The basic car maintenance really isn’t that hard. There are simple things that you can do on your own like being able to use a silicone lubricant to protect your car from rusting and many more.

Basic car maintenance rituals

Wheels and Tyres

(a) Rotate your tyres

Every 5,000miles or 8,000Km, you can check back for more details about tyre rotation.

(b) Clean Brake Dust Off Regularly

Brake dust contains all sorts of unpleasant stuffs . If you leave it too long, the combination of road grime, moisture and heat from your brakes will bake it on to your wheels. Brake dust normally clings to wheels with static electricity so a damp sponge and clean cold water is the best way to get it off.

(c) Check your Tyre Pressures

Check your tyre pressures regularly/once a week is ideal. Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel economy, handling and comfort. It’s easy to do and there is no excuse not to .

2.  Engine

(a) Check your belts

At the front of your engine there will be a series of rubber drive belts that loop around various pulleys, driving everything from the alternator to the A/c compressor. Rubber perishes, more so in extreme conditions like those found in an operating engine bay.

Get your timing belt and accessory drive belt checked every 25,000 miles, preferably replacing it every 50,000

miles. See the Fuel and Engine bible for information on interference engines and why checking your timing belts is a necessity, not a luxury.

(b) Fuel Economy

Check your tyre pressures regularly – once a week is ideal. Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel economy very

noticeably. It’s easy to do and there is no excuse not to and also there are other factors that affect the fuel


(c) Checking Oil Level

This is something everyone can do – it’s quick and easy and it’ll tell you if your engine needs oil. If the oil is too high or too low, it can cause trouble for your engine. To check the oil, park on level ground and wait until the engine has cooled down after driving, then locate the

dipstick. Pull it out and wipe it clean, then push it all the way back in until the top of it is seated properly in the dip tube again. Wait a moment then pull it out again.

Check the level of the oil. If it’s between the high and low marks, you’re fine. (If it’s too low, add a little.) The high and low marks can be denoted by two dots, an “H” and “L” or a shaded area on the dipstick. The first time you pull the dipstick out, it will have oil all over it and it will be difficult to tell where the level is. That’s why you need to wipe it on a rag to get a clean dipstick, then dip it back into the oil to get a good reading .

(d) Checking your coolant level

Again, something everyone can do. The coolant is the other thing your engine cannot go without. Every engine is different but if you check your handbook you should find where the coolant reservoir is. It will normally be bolted to one side of the engine bay or the

other, and be a white semi-transparent bottle. Wait until your engine is cool and take a look at it – the outside should have ‘low’ and ‘high’ markings on it and the level of coolant inside should be between the two.

Do not take the radiator cap off to check coolant levels. If the coolant system is still hot then it is still under

pressure and the pressure release will burn you .

3 . BodyWork / Paint

Only choose superior car detailing supplies to keep your car’s interior and exterior like new. There are plenty of

decent quality waxes and polishes on the market today and if the last time you waxed or polished your car was

over a decade ago, things have changed considerably since then. The wax and polish compounds are far more

sophisticated both in terms of protection from fading, the look of the finish, and the ease of application. For

example Turtle Wax Ice gets rid of that old problem of white wax residue. Is a clean car a vanity thing? Partly,

yes, but if you park under a tree where birds help repaint your car with recycled blueberries, that guck will

come off a lot easier if it falls on a waxed paint job.

Tip: If you find a bird has ‘pooped’ on your car, wash it off as quick as you can. There are compounds in bird waste

that can damage most car paint jobs. If you leave it in the sun and the poop bakes on, you could end up with a

dull spot in the paint.

4 . Electrical

(a) Disconnecting and Reconnecting your battery .

If you’re going to do any work on your car involving the electrical system, disconnect the battery first. To do this,

loosen the connector for the negative/ground terminal first, and wiggle the terminal cap off. Use a wire-tie or

similar to tie the cable back out-of-the-way. If you need to take the battery out, you can now take off the positive


Why negative then positive? If you disconnect the positive side of the battery first, the negative side is still

connected to the entire car. If you drop a tool and it lands on the positive battery terminal and touches

anything else on the car, you’ll have an electrical short. By disconnecting the negative first, you’re cutting off the

return path for the current. Now, if a tool drops on to either of the battery terminals, it doesn’t matter if it

touches part of the chassis or not – there’s no continuous path for the electrical current.

Reconnecting your battery. Connect the positive terminal first, and the negative second – the reverse of

removal, and for the same reasons. When you slip the negative connector on, there will be a spark as it gets

close and makes contact with the negative battery terminal. Don’t be afraid of this – it’s nothing to worry

about. Make sure the terminal caps are done up nice and tight.

(b) Check your battery terminals

Most modern cars run on a 12 volt negative ground electrical system. If your battery terminals or contacts

aren’t clean, you’re making it more difficult for the current to pass around the electrical system. Remove

the terminal caps as described above and clean each contact post with a wire brush to get a nice clean metal

contact surface. Do the same to the terminal caps, then reattach them as described above.

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Source: Xlm Autos