Car servicing is something that every auto owner has to indulge in at least some time of the year. The best method to service your car is to go to your car service station and have the servicing done methodically; according to your car maker. Consider this. You car is up and running smoothly but the mileage figures show that you need to have it serviced. Certainly, this is the right thing to do but have you wondered what actually goes in to make you pay that servicing bill every 6 months?
Servicing your car is a simple DIY job that you can learn quickly and easily save some good money.
If you have never serviced your car before personally, here’s your resource-
Car servicing essentially means inspecting the car thoroughly for any damaged components, and replacing some parts periodically that wear out over time. The parts that require inspection are the tire pressures, the brake fluid levels, air filters, oil filters, spark plugs, wheel balancing and alignment, battery fluid levels, etc.
If you review carefully it is certainly possible to do all this by yourself, as below-
You will need a complete car tool kit as provided by your car maker when you purchased the vehicle. This will usually consist of all the spanners that you might need.
The correct grade engine oil. Engine oil needs to be replaced every 5000 miles (This figure will change as per the car type and make. Check your car manual for your car.) The type and grade of oil required for your car can be found in your car manual.
To get started, a typical car servicing will involve the following steps-
o Hosting your car up to check the underbody. This can be done on a ramp or using a jack. A quick inspection of the underbody will let you know if there is any damage.
o When you are done with this, you will now need to replace the engine oil. Always remember that the engine oil should never be checked or replaced while the engine is running. To proceed, you will need to unscrew a bolt that is just below the engine oil chamber and drain the oil in to a pan. When all the oil has been drained you will need to screw the nut back in tightly. You can also change the oil filter and it is usually just adjacent to the oil chamber. Use the correct type and size as specified for your car.
o You can lower the car now and fill the new engine oil. Be sure that you do not pour excess oil over the dipstick mark as this is going to be very difficult to drain off. Wait patiently for the oil levels to settle.
o The other things you will need to check include the spark plugs. Spark plugs need to be cleaned periodically. Unscrew the spark plugs from the engine and clean them with a soft cloth. You will need to shine the plug contact points using sandpaper. Fit them back in, and now check out the air filter. Cleaning the air filter is easy and you can use your vacuum cleaner to do the job.
o You will also need to check out the suspension. Bump the car and observe how long it takes to settle. Ideally this will take no more than 3 bumps. Also check out for any spills, or leaks coming out of the shock absorbers.
o Now you will need to check out levels of brake fluids and top them up if necessary. Also, inspect the brake shoe condition by removing the wheel and inspecting the braking unit. If worn out, you can easily change them on your own.
With this done you are completed with the major servicing part of the car. The remaining things include oiling your doors and the hinges, checking if your lights are working, testing if your seat belts are working, and measuring the tire pressures (front and rear).
This might seem a long list to do but if you observe a typical car servicing process you will understand the nuances within no time. An easy way to proceed is by creating a check list for the different things will need to do. This way you can be sure of not missing out on any parts that need to be serviced.
Completely servicing your car will need a few hours but you will end up saving a lot of money. Besides, it’s fun too and a lot of learning.