Automobiles are complicated machines. They need to be maintained regularly to prevent breakdowns of the equipment. Car maintenance is expensive. It is also a recurring task. In the course of a year, a car owner spends substantial amounts on simple car maintenance.
Do the maintenance yourself and save big.
But I do not know anything about cars, you say? You need not be an expert car mechanic to save on maintenance cost. The Internet is your best friend. Use it to search for your car, make, model, year, and then look for a repair manual for the car. Alternatively, you could also go to a bookstore or parts store and buy one of the well-known repair manuals. Did you buy one? Then start reading. These manuals have precise information on your car that exceeds by far what you find in the owner’s manual that came with it.
What you should check
There are many maintenance task you can perform easily yourself. Read the respective chapters in your new car manual. Among the easy tasks are:
• Check the fluid level in the radiator
• Check your oil
• Add oil when needed
• Inspect the battery
• Check the belt(s)
• Check for water leaks.
These are some of the simplest and easiest tasks to perform. Most of them are even covered in the mostly useless owner’s manual that came with your car. They are almost self-explanatory. Just make sure that your car is on level ground when checking fluids.
Do not add cold water to a hot radiator with boiling hot water in it. You will regret it! Do not open the radiator cap of an overheating car quickly. Let it cool before taking the radiator cap off. Use a towel or rag to cover the cap when opening it.
Check the oil when the car is on level ground and after the oil had an opportunity to drain into the oil pan.
Check the belts for any visible signs of wear and tear. Replace them immediately when you detect any. Some cars have only one belt that services all pulleys.
Check the battery for signs of corrosion on the battery poles or connectors. Clean them using one of the commercially available cleaning tools.
Water leaks can be difficult to find, especially when you have a slow leak. It may not show at all as a dripping leak unless the engine is running and the car’s cooling system has reached operating temperature. If you cannot visually find the leak, you will need a leak tester or a leak detection fluid to add to the cooling system.
The leak tester pumps up the cooling system to operating pressure and watches for a drop pressure. The leak detection dye reveals a leak through the iridescent color of the leak under light.