What are some basic car maintenances I can do for my own car?
There are benefits to running basic car maintenance on your own part. A very key benefit is it will help you to save money, as the frequency of breakdowns can be reduced. Furthermore, the lifespan of your car can be extended. In addition, fuel economy can be improved, helping you to cut down on your petrol dollars spent. Given car ownership is expensive in Singapore, with our high quota license cost in the form of the Certificate of Entitlement, these tips would help you reduce your expenses.
Here are some simple checks and car maintenance you would be able to carry out on your own.
Checking oil level
Before checking the oil level, ensure that you are parked on flat grounds and not on a sloped level of one of Singapore’s commonly seen multi-storey carparks.
- Turn off the engine, allow for it to cool and open the car’s hood.
- Look for the dipstick which measures the level of engine oil. It typically has a small handle on it.
- Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth and insert back it into the tank fully. Now, pull it out again and check the level. The wet mark should not be above the upper limit mark. If it’s towards the lower level, then, either it needs refilling.
- For those of you who have an electronic oil monitor, this would then prompt you accordingly when the oil level is low, making it simpler for your own car maintenance works.
- In addition, do follow the maintenance schedule recommended by your oil manufacturer for your car’s oil change needs.
Checking tyre depth
Keeping a tab on the depth of the tyre is extremely important because it is important for performance and safety. If the depth is 4/32” or more, then, it is still fine to continue using your tyres. You can check against the treadwear indicators, which are typically shaped as bars, located at the bottom of the grooves of the tyres. As the tyres start to wear out, these indicators, which were originally at a lower level than the grooves, would become at the same level. At this point, it’s time to replace the tyres. If you are not sure about how to check the appropriate tyre pressure and tyre depth, you could also consult us during one of your scheduled car servicing appointments.
Is there adequate tyre pressure
The tyre pressure should be checked every month. However, if you drive in tougher conditions, or take frequent road trips, you should do this more frequently. Make a stop to your petrol station, since you can easily top up our tyre pressures for free here in Singapore. Unscrew the tyre cap, turn on the air pump and plug it into your tyre. The air pressure gauge will give a reading. As to whether there is insufficient air pressure, you would need to check this against the recommended pressure for your tyre. This is usually marked on your tyres itself. Replace the tyre cap once you are done, so as to protect the valve stem from damage.
Checking coolant level
The coolant level is important for keeping the car in perfect running condition. The location for the coolant varies from one model to another, but typically, it has a coloured cap. If the car was running, then, you would need to wait for at least 45 minutes, to cool down sufficiently, before the cap should be opened. The tank has a maximum and a minimum mark on the exterior, and should be filled within the range.
Frequency of car maintenance checks
As to how frequently you need to do this, here is a simple recommended time interval:
- Checking oil level: every 8,000km / 4 months
- Tyre pressure: every 2-4 weeks
- Tyre depth: once a month
- Checking coolant level: once in 6 months
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