There are many other components in your vehicle that won’t need much of the ongoing maintenance. However, there are vital items that are prone to wearing out gradually. If they are not fixed, they can lead to big changes in your car over time. Diligent drivers who want to keep their cars in good condition will always watch out for small maintenance services such as periodic check-ups and regular oil changes. Some may need more than just buying a good torque wrench or a floor jack. Most of these tasks have often been overlooked due to ignorance or laziness. We will take a look at some of the crucial vehicle maintenance tasks that would often get overlooked.
- Wheel alignment
Uneven tire wear is as a result of improper alignment of your wheels. Furthermore, it also wastes fuel which makes it costly in the long run. It is a bad idea if your mechanic doesn’t do the essential services such as wheel alignment. They not only void the warranty on your tires but can also make it blow out or go flat while you are on the road. If you haven’t done any wheel alignment lately, be sure it is the first thing to do the next time your vehicle is being serviced or getting your oil replacements.
- Not checking tire pressure
Driving on the prescribed tire pressure is crucial for safety. On the contrary, under-inflated tires heighten the braking distance and are less responsive to handling and steering. What’s more, the high rolling resistance of the tires makes them wear more rapidly and will need more frequent replacement. Too much of the tire is in contact with the road giving a higher potential to overheating and premature wearing. The best approach is to understand the stipulated tire pressure for your vehicle.
Remember too to check all four tires. A number of people assume the fourth tire is fine because the first three are okay. More importantly, make sure that even the spare tire is at the right pressure.
- Proper tire tread
Tire treads are mostly frequent in normal cars. Unlike racing vehicles, we use our cars frequently and in different adverse conditions. Water are accumulated on the road, thus the tires require the treads to get a better traction. Such treads are made to siphon water away from the tires which basically lower the risk of hydroplaning during higher speeds. Once the tire treads wear down, it usually shows a replacing time. If you don’t and continue to neglect this, you may lose control during wet conditions.
- Connecting battery terminals
It is so frustrating to get stranded some place far from the closest garage because of neglecting your vehicle battery. You have seen most drivers messing around with their vehicle battery and they always have their own reasons. A car cannot start when the battery connection is a little bit loose. Ensure that all the connections are tight every time you replace your battery. It is time to get your terminals cleaned when you notice a foamy or powdery stuff around each of the terminal. Every time you turn on the ignition key, there is a better chance for your car to respond quickly.
- Unchecked shock absorbers
Shock absorbers are not the most exciting part of a vehicle, but they form important elements of the safety of the car. Most people do not understand the potential dangers of worn out shock absorbers. The safety of the vehicle is ridiculously compromised with unchecked shock absorbers; regardless of all other safety features are working correctly. Worse still, worn out shock absorbers will drastically lower braking efficiency and an increased risk of skidding. Since the shock absorbers deteriorate gradually with time, it’s vital to carry out the “bounce test” frequently.
- Air filters replacement
There are two kinds of air filters, one for the cabin and another for the engine. Many drivers neglect the importance of changing these air filters despite the fact that they are cheap and easily accessible. If you want to preserve your vehicles core systems, you will need to carry out a periodic air filter change. This is vital to improving the air quality when driving for long distances.
- Ungreased lubricating doors
It is vital to keep any moving part on your car clean and properly lubricated for longevity and effectiveness. Interestingly, quite a few car owners that completely ignore lubricating their door hinges and locks. Lubrication is an effective way of carrying out periodic maintenance. The type of lubrication depends on the material used to make the door hinges or lock. Taking at least 10 minutes twice a year can be quite worthwhile. You’ll only have to squirt a small amount of lubricant on the hinges. Alternatively, you can buy a spray lubricant just in case the hinges are a bit hidden. Consulting a professional mechanic can be worthwhile. He or she will take you through the process to ensure you lubricate your vehicle doors the right way.
- Loose motor mounts
Do you know that motor mounts can become loose or break over time? They play a vital role in stabilizing your engine. Motor noise and shaking are early signs that your mounts need to be attended to immediately. The vehicle gets shaky while idling due to the loose engine. Although motor mounts are not expensive items, they are essential and will always be checked when carrying out a yearly inspection.
- Valves not adjusted
Perhaps your vehicle has been on the road for several years now. Don’t be surprised to hear that it requires an adjustment to correct misaligned valves. Initially, this issue is not always a pressing one. Unfortunately, a number of vehicle owners ignore to carry out the regular adjustment and consequently cause serious damage to the engine. When a vehicle first leaves the factory, the engine is perfectly aligned. However, as time goes by and miles pile on the road, the moving parts of the engines settles into slightly different patterns. You’ll definitely have to realign the valves regularly.
- Unchecked transmission fluid
Putting oil in the engine is one thing that most of us know how to do. However, transmission fluid is one thing that often goes unnoticed. As the vehicle ages, the transmission fluid can get contaminated just like the motor oil.
Always ensure that the vehicle system is working smoothly by checking the transmission filter as well as the oil. Clean the transmission pan to enhance the efficiency of your car. Knocking or grinding sounds when changing the gear are some of the warning signs of a bad transmission. You will also observe a bright red fluid leaking out of your vehicle. Use the dipstick to check the fluid level against the markings highlighted on the end of the dipstick.
- Checking rotors and brake fluid
Any service shop always makes their customers aware that their vehicles are due for brake service. Brake issues can result in sudden failure which will be fatal to your safety. Enough brake fluid in the reservoir will prevent your brakes from failing when you need them most. Always be attentive on the unusual sounds coming from your vehicle as they are indications that something is not right
- Inspecting brakes
Most individuals are aggressive in checking the brake fluid but do you know that your brakes are also prone to wearing out? A good car owner can never ignore the squealing noise issuing from the worn-out brakes. It is always hard to convince yourself that the unpleasant sounds are not coming from your own vehicle. The brakes are one of the most crucial factors in your vehicle that you can never neglect despite being ignorant or lazy. Always make it serviced to avoid failures when driving.
- Checking the headlights
The headlight casing can get dull and dirty over time which makes them dimmer. As your vehicle ages, it is one of the essential things you have to bear in mind. There are a particular chemical and polish used to brighten the casings of your headlights. It is also vital to evaluate the small brake light bulbs and any other lights that are ideal for illuminating your vehicle at night.
- Neglecting the check engine light
When you say that you will take care of your engine later, that word often becomes never. Many will always be satisfied that everything seems to be working fine since they are still in motion. The longer you wait, the more costs you have to spend for repair
- Failing to charge windshield wipers
Windshield wipers will also wear out with the passage of time. The wiper blades can leave a streaky pattern behind because the wipers have aged. There are several factors that can slow down your ability to see the road clearly. They include rain, snow and other precipitation which means that well-functional windshield wipers will be ideal for the job.
- Repairing Windshield Crack
You’re probably driving along the highway, and suddenly pick a pebble sound hurled at your windshield. Even if the damage is hard to notice, chips and cracks are a major safety hazard. A broken windshield is something you ought to fix at the first glance, not something overlooked. Otherwise, you might be forced to replace it. Of course, this will definitely spoil your budget. In addition, it’s imperative to understand when to get your windshield repaired or when to replace it. If the crack is smaller than a dollar bill, there’s no need to replace the whole windshield. Get a technician to fill the cracks with resin then vacuum to leave or no air bubbles inside. When done a professional, your cracks should be nearly visible!
- Neglecting To Check Timing Belts
The biggest drawback of using the timing belt is the time limitation due to wear and tear. A few people are aware that timing belts ought to be replaced as part of the maintenance routine. Otherwise, a number of timing belt engines are interference motors. That is if the timing belt breaks off the gears, the valves of the cylinders can strike the piston to bring about a very sever damage. You’ll definitely find the cost of replacing the timing belt cheaper compared to that of rebuilding or replacing the entire engine. Unfortunately, there’s a sea of vehicles that broke down whereas these cars could still have a long life had the owners paid attention to the stipulated mileage replacement intervals.
- Changing spark plugs
Spark plugs are covered with residue buildup or wear out effectively lowering the efficiency of your engine. As such, you car will consume more fuel than normal or even break down. Get them changed regularly and you will have your vehicle functioning excellently every time.