In order to keep your new car running at its best, it’s important to keep up with routine car maintenance and inspections. By properly maintaining your car, you’ll reduce future repair costs, optimize your car’s performance, maintain its value and extend its life. Here are some regular maintenance needs to keep in mind for your vehicle.
Oil is essential to your engine. And for most people, changing it every three months or 3,000 miles is the first thing you should do to keep your car in good shape. But sometimes, your oil needs some extra attention. If you frequently drive in the popular Lagos stop-and-go traffic, It’s so important to change your oil more often. Short trips without letting your engine warm up can contaminate your oil and require more oil changes than average too. So, to keep your car running smooth, make sure you have the following engine-related services done regularly:
- Change the engine oil.
- Change the oil filter, air filter and fuel filters.
- Check the spark plugs and spark plug wires.
Batteries store the energy that’s needed to start your car’s engine. And once the engine is running, the alternator starts re-charging the battery for the next start. Maintenance includes keeping the battery clean and firmly secured so it doesn’t vibrate,
- Check battery terminals connections more often and make sure the terminals are clean, tight and well-installed. and
- Checking the water level of the battery (if necessary).
The Brake System
When brakes need a mechanic’s attention, they give certain warning signals. For example, a low or spongy pedal can mean that there’s air in the hydraulic system. A red brake-warning light that stays on could mean that there’s an imbalance in your hydraulic system. And while some brake noises are normal, chirps, continuous squeals and grinding sounds almost always mean that it’s time for new brake pads or shoes. But anytime you notice something irregular about your brakes, it’s a good idea to have them checked out.
Always endeavor to have your brakes inspected at least every 3-6 months.
The Cooling System
The cooling system keeps your engine at the optimum operating temperature by pumping coolant between the engine and the radiator. Your mechanic can help you keep your cooling system in good condition by checking the coolant levels in the reservoir tanks, checking the hoses for wear and tear and providing a flush-and-fill service, which drains dirty fluid and replaces it with clean coolant.
The Suspension System
Your shocks, springs, struts, steering and tires are all part of your suspension system. They all work together to keep you comfortable and in control on the road.
But sometimes, a problem in one area can be a symptom of a problem in another area. For instance, if you notice that your tires are wearing unevenly, it may just be your tire pressure. Heavier wear in the middle means the pressure is too high. Heavy wear on the edges means the pressure is too low. But if you notice excessive wear on just one edge, it’s usually a sign that you have an alignment problem that a mechanic should handle. For that and other symptoms – like steering vibrations or pulling – you should have your steering and suspension systems inspected. That inspection should include: checking the power steering fluid, listening for unusual noises while the vehicle is in motion and a visual inspection of all major suspension components including the shocks. struts and springs.
Following a regular car maintenance schedule is an important step in keeping your car safe and running for years to come. Consult your owner’s manual or mechanic to see when your car should have its next maintenance checkup.
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