Car Maintenance

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Simple Car Maintenance Checks You Should Do

Doing periodic maintenance checks on your car can keep it in excellent shape. With proper car care, you may be able to keep your automobile running well longer. You may also be able to enhance safety on the road. To learn how to perform simple car maintenance checks, continue reading.

Check the Oil in Your Car Weekly

If there's not enough oil in your car, damage to the engine could occur. That being said, you should check the oil every week. You can do this by turning on the engine and warming your car up while it is parked on level ground. Turn the engine off, then reach for the dipstick under the hood, slide it out, and clean it with a towel. Put the dipstick back in its holder, and take it out again. Note the point where the oil level reaches, which should be somewhere between the "Add" and "Full" line. Take your car to a gas station and have the attendant put oil in your car if the oil level is at or near the "Add" line.

Check the Power Steering Fluid

If you don't have enough power steering fluid in your car, you may find it hard to turn the steering wheel. To prevent this from happening, check the power steering fluid on a regular basis. Check the fluid by finding the power steering pump, removing the dipstick, and wiping it with a cloth. After the dipstick is wiped, reinsert it, pull it out again, and check to see if the level is low. If it is, ask your mechanic to put power steering fluid in your car. Note that you should check your power steering fluid when the engine is not running.

Check the Pressure in Your Tires

When the pressure in your tires is too high or low, your car may not handle well. Your tires may not last too long, and you may find that your car uses more gas. You can help avoid all of these problems by checking the pressure in your tires every month. All you have to do to get an accurate reading of the pressure in your tires is take the cap off of the stem that sticks out of each tire and push a tire pressure gauge against the stem. Make sure the gauge evenly covers the stem so no air escapes. A constant hissing sound means air is escaping, and you won't get an accurate reading. Once you know what the tire pressure is in your car's tires, compare your findings with the pressure the manufacturer recommends. Find this information in the manual you received with your car. Note that since it is best to check the pressure in your car's tires when your car is cold, check the pressure prior to driving your car for the first time on any given day.

Check for Leaks in Your Tires

If you find yourself always having to put air in one of your tires, that tire could be leaking air. To check to see if a leak is the problem, simply mix water with dishwashing liquid, and put the mix in a bottle with a spray nozzle. Spray the tire with the soap and water while your car is on a flat surface, and look for bubbles. If there is a leak, the air coming out of the tire will cause the solution to make bubbles. Spray every area of the tire so you don't miss a spot.

Check for Brake Problems

Problems with your brakes can lead to a fatal accident. To prevent something like this from happening, look and listen for brake problem signs. Take your car to a mechanic if you hear noises when you apply your brakes. Also have your car inspected if the steering wheel shakes when you apply the brakes, if you have to step on the brake exceptionally hard, if the pedal goes down to the floor with light pressure, if the car feels like it's pulling to the side, or if the brake light lights up on your dashboard. To be safe, have a brake problem checked out as soon as possible.

These simple car maintenance checks are easy to do, and they are well worth the time and effort it takes to do them. Your life, and the life of others, depends on you. The life of your car depends on you, too, so check your car for problems regularly and get them fixed when you find them.