Most people aren’t mechanics by trade or by nature, and there are a lot of drivers who could not care less about their vehicles as long as they looked reasonably good and started each time they turned the key. However, rather than leaving everything to chance, a responsible driver understands the value of preventative auto maintenance. The truth is that as little as 5 minutes of inspection every couple of weeks could be enough to look over the most important parts of one’s vehicle.
Paying attention to the needs of one’s car when it comes to preventative auto maintenance can result in several thousands of dollars in savings over time, in addition to far less stress, anguish, and time spent taking care of costly repairs down the road. Here are some of the most important preventative auto maintenance services one can keep in mind.
First of all, pop the hood and take a look at the motor oil levels. The motor oil is essentially the lifeblood of the engine, and the engine is the heart of the car. Without the blood, the heart can’t pump, and without motor oil, the engine will quickly grind to a stop. It is essential for lubrication of almost every part of an engine, and it is essential to make sure the levels are where they should be at all times.
To read the motor oil level accurately, stick the dipstick into the engine after having turned off the car and parked it on a level plane. If the oil color is a deep red or a rusty black, this means the oil is no longer fresh enough to lubricate the engine effectively, and it should be changed as soon as possible.
This can be done by following a few simple directions if one is mechanically inclined. If the oil looks good but simply needs topping off, be sure to top off only as much as necessary; overfilling the engine with oil can lead to a different set of costly problems.
Second, check the antifreeze levels and refill these if necessary. Antifreeze, which is also known as engine coolant, is what keeps the temperature of the engine at a constant level no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Most engines are happiest at around 190 degrees, and antifreeze makes sure engines don’t overheat or freeze when the weather isn’t a cool 72 degrees.
It is best to add antifreeze to a cool engine; when the engine is hot, the antifreeze can splash and produce a serious risk to the driver. As with adding oil, a funnel should be used so the chemical does not splash on one’s hands, drip beneath the car, or flow onto other parts of the engine. Naturally, one’s hands should be washed after checking the levels and refilling them, as one would when looking into any other part of the engine bay.
Third, have a look at the car’s battery while under the hood. The majority of batteries sold on the market today are designed to be maintenance free and pretty much take care of themselves as long as they are allowed to sit within the car and recharge. Still, make sure the battery isn’t leaking acid and is supplied with enough water. If there is a condition indicator, check it. Blue means things are fine, while red means distilled water should be added and white means the battery needs a charge.