There are some simple auto tasks every car owner should do. They’re not complex, and they hold great value for you, as the caretaker of your car.
Check Your Oil
Checking your oil is not optional, every vehicle uses oil, and your oil level should be monitored. Although you have a gauge that tells you if your oil is low, you should still check it weekly.
To check your oil:
-Stop the car on level ground a wait a few minutes to let the oil settle. While you wait you can grab a rag, open the hood, and maybe even grab a funnel and some oil incase you need it.
-Look for the dipstick, which has a handle, usually with a ring for your finger, and should be relatively near your oil cap.
-Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag. Do not use a paper towel, as this can add paper residue that you don’t want in there.
-Put the dipstick right back where you got it and wait a few seconds.
-Pull it out again and look to see where the liquid level is. It should be within the two marks that designate minimum and maximum oil.
-If the oil is low, add some. The difference between the minimum and the maximum level is usually an entire quart, which is the size of most containers of oil sold.
Top off Your Fluids
There are various fluids under the hood that your car needs. You should make sure coolant (aka antifreeze), windshield wiper fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. If you can check your own transmission fluid, do that too, although that one may require a mechanic. With windshield wiper fluid excluded, it’s extremely important to make sure the fluids you use are the right ones for your vehicle. Do not just grab what’s easily available. Most of these reservoirs should be easy to find under your hood by just looking around and checking out what symbols you find.
Check Tire Pressure/Fill Tires
You can check your tire pressure and fill them up if needed at almost any gas station, and certainly at truck stops. Do this monthly. The important thing to know is what pressure your tires should be inflated to. Luckily your tire will have that written right on the side of it! The number you need is PSI, or pounds per square inch. The maximum PSI will be listed, so a little below it is okay (great it low-traction weather), but above it would be dangerous. Overfilling is a no-no.
The air compressor tool will fit right onto the valve stems that come out of either your wheel well or through the hubcap. Push the compressor head directly into the valve (with valve cap removed) with some force, and you may hear air whooshing by. When it’s filling you should be able to hear the movement of air inside the hose, but not feel any wind or hear what sounds like a leak. The compressor should have a gauge built in that tells you what PSI your tires are at.
Then there are the hard auto tasks
Take good care of your vehicle with these simple auto tasks regularly, and it’ll serve you well. Clean, plentiful engine oil, all the fluids you might need, and properly filled tires can actually prevent or delay a lot of automotive problems. In the event a larger issue comes your way, come see us at Lafayette German Car Repair, whether your car is German or not. We can pretty much fix anything.