As a car owner, it is easy to get into the bad habit of ignoring any type of car maintenance checks until something goes wrong. Taking good care of your vehicle means more than just identifying problems when they occur and getting regular oil changes. Doing monthly preventative maintenance checks on your vehicle will identify potential problems right away, possibly saving you a lot of money on repair work. Here are 4 easy DIY car maintenance hacks that you should be doing.
- Tire inspection. You should check the air pressure in your tires and do a simple visual inspection. It is a good idea to buy a cheap tire pressure air gauge and keep it in your car’s glove compartment. Check the air pressure in each of your tires and add more air if needed. On newer cars, there should be a sticker on the inside of the door showing the recommended tire pressure. If you don’t see a sticker, just consult your car’s manual. When adding air to your tires, listen for any hissing sounds that might indicate a leak. Examine your tires to make sure they have enough tread on all sides. Look for any problems like bulges, flat spots, tears, or nails stuck inside the tires.
- Belt inspection. Wear and tear on the belts in your car’s engine can lead to problems with any of the engine components. The most important type of belt used in your car’s engine is the serpentine drive belt. To inspect your car’s belts, first listen for any squealing sounds coming from your engine when driving. This sound usually means a belt is loose or damaged. Look under the hood at the engine belts for signs of wear like fraying, splitting, or cracks. Give the serpentine drive belt a gentle pull to make sure that it has a taught tension level. There should be no more than one-half to one inch of give when pulling on the belt.
- Battery inspection. You should look at your car’s battery to make sure it doesn’t have a leak or any mineral build-up on the contacts. If the battery terminals are covered with mineral deposits or other debris, you can clean them off with a battery terminal cleaning brush. Make sure the battery cables don’t have any frayed wires and the insulation is intact. Check that the battery is properly secured to the mounting hardware. It is a good idea to keep a jump starter in the trunk of your car just in case your car’s battery suddenly dies.
- Exterior lights inspection. Most of the time when one of the exterior lights goes out on your car, you won’t become aware of it for a while. Check any and all exterior lights in your car. These can include the head lights and high beams, taillights, turn signals, emergency flashers, fog lights, and brake lights. If one light doesn’t work in a circuit but the others do, it is probably just due to a burned-out bulb. If bulbs are burning out quickly, the electrical socket should be checked for damage and corrosion.
If you are in the Tucson, Arizona area and have any automotive repair or service needs, you can trust our experts at Accurate Service. We are a full-service auto repair shop that has been family owned since 1996. Just schedule an appointment online, or give us a call at (520) 620-9129.