Top 4 Basic Home Auto Maintenance Tips
It's often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By doing some basic auto maintenance at home, not only can you extend the road life of your vehicle, but you can also detect small problems before they become big ones, potentially saving you thousands of dollars at the automotive repair shop. Below are a few simple habits worth starting.
1. Checking the brakes
Look behind the wheels at the brake pads. If they appear to be thinner than ¼-inch thick, it might be time to replace them. You can also do a test drive, paying attention to how the brakes feel when you step on them. Is there a lot of play in the brake pedal before the brakes start working? Does the car pull to one side? These are signs that the brakes need work.
2. Checking the oil
Between oil changes, it's a good idea to check the oil from time to time. With the engine at room temperature, look under the hood and find the oil dipstick. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean, then replace it and pull it out again. If the oil level is below the lowest indicator mark, you need to add oil to the engine.
3. Checking the other fluids
There are several other fluid levels you should check as part of basic auto maintenance. You can refer to your owner's manual to know where to check these fluids:
- Transmission fluid - Check this fluid with the engine warm and running. Healthy transmission fluid should be bright red and clear, with a sweet smell. If it's low or dark and burnt, you should have the transmission checked as soon as possible.
- Power steering fluid - You can usually find this fluid in an opaque reservoir that allows you to see the fluid level from the outside. The power steering fluid should not dissipate, so if it's low, top it off and bring the car into the shop to have it looked at.
- Brake fluid - You check this fluid level in a reservoir similar to the power steering fluid. Again, it shouldn't be low. If it is, you should have the brake system checked.
- Coolant - Check the coolant when the vehicle is completely cold, as the radiator cap should never be touched or removed when the engine is warm. Either open the radiator cap or look at the external plastic reservoir (in some vehicles). A 50/50 mix of water and coolant is recommended if the level is low.
4. Checking the tires
It's always a good idea to make sure the tires are inflated to recommended pressure levels (which you can see printed on the tire wall), because this keeps your tires working at their best. Also take a look at the tire treads. If you see balding areas or the tread starts looking thin, take it to the auto shop to have the tires checked.
Finally, you should follow your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule, as this will prevent repairs later on. You don't need to take the car to the dealer for this - you'll save money by taking it to a qualified independent auto repair shop. In Everett, O.N.B. Automotive is a full-service repair shop with a reputation for quality work and excellent customer service. For all your auto maintenance needs, they can be reached at (425) 317-9618.
O.N.B. Automotive Blog
Written and Published By MORBiZ
The Importance of the Oil Change
5 Symptoms of a Failed Cooling System
Top Signs it is Time for an Engine Rebuild
Does this Mean I Need Brake Repair? Yes!
Tips for PNW Winter Driving: We're Not Out of the Weather Yet!
Do I Need to Replace the Alternator?
Understanding Commercial Fleet Vehicle Maintenance
What does that Light Mean? Common Dashboard Warning Lights
Simple Auto Maintenance to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
Is it Time for Engine Repair? 4 Signs that Say Yes
How do I know if My Car has an Exhaust Leak?
Get the Most out of Your Gas Tank this Summer
Common Signs your Vehicle Needs Transmission Repair
Time for new shocks or struts? Here is how to tell!
What is a Tune Up and When Do I Need One?
How to use your senses to detect car trouble
What's Leaking From My Car?
If this Happens it is Time for Clutch Repair
3 Signs Your Vehicle Needs Exhaust Repair
What is Preventative Auto Maintenance & Why is it Important?
Is it time to set up a fleet vehicle maintenance plan?
Does my Car Need Cooling System Repair?
5 Common Signs You Need Ignition Repair
Help! I Need AC Repair to Beat the Heat
5 Major Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment
5 Must Know Symptoms of Brake Trouble
Hard Starts: 4 Signs of Starter Failure
5 Smells that Mean Trouble for Your Car
Is it Time for Timing Belt Replacement?
3 Common Signs of Major Engine Trouble
Squealing Brakes and 4 Other Signs of Trouble
5 Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency this Winter
Why are Oil Changes so Important?
4 Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Comes On
Common Auto Electric Problems
4 Reasons for Transmission Failure
Top 4 Basic Home Auto Maintenance Tips
When is it Time for Suspension Repair?
Brake Service, Care and Maintenance
Proper Radiator Maintenance and Care
5 Signs that Your Car Needs a Tune-Up
The Importance of 30/60/90K Factory Maintenance