What Are the Basic Maintenance of a Car?

You’ve probably heard of regular tune-ups, but what are the basics of maintaining a car? This basic car maintenance Bellevue, WA includes checking tire pressure, oil level, brake pads, and the engine light. Performing these simple tasks will keep your car running like new for many years to come. 

Tire Pressure

Tires lose pressure with time. If you notice a change in pressure, it’s time to fill them with air. Tire pressure can vary greatly depending on outside temperatures, so it’s crucial to check them at a shady location. Black tires are particularly vulnerable to heat, so it’s best to check them in the shade if possible. Find a tire gauge within a mile of your home or work to check tire pressure yourself.

A good tire pressure gauge will read in pounds per square inch (psi). You may need to press on the valve stem to release some air. It’s also a good idea to test your tires regularly. When checking tire pressure, don’t forget to listen to them and listen for any sound of leaks. Also, look for nails or other objects embedded in the tire. Look for cuts, gouges, bulges, or separation in the tread.

Oil

When you’re thinking about routinely checking your car’s oil level, you might wonder exactly how often you should do it. While automakers don’t have standardized methods for doing this, there are some general guidelines you can follow. The first step is ensuring the vehicle is properly parked and the parking brake is on. It’s important to remember that not all cars require the same amount of motor oil.

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Checking oil levels is important because it ensures that the engine is well-lubricated. If you don’t, you can cause various problems with your vehicle. When you check the oil level, you’ll also want to ensure that the engine is cold. If there’s too much heat or too little oil in the engine, it will begin to overheat. Also, if the oil is too dirty, it could damage the engine.

Brake Pads

The life of a brake pad is roughly fifteen thousand miles. However, if it fails to last this long, your car could crash and receive a failed MOT. Fortunately, checking brake pads is easy and can be done by anyone, including the owner. Before performing brake pad checks, you should listen to your car’s braking sounds. The pads are likely worn if you notice a grinding sound when applying brake pressure. If they don’t sound right, you should replace them immediately. Another way to tell if brake pads are wearing out is to check the thickness of the brake pad. The pad thickness will vary depending on how much your car drives, but it’s generally around a quarter inch.

Engine Light

Checking the engine light is a sign that there is something wrong with your vehicle. If it’s on, you may have a faulty oxygen sensor. The sensor is a tiny electronic device in your car’s exhaust system. It monitors the air and fuel mixture and transmits the data to your car’s computer. A faulty oxygen sensor can lower your fuel economy by up to 40%. To fix the problem, tighten your gas cap. While this may fix the problem immediately, the light may remain on for a few days until the next indication.

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Checking engine lights is a part of basic car maintenance. There are several causes for the light to come on, and only an automotive service expert can diagnose the exact problem. The light may be flashing because of a faulty part in the engine, or it may mean that the EGR system is clogged. Either way, you should seek assistance from an automotive service specialist. This way, they will know the problem and how to fix it.

Serpentine Belt

Checking your car’s serpentine belt is a simple but vital step in car maintenance. This belt stretches across the front of your engine and transports power to many essential automotive components. When it breaks, the belt is prone to serious damage to your car’s engine, making it essential to replace it as soon as possible. To ensure that your serpentine belt is in good condition, you should check it at least once a year with each oil change.

The timing of serpentine belt replacement varies with each model. Generally, you should replace it after 70,000 or 100,000 miles. It is because you will have to adjust the tensioner at some point. Besides excessive heat, water and dirt can cause the belt to wear prematurely. Moreover, if the belt is damaged or has loose tension, it will need replacement. Also, if the belt is damaged or slipped, the oil leak can cause the engine to run poorly.