Having a car is really convenient. You can get from point A to point B with comfort, and you skip all the hassle of unreliable public transportation. But let’s face it, we’re currently on lockdown, and your pride and joy isn’t getting that much use.
Still, owning a car is a huge responsibility. It needs a lot of care to maintain its reliability. So, we have compiled some of the best DIY maintenance tips you can do while stuck at home.
Read the manual
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The first thing you should do before you tinker with your car is to read your vehicle’s manual carefully. It contains all the necessary information when it comes to operating or maintaining your vehicle. Reading and understanding what’s written on the manual will also make you aware of the dos and don’ts of your car.
Check the oil
Engine oil has a significant role in keeping the engine running. It absorbs the heat and lubricates the engine. Sometimes, engine oil breaks down and wears out. That is why regularly changing it and keeping it at its proper level is vital to help your car last longer and perform better.
Checking your engine oil is easy. Pop the hood and look for a dipstick in the engine bay; it is mostly color yellow or white, which is pretty easy to spot. Pull it out, wipe the dipstick with a towel or a rag, then reinsert and pull it back out. The stick is labeled with maximum and minimum indicators that show how much oil is in your engine.
Tip: It’s best to check this at least 10 minutes after you turn off your car’s engine so that the oil can settle at the bottom to cool off.
If the level is at or below the minimum, add engine oil immediately. Having a low reading of engine oil indicates a leak or burning oil — this can cause damage to the engine if untreated. Schedule a check with your mechanic when possible.
Start your car regularly
It is advisable to start your car’s engine at least once a day. The known advice is to drive your vehicle at least around your village or barangay, IF possible. By doing this, it will keep your battery charged, will avoid gas deposits in the engine, maintains the necessary moving parts, and can prevent your tires from uneven wear.
Clean/replace the air filter
The air filter, as the name suggests, prevents airborne contaminants such as dirt from entering your vehicle. There are two kinds of air filters on your car; one is for the engine, while the other is for your airconditioning unit, also known as the cabin filter. Refer to your car’s manual on how to remove these filters.
To clean, just tap it gently on a hard surface to remove some of the dust, then use a soft brush to remove stuck particles. You can also vacuum it or blow air on it. Just be careful not to damage it.
Check the tires
If you have a tire pressure gauge, check your tire pressure to see if it’s at the recommended level. Refer to your car’s manual for this number. If it’s below the recommended, then it’s time to add more air. If you have an inflator at home, you can do that on your own. Otherwise, you can have it inflated the next time you visit a gas station. Remember that tire pressure can affect the handling and fuel consumption of your car, so make sure it is properly inflated. You can also take this time to remove debris that is stuck on your tire and to tighten the lug nuts.
Wash and wax your car
Try to wash your car at least once a week. Washing your vehicle will not only help it to look good but will also maintain your car’s paint. Waxing can help preserve your car’s color by protecting it from the harmful UV rays, dust, acid rain, and other particles like bird droppings. Use a feather duster or blower to remove dust or dirt from your vehicle whenever you can. Make sure you are using the right materials when cleaning and waxing your car to avoid scratches. For more proper cleaning tips, read your Vehicle Owner’s Manual.
Also, be mindful of where you park your car. The best place is inside a covered garage. If it’s not possible, at least try parking it under a shade and put a car cover on it.
And that sums it up. I hope these tips have helped you maintain your car, even during a lockdown. At least now, your vehicle is in good shape when you take it out for groceries and other necessities.