DIY Auto Maintenance and Servicing Tips

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A Beginners Guide to Car Service and Maintenance

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First-time car owners may not have an idea of how to service and maintain their vehicles. As such, they leave most of this work to their mechanics. This article discusses a few easy car maintenance tasks you can do on your own or with the help of a car servicing company.

Oil and fluid changes. 

Oil ensures that the engine parts are well lubricated. With time, the oil wears out due to high engine temperatures. Preferably, use high-quality synthetic lubricants in your car. Be careful when using oil additives such as anti-oxidants, rust inhibitors, detergents and friction modifiers. Some of these products are of poor quality and may cause damage to your engine. As such, always seek your mechanic's opinion. You also need to top up your brake and transmission fluid regularly.

Brake pads. 

Worn out brakes may cause vibrations or a screeching sound as you brake. If you are taking longer to slow down check if the brake pads are worn out. Most manufacturers recommend that you change the brake pads after a specific mileage. 

Spark plugs.

The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture in the engine. Besides, they also transfer heat from the combustion chamber to the engine's cooling system. Once they wear out, you will notice an increase in fuel consumption, a drastic reduction in power, trouble when accelerating, and engine misfires. It is best that you change the plugs during car servicing.  

Air filter. 

The air filter sieves air entering your engine. As such, it prevents dust, pollen, and insects from entering the combustion chamber. If the air filter is clogged, the combustion chamber will have insufficient air. Therefore, you might have trouble accelerating. The air filter should be changed every time you take your vehicle for car servicing. 

Timing belt. 

The timing belt connects the camshaft and crankshaft to ensure that the engine valves open and closes in sync. Engine misfires, a ticking noise from your engine and rough idling are symptoms of a failing timing belt. Most timing belts have a life span of between 100,000-150,000 kilometres depending on the manufacturer. 

Fuel and oil filter. 

The fuel filter is a device that filters impurities in the fuel line. A clogged fuel filter will prevent fuel from getting to the combustion chamber. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that you change the filter once every two years. However, this may vary depending on your vehicle's model. The oil filter removes contaminants in the engine oil. If possible, it should be changed every time you change the engine oil.