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Car Maintenance Tips To Extend Your Vehicle’s Life

Team AckoSept 23, 2022

Whether you just purchased a four-wheeler or have been a proud owner for a long time, following basic car maintenance tips can help extend your vehicle’s life. If you are looking for guidance to keep your car in top-notch condition, here are some ways to keep it running smoothly.

Car Maintenance Tips

Top 15 car maintenance tips for every car owner 

Here’s a comprehensive vehicle maintenance checklist for every car owner.

1. Inspect and maintain tyres

Checking your car's tyre pressure includes learning about the recommended air pressure and inflating or deflating as per the owner’s manual. Knowing how to maintain your car’s tyre pressure can help reduce its wear and tear and increase fuel economy. A flat, lower, or higher car tyre air pressure can be a hazard to you and your car. 

2. Change engine and gearbox oil

Engine and gearbox oil helps several machine parts to function smoothly. Routine change of oil helps the car to be in good condition. Check the oil levels, top up or drain them to fill with new oil as per the owner’s manual. Ensuring the oil levels are at the required specifications is the most important car maintenance checklist.

You can get the oil changed at the service centre or do it yourself. Ensure you learn the steps to change engine and gearbox oil thoroughly before giving it a shot. Furthermore, knowing which type of oil is best for your car helps reduce the chances of unsuitable oil for your car. Typically, the quality of the oil is based on its viscosity.

3. Check the fluids

An Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) propelled car requires various fluids to function smoothly. These include engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and gearbox oil. Leakage of any of these fluids can impact the way your car is driven. If you find a leak, inspect it at an authorised service centre, repair it if required, and ensure you top up or change the fluids as per the owner’s manual.

4. Check the lights

A non-working or broken light can be a safety hazard. Check if the blinkers, tail lights and headlights are in working condition. If any of the lights are not working, take your car to a service centre and get them replaced if required. Headlights, tail lights and turn indicators are essential in keeping you and other road users safe. Ensure you replace a burnt bulb, non-working LED, or projector headlamps.

5. Check the windshield wiper blades

Windshield wipers play an important role by wiping the rainwater to ensure you have enough visibility. Damaged or worn-out windshield wipers do not function effectively, resulting in a reduction of your visibility, especially during the night. Get the blades thoroughly checked and replace them if required from your service centre to keep you and your car safe.

6. Change the air filter regularly

The air filter helps in the car engine's smooth functioning. A dirty air filter can cause damage to the engine and its parts as particulate matter can enter through the air filter, reducing the life of your car. Ensure you change them as per the owner’s manual or get it checked with your service centre for optimum performance.

7. Wash your car regularly

Grime and dirt can harm the paint and rust the car’s metal parts. Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Ensure you wash your car regularly, especially if you have just completed a long journey. Find a car washing service centre that meets your needs, and make sure you always keep your car clean for a longer lifespan.

8. Choose a good insurer

Review your car insurance provider. This helps ensure your policy’s limits, coverages, and deductibles are as per your current needs. Opt for digital insurers such as ACKO for speedy claims, instant car insurance renewal and paperless experience.

9. Maintain your car’s battery

Your car’s battery plays an important role in the functioning of your car. A dead battery will leave you with an unresponsive car. Ensure you check the battery regularly to extend its life and, if need be, get it replaced.

10. Don’t miss the service date

Servicing your car at an authorised service centre regularly helps you identify underlying issues and resolve them immediately to avoid long-term problems. This is especially vital in a new car maintenance checklist.

11. Park your car in a safe area

Park your car under a covered and safe area. This ensures the car is protected from dust, falling tree branches, or even theft. If you happen to park on the streets, ensure that you get a four-wheeler cover to protect your car against dust and dirt.

12. Don’t ignore squeaky sounds

As the car ages, there is a probability that car parts may squeak due to wear and tear. Don’t ignore such sounds since they might be a sign of a bigger problem. Get the vehicle inspected at an authorised service centre to rule out any long-term issues.

13. Drive with care

Do not accelerate to the highest RPM (Rotation Per Minute) as soon as you start the car, especially if it's a cold environment. Shift the gears smoothly and not rush through them to extend the gearbox life. 

14. Clean the interiors

Your car needs cleaning on the inside too. Upholstery inside the cabin attracts dust and is prone to getting dirty. Clean the interiors with recommended cleaning products. Use a soft cloth to clean the dashboard since dirt or too many scratches can make it difficult to read the gauges.

15. Don’t overload your car

Never exceed the recommended load specifications of your car. Overloading the roof with more than recommended weight or even overloading passengers can harm the vehicle and reduce its lifespan. Ensure you follow the required weight limits as per the owner’s manual to keep your car in good condition.

Basic car maintenance tips for beginners

Here are some essential car maintenance tips for first-time car owners.

  • Read your car’s owner manual to know how the car needs to be maintained for a longer lifespan.

  • Be aware of any warning lights on your car’s dashboard.

  • Keep the engine and the engine bay clean to prevent dirt, grease or unwanted debris that may damage the engine.

  • Check the wheel alignment at the recommended time intervals to ensure your car’s tyres are in good condition.

  • Ensure the brake fluid is topped up at all times for optimum performance.

Benefits of car maintenance

Here are some important advantages of regular car maintenance.

1. Extends the life of your car

A well-maintained car runs more often without needing repairs, reducing the overall ownership cost.

2. Increases the efficiency and performance

Driving carefully and following the essential car maintenance tips will give you optimum performance and fuel efficiency, saving you money.

3. Increases the resale value of your car

Maintaining your car regularly can give your vehicle a higher resale value in the market than those that are not well maintained.

4. Reduces the risk of a breakdown

A well-looked-after car reduces the chances of a breakdown, especially while travelling long distances.

5. Keeps occupants safe

A poorly maintained car increases the chances of wear and tear of parts, especially those critical for the safety of the occupants, such as brakes, tyres, and even the engine's functioning. Worn-out car parts can lead to accidents. Regular maintenance can prompt timely part replacement to avoid accidents and keep the occupants safe. 

Interesting fun facts about car maintenance

Here are some fun facts about car maintenance.

  • A woman came up with the idea of windshield wipers after she saw that a streetcar driver had to keep his car’s window open in a sleet storm so that he could reach his arm out to wipe the windshield.

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) was invented nearly 50 years ago. The first proper use of ABS was in the aviation industry before it eventually became an important safety feature in automobiles.

  • Your car needs at least a minimum of six fluids for smooth functioning. Namely, engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and gearbox oil.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about car maintenance.

How long can you drive the car without servicing?

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You can drive the car for a long time without servicing but it might cause problems. Ensure proper car servicing frequently. It helps identify underlying problems that are not visible to your eyes. It is also an opportunity to inspect fluid levels and refill if needed. Servicing your car at its designated intervals increases the car’s lifespan.

What happens if you don’t change your car engine oil in time?

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If you don’t change the engine oil during its recommended interval, it begins to solidify in the engine and turns into slime. When this happens, the oil finds it challenging to reach some of the corners of the engine, resulting in increased wear and tear of the crankshaft, camshafts, bearings, and other engine components.

Why is it vital to carry out regular maintenance of your car?

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A well-maintained car ages well. Ensuring regular maintenance helps increase the resale value of your car too. Not maintaining your car regularly increases the chances of a breakdown, causing inconvenience and probably even increasing your repair cost. A badly maintained car is also prone to accidents.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet; and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content and before making any insurance-related decisions.

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