Car Care - Get the basics
Friday, June 25, 2010
Regular maintenance is health insurance for your car. It needs regular maintenance to retain its safety, dependability, performance, fuel economy and emission control capabilities. Regular maintenance makes economic sense, too. Low-cost maintenance can prevent high-cost repairs. Maintenance also helps to prolong the life of tyres, brakes, and other vehicle parts. Regular maintenance is also called ‘’preventive maintenance’’ because it helps to prevent costly and dangerous breakdowns and repairs. Moreover, the maintenance recommendations for a new car are the basis of manufacturer’s warranty. The carmaker agrees to warrant the vehicle against defects for a specified time or mileage if the new-car buyer has the scheduled maintenance performed.
What Maintenance Is Required And When?
The best source of maintenance information for your car is your vehicle owner’s manual. A list of maintenance services and the time or mileage intervals at which they should be performed is part of every owner’s manual. The manufacturer wants to help you keep your car in good working condition, but no car maker can know exactly how every vehicle it sells will be used. That’s why every owner’s manual has different maintenance schedules for different driving conditions.
You may drive only short distances a few times a week, or you may drive regularly for long periods of time at highway speed limits. Perhaps you like three quarters of city driving population drive in prolonged stop-and-go traffic or may be you live and drive in a very dusty climate. All of these driving conditions and requirements affect the maintenance needs for your car.
Also the different kinds of cars need different maintenance schedules. A technologically advanced sedan will require less preventive maintenance than of utility vehicle using an age old indirect injection diesel engines.
Get started with basic maintenance
To help you get started developing a maintenance schedule for your car, here are some general guidelines-
Maintenance item Mileage or time
Inspects light and check tyre pressure At least monthly
Oil and filter change and chassis lubrication 5,000 Km or 3 to 4 months
Under hood belt and hose inspection 5,000 Km or 3 to 4 months
Tyre rotation and wheel balancing 10,000 Km or 6 to 8 months
Brake inspection 10,000 Km or 6 to 8 months
Replace air filter 20,000 to 40,000 Km or as indicated by inspection
Replace fuel filter 24,000 to 1,00,000 miles
Wheel alignment check 20,000 to 30,000 Km or as indicated by tire wear
Cooling system flush and refill 40,000 to 100,000miles
Belt and hose replacement 1,00,000 Km or 5 to 8 years
Engine timing belt replacement 1,00,000 Km or 5 to 8 years
Air conditioning performance check Annually, usually post winter
Further to these pre-summer checks are of great importance due to severe nature of the summer here. Be sure to properly check up your car air conditioner before the arrival of summer.
The services listed above are only the general services that apply to most vehicles. You may need more frequent checks and replacements than the intervals listed above. Additionally, your car may have some unique maintenance requirements specified by the manufacturer.
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