Why: Checking your battery regularly is important because hot weather can cause the battery acid to evaporate slowly. This stops it from producing as much charge as it should. This might also cause battery corrosion on the cables. During winters, the cold makes the battery work harder. It will also slow down the chemical reaction, eventually leading to voltage loss.
When: Experts recommend that the battery should be tested at least once or twice a year. If you happen to live in a colder region, you must test your battery once during the fall and once again during spring.
Why: It is relatively easier to locate and solve an engine-related problem if it’s clean. Cleaning the engine will remove corrosive elements that might have accumulated over time. These corrosive deposits can shorten the life of your engine.
When: If you happen to live in a relatively clean place with less litter and debris on the road, it is recommended to get the engine cleaned twice a year. You must clean your engine every 3 months if you live in an area where pollution and dust are rampant.
Why: Changing your spark plugs regularly is a part of preventive maintenance. This can prevent costly repairs in the future. Driving with misfiring spark plugs puts stress on the car’s catalytic converter. It will also result in engine misfire and high fuel consumption.
When: Experts recommend that you should check the air pressure at least once a month, or if you can help it, once every couple of weeks.
Why: Improperly inflated tyres tend to get damaged and wear off quickly while driving. Tyres can quickly deflate if they are not checked regularly, resulting in uneven wearing of the tread. Under-inflated tires can also increase rolling resistance, leading to your vehicle using up more fuel, adding to its CO2 emissions.
When: You should change your spark plugs once every 30,000-50,000 miles. Iridium or platinum-tipped (long life) spark plugs are recommended to be changed between 60,000 and 150,000 miles.
Why: Getting your tyres rotated and balanced helps them to wear evenly and have a longer life. Imbalanced tyres will hop up and down during your entire ride, while balanced tyres will provide you with a comfortable riding experience.
When: Mostly, it is recommended that all 4 tyres should be balanced every 7000 miles. Another suggestion is to get them balanced and rotated every time you have your oil changed.
Why: Today, all vehicles come with various warning lights that would help you to understand the problem with your vehicle. Warning light indicators alert you in advance so that you can fix them problems before they get out of hand. So, it is highly important that the driver of the vehicle understands these signs and what your vehicle is trying to tell you so as to avoid any major damages.
Why: Your oil is a crucial component of your vehicle because it’s the lubricant between the moving parts. The lubrication that your oil provides helps cut down the friction, which leads to the production of less heat. All of this contributes towards the efficient functioning of the car.
Over time, the oil burns off, resulting in reduced levels. If this oil isn’t replaced and the standard levels maintained, then the vital parts of your engine will take on damage.
When: The oil levels in your car must be checked at least once a month so that you're sure that there is enough oil. It should also be changed if it smells of gasoline or if it smells dirty. It is recommended to check your oil levels before turning on the engine or 5-10 mins after shutting down so that the measurement is accurate.
Why: Coolant absorbs heat from the engine and expels it through the radiator. The working environment of your car coolant is not very considerate; in fact, it’s downright hostile. So over time, the coolant breaks down. The chances of the coolant’s rust inhibitors getting used up is also mighty high, leading to the corrosion of the cooling passages in your engine and radiator.
When: It’s a good practice to check your coolant level periodically. Make sure that you check the coolant level when your engine is cold because then it shows the actual level. Once it goes below the minimum level (your manual will have the information), it is time to add more coolant.
Why: It is crucial that your brakes are always in the prime condition for very obvious reasons. If your brake fluid gets contaminated, it disrupts the car’s braking system. The ability of a car to stop when the brake is applied is the difference between life and death. So it is imperative that you keep track of the brake fluid reservoir to make sure that it is at the right level.
When: Different brands recommend different time periods for checking the brake fluid. Which is why you should consult your manual and understand when your specific brand and make requires this step.
Why: Various issues such as malfunctioning of a car, decreased performance or fuel inefficiency can be easily prevented by getting regular servicing for your car. Timely repairs and fixes can also be great cost-saving steps and can prevent hefty bills.
When: It is generally recommended that you should get your car serviced once a year or in every 12,000 km. This frequency can change if you are someone who drives their car more frequently. The age of the car is also one of the factors that have to be kept in mind.
Why: Over time and usage, the clutch wears down and will require to be adjusted accordingly. Improper clutch adjustment can result in uneven wearing of the clutch. So it’s important that you take care of this with the strict instructions from a manual or get it done by a professional.
When: It is recommended that you adjust the clutch every 6000 miles.