Regular Maintenance Checks You Can do on Your Car Yourself

  • Jan 18, 2021
  • Resources & Tips

Having a vehicle means taking on the responsibility for the care of a vehicle. Regular maintenance is something that every car owner should understand and know how to do on their own car. You don’t always need to take a car in to do a maintenance check, looking your car over could alert you to issues that would require a mechanic to fix. We’ve brought together 5 things you can check on your car yourself. 

1. Check your oil

The most accurate way to test your oil is to park the car on flat ground. Locate the dipstick, pull it out, wipe it clean with a rag, then reinsert it into the tube and push down all the way. Then pull it out again and check the stick on both sides for the oil line.

If the oil line is below the minimum mark your car needs more oil. You can top up your own oil by buying the oil type that matches the number on the oil cap of your car. Then simply open your oil cap and add in the oil, go slowly and check the dipstick regularly to ensure you don’t go past the maximum mark. You’re better to fill to just above the minimum mark than accidentally overfill. 

2. Windshield wipers

If your windshield wipers are squeaking, skipping, or plain old falling apart, it’s time for some new ones. Just remember, wipers are not the same for every car! You can talk to someone at any automotive shop and let them know your car’s brand, model, and year, and they will be able to help you find the right wipers. On the packaging for the new wipers will be instructions on how to put them on. Remove your old wipers and follow the instructions to replace them. 

3. Check your tires

Checking the state of your tires should be done before every drive. You don’t want to miss that a slow leak has flattened your tire overnight. A visual inspection is a good indicator of tire pressure, if you’re unsure or a tire looks low you can use a pressure gauge on the valve to check the PSI. The correct PSI will be indicated on a sticker inside the driver’s door. If it’s reading low find the nearest gas station and fill up. If the tire is flat you’re best to change your tire and take your car to the shop to fix or replace the tire. You never want to drive on a flat as it can cause internal structural damage to the tire, may lead to wheel and vehicle damage and may result in poor vehicle handling and control.

There’s an easy trick to check read depth. Find a penny and place it between the groves of your tire. If the tread covers Lincoln’s head you’re in good shape, if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head it’s time to replace your tires.

4. Lights 

Grab a friend and run a light check on your vehicle. Have one person in the vehicle and the other person standing outside to check the lights. Turn on and off your headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights. If you notice any lights are out take your car into the shop to be repaired or replaced.

5. Clean your car

While you might not think this is a maintenance check, it’s a great time to thoroughly go over your car in detail inside and out. Keep an eye out for rust, scratches, smells, or anything out of the ordinary that you should bring up to your mechanic the next time you take your car in. Be sure to take a quick look under the hood too, as rodents are known for making nests in engine compartments when the temperature drops.

If you have come across any issues during your maintenance check get in touch with us through our contact page. We’re here to help you with your car so you can get back to traveling safely again.