Automotive Maintenance Basics


It is important to check your vehicle before you drive it. The main reason for this is because calling a tow truck can be expensive and driving without taking certain precautions can be tragic. Before hitting the road, ensure that you have the equipment to change your tire and a spare, water and a flash light. You should also have road side assistance or the number of a mechanic handy with you.

Check your Tires

There are several things to check on your tire. First, you must check the amount of air in the tire to make sure it’s not too inflated or deflated. You should also check your tires for smoothness. Tires that a too smooth and lack threads can actually lead you to a vehicular death. Threads should be deep and tires should be examined for damages or things stuck in them.

If you change your tires it is important to get your wheels aligned as poor alignment can cause wear on tires.  If your vehicle needs an alignment, your steering wheel would vibrate and the vehicle may be dragged or pulled towards a particular direction.

Check for Water Levels

Some drivers use water and others use coolant. Despite your preference, it is best to ensure that the car has either water or coolant. This prevents the radiator from overheating before you leave check your water levels. A telltale sign that your vehicle needs water may be the temperature gauge moving from the middle mark towards the H in older vehicles. In newer vehicles, a sensor light may come on. If you are on the road when temperature increases, do not open the radiator cap when the engine is still hot. You can be seriously injured if you do this.

Are Your Lights Working?

In some countries, it is illegal to drive with lights that are broken or not working. If you’re driving it’s difficult to know whether or not your lights are working so you may have to get someone to check whilst you check your brake lights. These lights are easy to change so you can ask your mechanic to show you how to do it and keep a few replacement bulbs at home. Once your lights are working properly, you are safe to drive in inclement weather and in dark conditions. Keep your headlights clean as dirty headlights can prevent light from shining through.

Don’t Forget the Oil and Battery

Usually, when you change your battery, you get an estimate of how long it would last so it becomes easier to predict the lifespan of a battery. Even if you’re still paranoid you can test your battery or go to a mechanic. Sometimes, the battery may be good but the pole needs adjusting so if your car doesn’t start you can check to see if the battery poles are slack. If you want your car to run smoothly you need oil; engine oil, transmission oil and even brake fluid. Check oil levels regularly especially if you want to have a smooth ride.

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