In this post, we've compiled the 19 best pieces of auto maintenance advice from experts. By following this advice, you may be able to prevent some more serious repair problems. If you do require any repairs to your vehicle, contact the trustworthy professionals at Hansma Automotive.
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1. Rotate your tires. You should rotate your tires every 8,000 kilometres. Read more about the benefits of tire rotation here.
2. Check your tire pressure. It is a good idea to check your tire pressure once a week. Incorrect tire pressure can decrease your fuel economy as well as adversely affect handling and comfort while you are driving.
If you've never checked your tires pressure before, watch the following video geared to newer drivers.
3. Clean the brake dust off your brakes. The combination of road grime, moisture, and heat from your brakes will eventually bake the brake dust onto your wheels. It can be cleaned off using a damp sponge and clean cold water.
4. Check the tread of your tires. Don't take chances with your safety. Check to make sure that your tires have the proper amount of tread left on them. Most tires come with tread wear bars that you can use to judge whether or not your tires' tread is too low. If it is, you will need to replace them.
5. Check your belts. The belts located at the front of your engine looping around various pulleys are made of rubber. Rubber wears out over time, especially in the extreme conditions found in your vehicle's engine bay. According to carbibles.com, you should get your timing belt and accessory drive belt checked every 40,000 kilometres and have them replaced around the 80,000 kilometre mark. Check your owner's manual for the exact recommended time for your vehicle.
6. Check your oil. This is a quick and easy preventative maintenance task that anyone can do. If your oil level is too high or too low, it can be hard on your engine. To get an accurate reading, check your oil when you are parked on a level surface and your engine has cooled down. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, then insert it all the way back into its hole. If the oil level is falling between the high and low marks on the dipstick, then it is fine. If it is reading low, add more oil.
Still not sure how to check your oil? Watch the video below for extra help.
7. Get your oil changed. Every car is different when it comes to how often you should have your oil changed. Check your owner's manual for the correct guidelines for your vehicle and then follow it. It's also a good idea to have the filter changed according to your owner's manual.
8.Check your coolant level. Your engine needs coolant to keep it from overheating. Like checking your oil, this is also a very easy task to perform. If you are not sure where your coolant reservoir is, check your owner's manual. Most are bolted to one side of the engine bay. It is a white semi-transparent bottle. When you engine is cool, look for the low and high markings on the outside of the bottle.
9. Change your spark plugs. How often your spark plugs need changing varies from vehicle to vehicle (check your owner's manual). According to lifehacker.com, for most standard copper spark plugs and vehicles it's around 48,000 kilometres.
10. Use the correct fuel. If your car manual calls for regular fuel, then that is the type of fuel that you should use. Buying premium gas will not improve your vehicle's performance.
11. Check your battery terminals. If your battery terminals or contacts are dirty, it is more difficult for the current to pass through your electrical system. To clean them, remove the terminal caps and clean each contact post with a wire brush until you have a clean metal contact surface. Repeat the process with the terminal caps and then re-attach them.
The following video shows you how to clean your battery terminals.
12. Don't touch the glass when changing headlight bulbs. Changing your headlight bulbs is a relatively easy task, however, it is important to remember to only hold the bulb by its metal holder on the base or make sure you are wearing clean rubber surgical or mechanical gloves. This is because your fingers will leave trace amounts of oil and grease on the glass. This will cause that area of the glass to get hotter than the rest of the bulb, eventually making it crack.
13. Replace your indicator bulb if one indicator is flashing faster than the other. If you notice that one indicator is flashing faster than the other, that means that one of your bulbs has blown. You can purchase a new one from any auto parts store; they should also be able to tell you which size of bulb you require. You owner's manual can walk you through the process as it is different for every model.
14. Check your windshield for chips and cracks. You may prevent having to replace your entire windshield if you catch a chip or crack soon enough and have it filled or sealed.
15. Change your windshield wipers. Once you notice your windshield having streaks after using the wipers, it's time to change your wipers. Don't ignore it. Windshield wipers are easy to change and relatively inexpensive to purchase. Having good visibility is important for your safety.
16. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid. Especially in the winter and before long journeys you should check that you have plenty of washer fluid. In the winter, make sure you purchase the kind formulated for extreme cold. You don't want your fluid freezing and obscuring your view while you are driving.
If you've never topped up your windshield washer fluid, watch the following video for some tips on how to do it.
17. Keep your paint in good condition. To help your paint last longer and not dull over time, choose superior car detailing supplies. Quality wax and polish compounds can protect your vehicle's paint from fading If you don't have the time or you don't like waxing and polishing, why not consider having your vehicle professionally detailed?
18. Keep your interior in good condition. There are many good interior car cleaning products on the market now that will help your car last longer and look its best. Another option is to get it professionally detailed.
19. Clean off bird droppings immediately. If a bird has messed on your vehicle, make sure you clean it off as soon as possible. The chemicals in bird droppings can damage and dull most automobile paints if left to bake on in the sun.
The Hansma Advantage
Hansma Automotive has been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo region since 1987. We are committed to serving you, our customer, with professional auto service repair at a reasonable cost. We use quality CARQUEST auto parts, guaranteed coast to coast. Our goal is to make your automotive repair experience friendly and successful.