Although most car maintenance should be left to an ASE Certified Technician, some regular monthly checks will protect your vehicle from incurring any serious unexpected problems on the road. Make sure to take some time to get familiar with what is under the hood of your car.
Check hoses and belts – Check your hoses and belts for cracking. Hoses connect engine parts that don’t always move in relation to each other, so the hoses should be flexible. Brittle or cracked hoses should be replaced by an ASE certified technician to prevent failure. Your belts are also rubber and will wear over time. Check the tension of your belts by giving them a gentle tug. They should have very little play. Examine the belts and look for any sign of cracking or fraying – in either case you should have the belt inspected and replaced.
Check fluid levels – Most vehicles have reservoirs or dip sticks that indicate the proper fluid level of your car’s vital fluids. By topping fluids yourself, you’ll know that your vehicle has the fluids it needs. If you find yourself refilling reservoirs often, you may have a leak. You can possibly find evidence of a leak by pulling out of your normal parking space and checking for fresh fluid deposits on the ground.
Check tire inflation and wear – Properly inflated tires increase your safety and fuel economy. Under-inflated tires will reduce fuel economy, while over-inflated tires will decrease traction and safe cornering speeds. Generally, the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure is a good medium between the two. Check for uneven wearing and pitting, as this is an indication of improper alignment.
Check lights and indicators – If you haven’t checked your car’s lights recently, you may be surprised to see that some have burned out. Be sure the brake lights are on when the brake pedal is depressed, as problems can occur with the pedal switch that activates the lights.
If you’re looking for an auto repair shop in Yorktown, VA, find one with ASE Certified Technicians, as they are your best ally to keep your car running and catching any preventative maintenance issues!