A well-maintained vehicle reduces the risk of a breakdown or even an accident. Here are our tips for doing it.
It is advisable to regularly check the oil level, at least once a week. To do this, the car must be flat, and the engine stopped for at least a quarter of an hour.
On the dipstick, the optimum oil level is close to the maxi, but without exceeding it. Most of the time, a slight oil consumption is not generating, but a significant drop announces an anomaly to correct urgently. To make your engine last, advice: drain every 7,500, 10,000 or 15,000 kilometers, depending on the brand. As for the oil filter, which retains the impurities, it must be changed at each oil change (diesel) or every two oil changes.
2. Cooling, hoses, fan
In order for your engine to not overheat, the coolant must remain between the minimum level and the maximum level. Of course, it is necessary to wait until the engine is cold. A cracked hose must be replaced immediately, otherwise a major leakage will occur. The fan belt must remain tight and intact. The cracks are banned.
3. Exhaust and carburation
The exhaust must be in good condition, the same as for the fixing rubbers. Even if it is replaced from time to time (depending on the manufacturer), the air filter can be cleaned regularly. If you are driving a diesel-powered vehicle, it is strongly advised to add an anti-icing product to the fuel when the temperature drops below -5 degrees. However, more and more service stations are distributing “cold” diesel fuel, suitable for temperatures below -15 degrees.
The spark plugs must be checked regularly, and replaced every 20,000 km. Unless you are a very good handyman, turn to a specialist. On the battery side, check the level of the electrolyte fluid regularly. If it drops, it must be re-filled, and the battery terminals must be cleaned to avoid start-up problems.
5. Lighting and visibility
Light bulbs should be checked, and any “tired” bulbs should be replaced. A cracked optic leading to water infiltration (and therefore corrosion), it is advisable to monitor their watertightness. Always have a spare box. To see is to foresee.
6. Windscreen wipers
A good windscreen wiper leaves no traces, and the washer fluid must not be missed. Be careful to use an anti-freeze liquid in winter … Otherwise, make your windscreen an ice rink.
A good suspension is forgotten, but its condition is to be monitored every 20,000 kilometers, if possible on a special bench.
If the level should be monitored, the brake fluid must be replaced because it deteriorates with time. An operation to be entrusted to a specialist. The tires should not be torn or cut, and the tread must be worn regularly, within the limit of wear of 1.6 mm. Irregular wear underlies an imbalance of the rolling trains.
Check every fifteen days for the regular driver, checking is done when the tires are … cold. Before a long journey, especially when the car is loaded, it is advisable to slightly inflate the tires (about 200g).
10. The bodywork
To prevent premature rusting, regular and thorough washing is necessary. If the high-pressure jet is effective, a good bucket of water and a sponge can be enough … Pay attention to salt in winter, which accelerates the wear of paint and metal. Any impact of gravel, or any blister, can lead to rust, so turn to a bodybuilder as soon as possible.