Common Car Maintenance Mistakes - Driving Tips

By Ishan Raghava | on December 24, 2014

Maintaining a car can be daunting for most consumers who want  nothing more than to buy and use one. And it’s easy to understand why, given the complications of modern cars, dealing with components can be quite intimidating.

So, here’s a list of those basic maintenance mistakes that one should avoid. Avoiding these will ensure that the car remains reliable and all components function as intended. t will also go a long way in avoiding any expensive maintenance costs.

Checking Engine Oil Levels:  To put it simply, oil is as important for an engine as blood is for the human body. Just like the human body needs clean blood to function optimally under all conditions, an engine needs oil. The oil serves multiple purposes. It reduces the friction between various components and reduces the temperature inside the engine. Most importantly, it provides the lubrication to make sure the engine runs smoothly. Dirty or overused engine oil and not having enough oil in the engine can result in a very expensive engine failure. Make sure to run a weekly check on the engine oil level and top it up with fresh oil if need be. Changing the Air and Fuel Filters: Dust and dirt is an integral trait of Indian weather conditions. So it is no surprise that it greatly affects automobiles. Two of the components that are most effected by dust and dirt are the air and fuel filters. Both of these filters are designed to prevent dirt and dust from the air and fuel going into the engine. If they become clogged due to excess dirt trapped in them, they lose their efficiency rather quickly. This has a direct effect on the performance of the vehicle. Both the filters should be inspected at each service and replaced according to manufacturer specified intervals.

Driving with an Overheating Engine: Given the extreme temperatures that prevail in our country, engines and vehicles are naturally performing in extreme conditions. Therefore, there is a massive amount of stress on the engine cooling system of the car. This system keeps the temperature within the engine under control. It also ensures the engine functions optimally when the ambient temperature itself is so high. However, failures of the cooling system are not unheard of and the chances of such failure increase with the age of the car. It is always advisable to keep an eye out on the engine temperature gauge in summer months, to make sure the engine is running in the optimum temperature range. In case the temperature does shoot up, one should stop driving and seek expert help to rectify the problem. If the vehicle is driven on an overheating engine, it can cause considerable damage to the engine’s internal parts.

Checking Wheel Alignment and Tyre Pressures:  The other often ignored aspects of a vehicle are its tyres. These are not given the attention they deserve, given their importance in keeping a car on the road. To make sure the tyres are in good condition, the tyre pressure should be checked weekly, as excessive or low tyre pressure can lead to uneven wear. A periodic check of the wheel alignment (every 5000 km) is an important step, which should be adhered to. This can help avoid premature wear and tear of tyres. If performed diligently, these two steps will maximize the life of the tyres and avoid premature expense on replacing tyres.

Tags: Auto Guide

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