the air filter are extremely important. Make sure that your air filter does not have dirt and debris inside it. Fortunately, air filters are usually cheap and relatively easy to replace.
The condition of the cooling system is critically important; however, most people ignore it. Cooling systems help your car run smoothly in scorching summers and extreme cold conditions. This is why you have to keep an eye out for swelling, weeping hoses.
Damaged hoses can end up bursting, which will adamantly result in the car not working. Moreover, do not forget to check the coolant in the overflow reservoir. If your antifreeze looks rusty and discolored, this is an indication that your cooling system needs urgent help.
These are some of the important things that you should determine before you get behind the steering wheel. You can pretty much carry out all of these maintenance measures yourself. However, take your car to a professional if you want to ensure a flawless job. Vehicle inspection is essential for the safety and protection of the car and passengers inside. One must never overlook or avoid it.