Secrets of an Auto Enthusiast: Car Maintenance Guide

Hotrod with a the hood lifted up

If you are a vehicle owner, you probably know the importance of car maintenance. A well-maintained car is not only more enjoyable to drive, but it can also be worth more money when it comes time to sell.

In this guide, we will teach you the basics of car maintenance so that you can keep your car in its pristine condition. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced mechanic, this guide has something for everyone.

Changing Oil

A mechanic’s most common job is performing oil changes. That is because a car engine must have enough lubrication to stay in good condition. Without the necessary lubricant, moving metal parts within the engine will quickly wear down and break each other, causing expensive damages to more than just your wallet.

Oil is also a natural cleaner for an engine; it collects small particles and dirt that can harm the machine’s internal parts. Fortunately, oil changes are one of the most manageable car maintenance tasks to do yourself.

Before you begin, head to your local parts store and buy the oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. It will be labeled in the owner’s manual or on a sticker somewhere within the engine compartment. You can also ask someone at the parts store to get an oil recommendation for your specific car model.

Cleaning Air Filter

Most of us are guilty of not changing our air filters every once in a while. Not only does this reduce the airflow into your engine, but it can also produce poor gas mileage and keep your car from running correctly.

To change an air filter, you will need to open up your vehicle’s hood by pulling on the hood release underneath the steering wheel. The air filter housing will be located at the base of the engine compartment, usually to the left of the brake master cylinder.

There may be a black rubber cover on top of your old air filter. Press down on one end with your thumb and lift that side to remove it. Then go around to the other end and remove it in the same fashion.

To install your new air filter, open up its packaging and get rid of any excess oil that may be on the outside. Then locate where your old air filter went by looking inside or tracing its outline with your finger. Make sure you place it in the same way as before, with the open area facing into the engine compartment. At this point, you can close the hood and take your car for a test drive to see if everything is working correctly.

Checking Coolant Levels

Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is a substance that helps keep your car’s engine from overheating by regulating the temperature of the water that circulates through it. It is usually a light green or yellow color and can be found in a small plastic container in the engine compartment.

To check your coolant levels, open up the hood of your car and locate the coolant reservoir. It will be a translucent plastic container with a cap on top, and it will be either full or empty. If it is complete, you don’t need to do anything; if it is open, you will need to add more coolant to your car.

Pumping Up Tires
checking tire psi to see if its travel worthy

It is essential to keep your tires inflated adequately because an underinflated tire can cause a loss in gas mileage, worse handling, and ultimately less stable driving. However, when you shop for new tires, make sure their pressure matches the recommendations from your car’s manufacturer.

To learn how much air is currently in each of your tires, find your car’s tire pressure sticker on the side of the driver’s door. It will usually have a recommended number printed next to each tire size. You can also look online or at your owner’s manual to determine which tires are best for your model of car.

Other Repairs

Suppose your trusty Toyota has shown signs of wearing down. In that case, a Toyota repair might be in order. That’s when you look for a reputable, reasonably priced service center that can attend to your car’s needs.

If a car needs more significant repairs, it is best to take it to its respective service provider. Only the manufacturer’s certified mechanics can perform tune-ups, brake replacements, and engine overhauls.

So, if you’re looking to do some basic car maintenance tasks yourself, be sure to check out the items listed above. Changing your air filter, check your coolant levels, and pumping up your tires are all relatively easy tasks that you can do in just a few minutes. And by keeping on top of these things, you’ll help ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

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