We like taking care of things we invest in, especially when the investment is of a substantial amount of money. In the language of automobiles, ‘taking care’ is referred to as ‘maintenance’. Maintaining your car not only reflects your care but also extends your car’s lifespan. The maintenance practices of a used car are not much different than that of a new car. However, the required maintenance for a used car depends on the condition of the car. You certainly don’t have to have mechanical expertise to maintain a used car. While it’s always advisable to follow the recommended service schedule of the car, possessing the basic know-how can help a lot. We have prepared a list of a few areas that you should stay aware of in order to maintain your used car in the best possible ways.
While maintaining a car, the engine should have the top priority. Engine oil lubricates the engine’s components to minimize friction, it also keeps the components cool and clean. Check the level of engine oil with the help of a dip-stick. if you find it insufficient, top it up duly. While checking the level, also check the odour and colour of the engine oil. if you find something odd with them, have it checked by an expert or change it completely.
The main factors that determine the car’s ride quality are the tyres, the air pressure in the tyres, groove quality, and angular balance. Keep your car’s tyres properly inflated, use a tyre pressure gauge to check the air pressure or use the tyre pressure monitoring system if your car has the feature. While servicing your car, make sure the tyres are balanced angularly and rotated. Tyre rotation is done to even out the wear in all the tyres.
Apart from the engine oil, there are other fluids in your car that require your timely attention to keep the car functioning smoothly. Brake oil, transmission oil, coolant, windshield washer fluid, and steering oil, these all need time to time top-ups or replacements. Do a timely check on all the fluids, if you find their levels lower than they should be, top them up right away. In case you find any abnormalities in the odour and colour of any of the fluids, just change that fluid thoroughly.
Oil and air filters
The oil filter in the engine removes the impurities from the engine oil. There are two air filters, one filters the air supplied to the cabin and the other filters the air supplied to the engine. Filters need timely cleaning and even replacement, do keep a check on these while having your car serviced.
Odd odours can signal some potential issues. Musty smell indicates moisture or water trapped under the carpet, smoky smell connotes electrical issues, and burning smell from the tyres signify burning issues of rubber. If you sense such smells, nip the issues in the bud.
Your car’s interiors are as important as the exteriors in terms of maintenance. The following tips will assist you in maintaining the interiors.
- Vacuum the cabin throughout, use different types of attachments to clean as much debris as you can.
- Take the mats out of the car, wash them and leave them to dry for a while. Do remember to dry the mats completely before placing them again in the car.
- The cleaning of the upholstery depends on its type. Regular fabric upholstery can be cleaned with a homemade solution of vinegar, detergent, and hot water. On the other hand, you should use special leather cleaner products to clean leather upholstery in order to keep the leather from cracks and fading. Always use a microfiber cloth to clean upholsteries.
- Clean all the hard surfaces such as the dashboard, console, armrests, steering wheel, etc. with the help of a surface cleaner and a dry cloth.
Wash your car
Duly washing and waxing your car is worth its weight in gold. Not only do they help retain the shiny and snazzy appearances of your car, but they also help you fix some minute subtle issues of the car. Waxing your car provides your car with a protective layer for UV rays, road grime, and moisture. For washing your car, you don’t need to rely on the service centres all the time. This is something easily doable at your end only. Moreover, you should consider car detailing every 4 to 6 months.
Does a used car need service more often than a new car?
The service schedule of the car should be followed as mentioned in the user manual or depending on the car’s condition, regardless of the ownership changes.
What can defective spark plugs cause?
Spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. Defective sparks plugs can cause insufficient, improper, or ill-timed ignition, which can further lead to knocking, backfiring, or other major engine issues.
How many times should I check the engine oil level?
The engine oil in a car should be checked every month or two, use a dip-stick to do so. And while checking the engine oil, do remember to check other fluids in your car as well. Transmission oil, brake oil, coolant, windshield fluid, and steering oil are as important as is the engine oil.
How many types of filters are there in a car?
In a regular car, 4 types of filters are used
- Air filter– It cleans the air supplied to the engine.
- Cabin filter– It cleans the air supplied to the cabin.
- Oil filter– It cleans the engine oil supplied to the engine.
- Fuel filter– It cleans the fuel injected in the engine.
What is Transmission oil used for?
Transmission oil lubricates the transmission system of a car, that includes gears trains and clutch plates. Along with lubrication, it also maintains the optimum temperature and cleans the gears. It’s recommended to change the transmission oil every 20,000 km.