Basic car maintenance tips
Look after your car from CarStart with some easy maintenance tips that help keep your car in good nick.
To keep your car in good nick for longer, you can do the following things that will not only extend your car’s life, it will save you time and money.
Your personal CarStart specialist will be able to show you how to carry out some of these maintenance tips when you pick up your next car!
Servicing your car
Regular servicing is the most important thing you can do to ensure your car remains in good working order. Services should be performed in line with your vehicle’s handbook or every 5,000km/ 6 months (whichever comes sooner). All services should be performed by a licensed mechanic. If you have trouble finding a suitable mechanic in your local area, please give one of our CarStart Specialists a call on 1300 363 581.
Check your tyre pressures
Making sure your tyres have the right pressure is important. Each car is different and has different tyre pressure guidelines. The car’s manual should tell you what the recommended front and back tyre pressures are. You can check the pressure at most petrol stations. If the pressure is too high or too low, use the pressure reader, choose the right pressure and attach the inflation device to your tyre valve to apply the right pressure.
Check your oil level
Checking your oil level is easy. It’s very quick and it’s something that’s good to do often enough, like once a fortnight or once a month, depending on how much you use your car.
To check your oil, and know when you need to top up your engine oil, follow the below steps after your car has cooled down or before you drive and your car is cool:
- Open the bonnet of your car
- Find the dipstick, which can be recognised by being a long tube with a small handle on it (sometimes painted ‘yellow’)
- Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean, then push it all the way back until the top is properly in the dip tube again
- Wait a moment and then pull it out again. Check the level of the oil by looking on the stick and if it is between the high and low marks (“H” and “L” or a shaded area) the oil level is fine. If it’s on the low side, add a little oil (the grade required is specified in your owner manual or can be easily found online).
This should also be done to your transmission if your car is an automatic. The transmission dipstick is usually located toward the rear of the engine bay.
Checking your coolant level
The engine of your car cannot go without engine coolant. To check that your coolant level is at a healthy level follow the following steps:
- Open the bonnet of the car and locate the coolant tank (often bolted to a side of the engine bay)
- Check the levels by looking on the side of the tank, there should be a high and low indication. If the coolant fluid is towards the high marking, it is at a healthy level.
Replacing your air filter
Each car needs a new air filter every 12 months. This can often be done during a service but it will cost you money and time. So why not do it yourself at home in 10 minutes! Air filters are often not overly expensive (around $10).
Find the right filter for your car and follow the below steps:
- Find your filter under the hood of the car. Usually it’s in a dark rectangular box with metal clips on the side. Check the manual if you can’t find it.
- Open it up and check how the filter is fitted. Take a photo with your phone or write down what way the filter is facing.
- Remove the old filter and replace it with the new one in the same way the old one was fitted.
- Close the metal clips when you’re done.
Up-keeping your paint finish
Keeping your car clean is a way to avoid rust and other deterioration of your car. You can give your car a simple wash and dust off the brake discs but this won’t always look after the paint finish condition of your car. To keep your car good looking, you can polish and wax your car at home.
Go to any car maintenance store and inquire about the products that they have available and get advice on what you should use for your CarStart car.
Bird/Bat poop? If you see that a bird/bat pooped on your car, try to wash it off as quickly as possible. Bird/bat poop may contain compounds that damage most car paints. If you leave your car in the sun with the bird/bat poop you may end up with a faded spot on your car.
Check your dash regularly when driving for engine lights and other warning lights as well as ensuring your temperature guage does not reach ‘Hot’.
In the event of this occurring, pull over immediately (when safe) and turn off your vehicle.
Contact your mechanic for further advice.