6 Essential Checks To Keep Your Car In Good Health
A car is one of the top sources of convenience for a lot of people. Even in countries with an efficient public transport system, it's simply so much easier to get to and from places with one’s own vehicle. This is why, even with the considerably hefty price tag of a car, most people deem it a completely worthy investment.
Therefore, it is a vital responsibility to keep your car in tip-top shape. If you are a car owner, there are two things that you need to perform for this. One, learn the best ways to operate the vehicle and two, stay on top of maintenance requirements.
The latter should be easy, especially if you purchased the car brand new. Most dealerships provide buyers with what they call a maintenance passport, which lists all the necessary upkeep efforts within a specific period of time or achieved mileage.
However, if you, like a lot of people, opted for a pre-owned car, you can only guess the maintenance it needs based on its manifested issues. So, to make the crucial task of keeping your vehicle in good health easier, listed below are the six essential frequent checks you need to perform to keep your vehicle in prime condition.
1. Oil Check
This is an absolute must, especially if you drive your car every day and you have an aggressive driving style (meaning you tend to go hard and fast). The oil, which keeps the engine moving smoothly, can run low.
If the oil level is low, the engine can sound quite overworked. Additionally, the coolant can overheat quickly. This type of dehydration can lead to severe engine damage, which may require a costly replacement.
2. Tire check
Crash statistics show that majority of fatal vehicular accidents happen due to bad tires. Worn down tires offer insufficient traction, which makes braking difficult and road collisions likely.
Meanwhile, tires that do not have enough pressure or equal pressure affect the running performance of the vehicle. They can cause the car to easily veer off-course, especially on non-paved roads. As for traffic safety, a tire check is a definite must.
3. Wheel alignment check
Wheels are prone to wear and tear, and you should have their alignment checked and have these rotated regularly, especially if you take the car to challenging terrains frequently. Quite often, dirt roads damage hub bearings, and this is the principal reason for misaligned wheels.
Misaligned wheels can diminish your driving control and suddenly make your car shake a lot. Not only that, they can cause tires to wear unevenly, which means an unnecessary quicker turnover. So, have the wheel alignment checked regularly. This will allow you to see if you need higher quality replacement bearings from a top bearings supplier for the repair.
4. Lights check
You want to make sure that your lights are always bright enough to be detected on the road. Signal and rear lights, particularly, need to be working at all times. Once they start to dim, have them replaced right away to be safe than sorry.
More importantly, check your front lights, too. Doing this will ensure that you can get home safely when you drive at night or when the weather is terrible. Your car headlights are your main contributors to road visibility when it's dark out, and if there are no other sources of illumination.
5. Washer fluid check
Checking your car washer fluid level is another priority task. You need enough water to help loosen and remove the build-up of dust and other debris on your car windshield. This is particularly crucial if you live in a dry area where sand and dust mix and cake on the windscreen.
In a lot of situations on the road, having your windshield clean is critical. Thus, regularly check the amount of your car's washer fluid. Your wipers will not be effective in restoring visibility through your windshields without enough washer fluid. Moreover, they might get damaged and break completely if you insist on using them without wetting your windshield first.
6. Steering wheel check
A lot of drivers often do not bother much with the way their car's steering wheel yields to manipulation until it feels incredibly loose or resistant. But it should be checked too, because over time, bearings can wear down and become loose inside the hub and spindle.
This causes wheel play or the loose feeling of the steering wheel, which is dangerous. Wheel bearing failure, especially at high speed, has been reported as one of the most fatal car failures. Therefore, the moment the steering wheel feels loose, head to your automotive bearings supplier and technical service provider for a better quality replacement.
Of course, you need full maintenance with a tune-up, oil change and all, but the six listed above are the car checks that you need to perform quite often. A lot of people find it a hassle to go through all of them, but they are all worth dedicating a small chunk of your time in ensuring a safe, hassle-free travel experience.
Hassanein Alwan is the Managing Director of Mineral Circles Bearings with more than 10 years' experience in the bearing industry's technical support division, sales and marketing, plus strategic business development consultancy.