8 Things To Check On Your Car
At German Auto Tech, we like to give out free information. This post is all about 8 of the simplest things you can check on your car, no matter what make or model you have. By checking these things you can avoid major problems down the road, and keep your car in optimum condition. Unless otherwise noted, it’s a good idea to check each of these things once per month.
- Oil. Always be sure to check oil before starting your car in the morning – a hot engine can give you a false reading. Running your car with too little oil can cause it to overheat and wear down prematurely, and too much oil will create too much pressure in the engine compartment, leading to worn down gaskets and oil leaks.
- Brake fluid. In most cars you will see a semi-transparent brake fluid box / reservoir with minimum and maximum fill lines on the side. With too little brake fluid your brakes will be light, and without much stopping power, too much brake fluid can cause one of your lines to pop – leaving you completely without brakes.
- Coolant. This should also be checked first thing in the morning before starting your car. Make sure that the antifreeze is visible in your radiator and that it appears clean, i.e. no rust particles or anything else should be floating around in there.
- Tire pressure. Ideally you would check this once per week, but I have to admit that I don’t even check it that often, so I’ll let you off and say that once per month is fine. Tire pressure should be checked while the tires are cold, before driving anywhere. Always remember to pay special attention to your tire pressure as the seasons are changing, a drop of ten degrees fahrenheit equals a loss of 1 PSI of pressure in your tires.
- Tire tread. While you’re checking the tire pressure, dig in your pocket and pull out a penny. Turn it upside down and put Honest Abe in the groove between your tire tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head then it’s time to start tire shopping.
- Power steering fluid. Go ahead and check this once a month, or more often if you notice a grinding sound when making turns.
- Air filter. If your air filter is dirty to look at, it may be time to change it. Otherwise pull it out and tap it a few times with your hand. If you see dust coming out then keep tapping it until the dust stops coming out.
- Transmission fluid. I saved this one or last because your engine need to be warm to check this one. With your car in park and the engine running, pull out the transmission dipstick and make sure the fluid appears clean; then rub a bit of the fluid between your thumb and index finger to make sure it doesn’t feel gritty.
That’s all it takes! About 10-15 minutes once per month and you can avoid a lot of major breakdowns and other problems. Think about it: 10 minutes a month for a year means it only takes 2 hours a year to keep your car running smoothly. That’s more than worth the cost of a major repair. Of course, if your European car is already in need of a repair, then give us a call and we can fix it for you.
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