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A Basic Guide to Car Maintenance for the Novice Owner


If you have just purchased your very first car, there are many years of motoring ahead, and understanding the various maintenance tasks is an essential part of vehicle ownership. Unfortunately, they have yet to make a car the does not require regular servicing, and with that in mind, here is a guide to the basic tasks that must be carried out during a typical service session.

ü  Check All Lubricants – The engine oil must be changed at specific mileage intervals, which would be stipulated by the manufacturer, and would likely be around 8-10,000 kilometres for gasoline engines, and a little bit more for diesel models. The engine oil change should include replacing the oil filter, which is there to trap tiny pieces of metal as the hot oil is pumped around the engine. Other levels to check include brake and power steering fluid, which might need topping up, and the gearbox oil also needs to be changed, only not as often as the engine oil. In the event your car is damaged in a collision, and you are looking for a panel beater in Perth, there is an excellent company that provides first class service for most makes and models. 

ü  Clean or Replace Air Filters – The air filter is a crucial component, as it stops dirt and dust from entering the system, and if the air filter is not replaced or cleaned, it will have a negative impact on the car’s performance, as it struggles to provide sufficient oxygen to burn the fuel. Some air filters are cleanable, while others need replacing, and this should be carried every time the car is serviced. The technician would likely blow the filter with compressed air, which thoroughly removes all dust and dirt.

ü  The Cooling System – Every vehicle must have a cooling system and most cars use water to cool down the engine, and the level should be checked regularly and topped up when necessary. The cooling radiator would typically be located at the very front of the engine compartment, which allows the rushing air to help with the cooling process, and great care should be taken when removing the radiator cap, as it is under pressure. It is best to shut down the engine and wait 30 minutes before removing the radiator cap, as the hot water might shoot out under pressure if the engine is too warm.

ü  Brakes and Steering – If you know where to look, both front and rear brake pads can be seen and should be checked for excessive wear and tear. Modern brake pads have a lifespan of around 50,000 kilometres, after which they must be replaced, otherwise the rivets on the pads will make contact with the brake disc and this will cause irreparable damage. One tell-tale sign of worn brake pads is a screeching sound when the brakes are applied, which might be hardly audible at first, but as time passes, the noise will increase in volume. The brakes are critical for obvious reasons and if they do not perform as they should, a thorough inspection is called for.

If your car is new, the garage that supplied it would typically handle the servicing, which is advisable, as they are very familiar with the vehicle, and besides, if anyone else does the servicing while the car is under warranty, it might affect the status of the warranty.

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