Most experienced drivers will, over time, add certain checks of their own when servicing their vehicle at home. In addition to this, many of the checks added in are quick and easy to perform, and many require only visual checks to determine if more action is needed. This article may help those wishing to perform a more thorough check of their vehicle, and can be used to build up home servicing vehicle checklist.
Some of these standard checks should be performed on a regular basis. If you are checking for the first time, refer to the manual for locations, as they differ from vehicle to vehicle:
- Locate the oil filter, and visually ensure that it is free of cracks or damage
- Check the level of the brake fluid, do this by locating the reservoir via the manual, and ensure that the liquid level is above the 'minimum' mark
- Drive belts – use your manual to locate and visually inspect the belts for cracks or excessive wear, and touch to ensure that there is tension on the belt.
- Visually check the condition of the upper suspension, next to the wheels. Look for any cracks or obvious damage.
It is important to check the condition of the vehicle's tires on a regular basis. When inspecting, check that the wall of the tire is not damaged, and that all of the tires have sufficient depth of tread, running around the whole wheel. Check for 'curbing' or areas where the condition of the tire has deteriorated. Driving a vehicle that has tire damage is very dangerous.
Other Important Checks
In addition to these standard checks, which should be carried out at least once a year, you can add these following checks into your routine as well:
- Spark plugs – if these look worn, you should replace immediately. Try to use a good quality replacement, as purchasing cheaper variations – especially when regarding a vehicle – is a false economy; you will end up paying out more and sooner to replace the cheaper ones.
- Fuel filter – often, the manufacturer will advise a set mileage before even checking this area, but in many cases, they need to be replaced much sooner. Be sure to check the fuel filter when carrying out other work on the car.
- Seatbelts – it can be easy to miss wear and fraying to the seatbelts, especially in areas that are not exposed as you put the belt on. Fully extend all the seatbelts, and carefully check their condition.
- Always check the lights of the vehicle routinely. To do this effectively, you may need the help of a family member. As you sit in the vehicle, have them check that the brake and reverse lights work, as well as any rear fog lights you have. Remember to check that the rear license plate light works too.
Properly maintaining your car will not only keep you and your passengers safe, it will considerably extend the working life of parts of the vehicle. For more information, check out companies such as ALS Automotive.Share