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Updated by April Rose Casiple Semogan on Jul 21, 2021
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Owning a car is a dream come true and practically, an investment. In as much as we all love to take it for a drive or use it for emergencies, your car needs utmost care. The moment you drive it home, your car has become your responsibility, thus, it is your obligation to develop some basic habits for keeping your car in top shape at home. By doing so, you can enjoy all the benefits that you derive from it. Also, you can resell it on a higher value if it’s well-maintained. Here is a comprehensive car maintenance beginner’s guide to help keep your car in optimum operating performance.

Regularly Inspect Fluids and Tire Pressure

One of the first things that you need to inspect is your car’s fluids. See to it that the motor oil, power steering fluid, and coolant are well-maintained on a regular basis. Remember, fluids are the lifeblood of cars that’s why it’s essential to ensure that all it works well.

Aside from that, tires are one of the most important components of your car for safety, efficiency, and comfort. As such, you need to check them regularly to save time and money.

Always Check The Manual

Make it a habit to check the manual. It serves as your guide on how to properly take good care of your car. It contains information on how to check your fluid levels and where to pour in more if needed. The manual can also guide you on how to install a child seat or airbags. It also provides an understanding of all lighting systems used in your car and more.

Inspect Exterior and Interior Lighting

Once a month, ensure to inspect your car’s exterior and interior lighting. Refer to the manual to make sure that you’re going to do it right. The indicator lights keep motorists aware of the direction you are planning to go to. As such, you can’t overlook this process. Replace bulbs as needed and use the kind of bulb specific to your car’s make and model.

Check The Battery

Regularly check your car’s battery to avoid getting stranded or any accidents along the road. Check the cables and their connection to the terminals and watch out for any leakage or any mineral build up around the cables and terminals. It’s paramount to clean the terminal with a battery cleaning brush if needed and see to it that you apply dielectric grease to ensure that it’s corrosion-free.

Check Your Brakes

Malfunctioning breaks can lead to accidents and car damage. Thus, keeping your brakes maintained is imperative. There are many reasons why a brake can malfunction such as the rotors, the brake pads, the brake fluid, and the brake pedal. Though the most common are brake pads or a leak in the brake fluid. To check your brakes, remove the tires and get under the car to inspect the brake pads and brake fluid reservoir.

Change your Spark Plugs

Spark plugs need to be changed when they’re old or in bad condition. When the engine is not working efficiently, then it’s an indication that your spark plugs need changing. You should refer to the manual to know when to replace them to guarantee your car’s performance.

Keep It Clean

Taking good care of your car involves keeping it clean inside and out. This involves:

  • Washing the wheels and tires.
  • Washing the glass inside and out including mirrors and windshield.
  • Replacing the wipers.
  • Cleaning of the engine’s exterior.
  • Protecting the interior of your car.
  • Removal of leaves from vents and vacuum of the car floors.
Pay Attention To Warning Lights

Warning lights tell you everything from whether you forgot to replace the gas cap to the fact that one of your tires is low on air. You can refer to the manual to gain an understanding of what each light signifies. See to it that the following lights are functioning:

  • Engine light
  • Service engine light
  • Electrical fault light
  • Brake warning light
  • ABS warning light
  • Coolant warning light
  • Oil warning light
Be Sure To Check The Cooling System and Air Filter

Vehicles generate heat and to help your car get rid of the generated heat, your engine coolant must need to function accordingly. Check the hoses regularly to avoid leaks, that can cause the engine to overheat and creating major problems. You may need to change it if it’s no longer working properly and it’s relatively cheap.

Drive Better

Your way of driving impacts your car. By driving smartly and safely, you not only ensure less wear and tear on your car but also can save on your fuel costs. Educate yourself on how to achieve acceleration and braking habits. Drive below speed limits and as much as possible, avoid sudden stops.

Find A Trusted Mechanic Through With The Help Of Your Car Dealer

Find a trusted mechanic to do your car maintenance if you feel you lack the capacity to do it. Besides, working with a reliable mechanic throughout your car’s life lets him get to know your car, its full history, and its individual quirks.

Your car dealer can help you find a trusted mechanic since they’ve been working with a team of skilled professionals. Never hesitate to ask for help if you have any questions or confusion.