We are referring to basic maintenance here. Leave the engine rebuilds to the professionals. A large number of breakdowns are avoidable, so save the cost by following quick and simple tips.
Regular servicing may not be frequent enough to uncover potential problems such as radiator fluid leaking (causing engine overheating and damage). One morning per month, before you start your car, take two minutes to do the below quick six checks (five if your car is a manual).
To simplify the process, many modern cars have colour coded parts for easy identification. If your car doesn’t, ask your car mechanic to show you or look in the manual.
1. Oil level – pull out the oil dipstick, wipe it with the paper towel, push it in and out again and look at the two marks near the end of the stick (one is maximum, the other minimum). The oil should be clear and between the two marks.
2. Brake fluid – it’s usually a small, clear tub with an easy-to-remove top. Make sure the fluid is above the minimum line.
3. Radiator coolant level – unwind the cap to the radiator. The coolant should be green or red and very close to the top. Do not open if the engine is hot.
4. Water in wipers – usually located near the driver’s window. Keep it topped up.
5. Transmission fluid for automatic vehicles – there’s another dipstick to pull out. The fluid must be clear.
6. Look under your car – for any recent, wet drips as this could be a sign of something serious such as an oil leak.
6 Months servicing
Scheduled servicing should be done twice a year so mark it in your calendar as a reminder.
• Tyres – check your tyre pressure each time you refuel.
• Wash windows – inside and out for better visibility.
• Keep interior clean – Keeping your car free of unnecessary objects can also help with fuel economy.
You can avoid most costly and disruptive breakdowns by completing scheduled servicing and these simple do-it-yourself checks. You can always check out with your nearest car service center, repair shop for inspection in case you find anything unusual rather doing it everything yourself.