Basic Car Maintenance Tips & Services Checklist

Car Maintenance

Performing routine and basic car maintenance is a necessity. Nevertheless, many people keep putting it off. Eventually, the car begins to show signs of lack of maintenance which results in high repair costs and low resale value. Keeping in mind the importance of car maintenance, this article presents a list of top things which should be regularly checked & maintained. In other words, these are your standard car maintenance tips & services checklist which you must always adhere to.

1. Oil and Coolant Levels

Make it a habit to check under the hood every two weeks. Do make sure that the engine is cooled down before doing so. After opening the hood, check the oil and coolant levels. Ensure that they are at the recommended levels. Driving on low oil and coolant levels is never a good idea and can result in costly damages. Ask any car repair shop in Dubai or elsewhere, and they will say the same thing, ‘engine repairs are costly!’.

2. Air Filter

When driving around, the engine is exposed to a lot of contaminants including dust, bugs, and other debris. The purpose of the engine air filter is to prevent such contaminants from entering into the engine and wreaking havoc on it. Therefore, it is a wise step to carefully inspect the air filter regularly and have it replaced. This will improve the performance of the engine and its durability. We cannot stress the importance of this point enough. We once again ask our readers to make this point a part of their car’s periodic maintenance schedule as engine repairs will cost a lot!

3. Tires

Many people are unaware of the importance of tires. Have you noticed that the only part of the vehicle that touches the road surface are the tires? This is one thing many people overlook. Because they are the only part that comes into contact with the road, it is only natural that they are looked after with great care. In addition to the contact, tyres are also responsible for the acceleration, braking, and handling. Hence, they need to be in optimal condition.

By optimal condition, we mean that they must have a reasonable tread depth left. In countries like the UAE and many others, the legal tire tread depth is 1.6mm. Anything below this will result in heavy fines. You might also notice that tires are responsible for carrying the weight of the vehicle along with those of the passengers. Therefore, the tires need to be inflated up to the recommended levels which can be found in the owner’s manual. Over and underinflated tires pose serious risks.

4. Lights

When we say lights, we refer to the headlights, indicators, brake lights, tail lights and all others that come with your car. The purpose of the headlights is to increase visibility for the driver, right? When driving around with dirty or non-working headlights at night, the visibility is reduced. This is a recipe for disaster as you do not know what is ahead. It increases the likelihood of an accident.

Likewise, the taillights tell the car coming from behind that there is another vehicle ahead. If they are dirty or not working properly, it will be difficult for the car coming up from behind to see your vehicle. Again, this increases the chances of an accident. It is why many countries have introduced fines for broken, faulty, non-working tail lights.

5. Fluids

There are different fluids in the vehicle. Some of these need to be checked every month, while others need not be checked so often. Nevertheless, every driver needs to be acquainted with these fluids. They include:

  • Brake
  • Radiator
  • Transmission
  • Power Steering
  • Washer
  • Transfer Case (only in 4WD or AWD)

As you can judge by their names, these fluids are quite important. If they are below the recommended levels, you are risk your safety and those of others. Moreover, repairs can prove to be quite costly if you continuously drive with low levels of fluids. During routine maintenance, your service shop might even ask you to have the fluid replaced with new ones to ensure top performance.

6. Paint

No one likes a faded paint job, right? Certainly not the prospective buyers if you are looking to sell the car. Similarly, a car is a reflection of your personality. With a faded or dull paint, people really would not have many nice things to say about you. Therefore, always invest in the maintenance of the paint. Keep in mind that dust, dirt, and other contaminants are not good for the paint. Therefore, one must invest in the regular wash, wax, and even ceramic coating. They remove the contaminants and also add shine to the paint. This greatly improves the quality of the paint and the vehicle’s visual appearance.

7. Spark Plugs

Spark plugs ensure that the engine gets enough power. If they are faulty, the car will stall or not start at all. Drive your car to the nearest workshop and have them inspect the spark plugs. These are not expensive and you should have them replaced right away instead of opting to repair them or find other workarounds.

8. Electric Audit

Invest in a complete electric audit of the vehicle. In this, the professionals inspect each electric cables and plugs to ensure that they are working as they should be. This is a preventive measure and can help diagnose serious problems before they occur. Electric problems can quickly spill over to other vehicle components. Hence, the audit is a good investment.

9. Battery

The last thing that you need to keep an eye on is the car battery. Remember, without a functioning car battery, the vehicle will not even start. Make sure that all the battery cables are attached properly and there is no leakage of any sort. In case there is any leakage, contact the nearest workshop immediately. Batteries have a fixed life but their durability can be enhanced through regular maintenance.

Wrap Up

This concludes our car maintenance tips and services checklist. By following this list, you can enhance the performance and durability of the vehicle and individual components.