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Preventative Car Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Car in Top Condition

If you own a car, you probably know that most of the issues come out of nowhere. In times like those, it can be tempting to ignore any type of maintenance unless something goes wrong.

However, not everyone likes doing preventative maintenance for their vehicle, or agrees on what it is. On the other hand, people who are familiar with owning cars know that the best way to avoid any issues is by doing the basics right and making sure that the car is getting regular checkups at its “doctor”.

Owning a vehicle is quite a financial commitment, mostly because it needs preventative maintenance to function better. From regular infusions of gas and oil to maintaining its filters, engine and tyres, there are plenty of things one can do to prevent repair costs in the future.

Below, we are listing some of the best preventative car maintenance tips that can save you from troubles and give you a ride that can go for years (even decades) without major repairs

Safe Driving

Check Your Engine Coolant

First of all is a common issue associated with the engine – how it can get overheated and stop working. Knowing that engine issues are usually the most expensive ones to repair, the easiest way to check if everything is working well is see the levels of coolant once monthly. It is a simple visual check that takes a few minutes – you only pop up the hood and check if the fluid levels are matching the “full” mark on the container.

Check Your Air Filter

There are so many car problems which are related to clogged air filters or loose fittings. As you may not know, the air filter is the one that prevents dirt and particles from entering the engine, while the engine needs air during combustion. Therefore, a clogged filter may impact your car’s performance. The best way to make sure you are driving without filter issues is by getting your filters checked every 12 months or after 15,000 Km.

Pay Attention To Your Car’s Temperature Levels

Another sign of a potential engine issue comes from the temperature of your car in the hood. Luckily, there is an indicator that shows your car’s temperature and it is located on your dashboard. Normally it should always be at 90 degrees Celsius, but there are some situations when the temperature can rise more than that.

For example, situations such as traffic jams, climbing stiff hills, hot weather etc. can all make the temperature go up. This is why you need to keep a closer look on the gauge, see if it touches the red mark, and stop immediately to avoid engine demage.

car temperature meter

On the other hand, the opposite can also happen – your car’s temperature gauge can never reach the ideal working temperature, causing troubles such as high fuel consumption, higher engine wear, etc.

Use Your Parking Brake On Hills

Your parking brake is there for a reason – you should use it, especially when your car is parked on a hill or non-flat surfaces. In cases like these, the parking brake helps relieve the stress and tension on the transmission and the other drive components. Plus, it can protect your car from rolling down the hill.

Don’t Drive Aggressively

Aggressive driving behavior is commonly associated with wearing down your transmission. Your tyres may also be the ones to suffer from braking too hard, accelerating quickly and going in curves with full motion. Considering the stress on the engine, transmission (from shifting gears aggressively) and your tyres, your car is always prone to issues like these. By taking things down a notch, you can prevent a lot of them.

Understand The Expected Lifespan Of Your Battery

No one wants to go on a trip and find themselves near the road with a “dead” battery. The best way to make sure it’s not you who is in that situation is to understand the expected lifespan of your car’s battery and monitor it accordingly. On average, a car’s battery comes with a one-year warranty after which it is not expected to function the same way. So, our advice is to do regular check-ups.

If your car hasn’t been driven for a long period, you should immediately take it to a garage and check its battery health. Even though this doesn’t mean that your battery is dead, it is always good to check it in detail. This won’t prevent a battery failure, but significantly reduces the odds for it. Also, it is everything you can do to extend your battery’s lifespan.

You should also know that every car battery has its lifespan, and no matter what you do to keep it in a good condition, one day it will fail. If you have a hybrid vehicle, make sure to keep your batteries charged between 40% and 80%. However, battery issues can happen both if you are driving your car and not driving it, so regular check-ups are a must.

Get Your Tyres Rotated And Balanced And Your Alignment Checked

Your car’s manual will tell you how often to do this. The goal is to make sure that your tyres are wearing out evenly, and that your car drives smoothly. You can make your tyres last much longer by getting them rotated and balanced.

Also, the way your car drives on the road is important. If your vehicle is pulling to the sides, you probably have an uneven wear on some or all of them. This can also cause a rolling noise, and the pulling is often related to issues with wheel alignment, flat tyre, uneven tyre pressure, a different rolling resistance on one of the (front) tyres, etc.

Check/Replace Your Spark Plugs

If not checked, your spark plugs could wear out and be covered in a buildup – a situation that leads to an engine that is not working efficiently. Your car manual should inform you when to replace them.

If your car is not performing as well as it usually does, it can be a problem associated with old or outdated spark plugs. Replacing them leads to better performance – these tiny things usually last for 30,000 km or so.

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full And Avoid Driving On Empty

Believe it or not, driving on an empty tank (or even a tank that is getting close to the dregs in the bottom) can sometimes cause damage to your car. Low fuel levels can damage the fuel pump, as debris or contaminants from the gas settling at the bottom of the tank will be sent through the pump when the tank is empty. There are plenty of other potential issues that can arise by driving on a low fuel tank.

car fuel

Inspect Your Serpentine Belts

Inspect your serpentine belts and check for wear. If they fail, they can cause damage to the engine parts and become a major expense. With regular maintenance, your car’s service center should let you know when is the best time to replace the belt. Generally speaking, it is recommended to get your belt checked every 60,000 km – a look at the manual can give you the best information for your specific car model.

Check Your Tyre Pressure Regularly

Your tyres are the first line of contact between your car and the ground, and are always a potential indicator of something. Checking your tyre pressure regularly should become a habit for every driver, especially if they want the most from their car. It is a practice to save time and money, but also one that leads to a comfortable and safe drive. If you don’t have a habit of checking on your car tyres, you can start by setting a monthly date or visiting your local UAE tyre expert.

Protect The Interior Of Your Car

Having a clean and nice looking car will definitely make the driving feel more comfortable. This is why it is recommended to clean your car every two weeks (or earlier if there is a sand storm, heavy rain etc.) and do quick cleaning of any trash each time you exit the car.

car interior

Final Thoughts

In the end, the best way to prevent car issues is to do regular annual service inspections (either once per year or on every 10,000 – 15,000 km) where your vehicle’s filters will be properly replaced and your oil levels will be checked by a technician.

In any other scenario, make sure to monitor your dashboard and ensure that everything is okay. If you hear strange noises coming from the engine, tyres or experience uncomfortable driving, visit your nearest technician and inspect the potential issues.

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