Car maintenance means keeping your vehicle in the best condition possible to avoid potentially expensive breakdowns and to maximise vehicle performance. It isn’t just important for the safety of yourself and others on the road, but also factors into your car’s resale price and insurance premiums.
Whether you’re a proud new car owner or you’ve been driving for quite a while now, it’s equally important to understand the do’s and dont’s of car maintenance.
Here are ten tips on how to keep your car in great condition for smooth drives ahead.
Do’s of Car Maintenance
1. Do change your filters when necessary
It’s so important to change the air filters in your car every 12 months or every 12,000 miles you drive. Air filters are especially important for driving at significant distances and ensures your engine is running smoothly.
Living in the busy city of Singapore, air filters are prone to build up with dust and particles from the air, which can cause damage to your engine if left unreplaced for too long. Air filter prices generally range between S$10 and $S100, and can be replaced at home quite easily. Simply lift your engine hood, locate a black plastic box, open the box and replace the old filter with the new one.
2. Do check your brakes
And on that note, be sure to check your brakes every few months. Usually, you can get this sorted at your regular car service centre (which you should definitely go to consistently according to your service schedule).
When checking your car brakes for any repairs needed, car mechanics will generally check the brake fluid reservoir as well as the brake pads. If the reservoir is empty, it’s time to be filled up again, and if the liquid has turned dark, it’s time to be replaced.
3. Do avoid potholes and go slow over humps
We’ve all been there, where we’re driving and potholes seem to just pop out of nowhere on the road.
Unfortunately, while this is only likely to happen every once in a while, driving over potholes and humps too quickly can do some major damage to your tires and wheel rims. When you encounter them, be sure to avoid them if possible, or if you must, drive over them as slowly as possible.
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4. Do check the air pressure on your tires
And while you’re at it – when you stop by the petrol station to have your tank refilled, be sure to check the air pressure on your tires and if levels are running low, be sure to refill them with sufficient air.
This shouldn’t be too much of a hassle – after all, it’s free!
Dont’s of Car Maintenance
1. Don’t attempt DIY repairs to save on repair costs
When you’re tempted to skimp on repair costs in favour of DIY repairs, pause. Unless you are in fact an auto mechanic or know one personally, it can be dangerous not just to tinker with your engine (as you can damage your car in the process) but also to drive in a car without fixing it properly.
By consistently buying the cheaper parts or saving on better quality auto repairs, your car suffers in the long run.
On top of all that, if you consider what could happen if you get into an accident because your car wasn’t fixed completely, consider how much more you would pay as a result of that accident.
2. Don’t come to a screeching halt
Sudden braking isn’t just an annoyance for your passengers, it’s really bad for your car too. Coming to screeching halts on the road can be a really easy way to stress your car brakes.
For most drivers, all it takes is looking ahead and paying attention, especially at traffic lights. Instead of letting them take you by surprise, simply practice better estimation and slow down at a further distance in order to let your engine do the work, instead of your brakes.
3. Don’t switch between forward and reverse gears without stopping
When shifting between forward and reverse, it’s best to come to a complete stop first. Switching between gears when moving can cause unnecessary stress on the torque converter which reconciles mismatched speeds. However, too much of this will strain it and shock the brakes leading to wear and tear.
4. Don’t let your fuel run low
If you’re the type who loves living on the edge by driving with minimal fuel while your indicator flashes on your dashboard, you might want to rethink the habit.
While some drivers believe that driving with low fuel is saving them money before they refill their tanks, it is actually very much the opposite.
Driving on low fuel damages the fuel pump, which is designed to pump petrol with a certain amount of fuel stored. This could actually cost you in the long run as you will eventually need to get your fuel pump fixed.
5. Don’t skip oil changes
Forgetting to change your oil may cause dirt, grime and other particles to accumulate which may cause sludge to build up in your engine. Be sure to change your oil every few months to avoid this from happening.
| See more: 5 ways to lower your car insurance premiums |
6. Don’t forget to buy car insurance
And finally, you’ll want to protect yourself financially for any accidents you run into in order to afford repairs should you get into any car accidents. Be sure to opt for a comprehensive policy as this will give you the best coverage, save you money in the long term and cover yourself and other drivers on the road with vehicle repair and medical coverage.
And there you have it! 10 tips to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition.
If you’re looking for a great option for car insurance, why not check out GoBear’s comparison tool to start considering your options?
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