10 golden rules to properly maintain your car
A well-maintained vehicle limits the risk of breakdown or even accident. Here are our tips to achieve this.
1 - The engine:
It is advisable to check the oil level regularly, at least once a week. To do this, the car must be flat, and the engine stopped for at least a quarter of an hour. On the dipstick, the optimum oil level approaches the maximum, but does not exceed it. Most of the time, a light consumption of oil is not annoying, but a significant drop announces an anomaly to be corrected urgently. To make your engine last, a tip: change your oil every 7,500, 10,000 or 15,000 kilometers, depending on the brand. As for the oil filter, which retains impurities, it must be changed each time it is changed (diesel) or every two times changed.
2 - Cooling, hoses, fan:
In order for your engine not to overheat, the coolant must remain in quantity, between the minimum level and the maximum level. Of course, you have to wait until the engine is cold. A cracked hose must be replaced without delay, on pain of a major leak ... The fan belt must remain tight and intact.
3 - Exhaust and fuel:
The exhaust must be in good condition, as well as the fixing rubbers. Even if it is replaced from time to time (variable duration depending on the manufacturer), the air filter can be cleaned regularly. If you drive a vehicle running on diesel, it is strongly advised to add an anti-freeze product to the fuel when the temperature drops below -5 degrees. However, more and more petrol stations are distributing “very cold” diesel, suitable for temperatures below - 15 degrees.
4 - The ignition:
ougies must be checked regularly, and replaced every 20,000 kms. Unless you are a very good handyman, turn to a specialist. On the battery side, the level of the electrolyte liquid must be checked regularly. If it drops, refill it "full", and the battery terminals should be cleaned to avoid starting problems.
5 - Lighting and visibility:
The light bulbs should be checked, and any "tired" bulbs should be replaced. A cracked leading to water infiltration (and therefore to corrosion), it is advisable to monitor their tightness.
6 - Windshield wipers:
A windshield wiper in good condition leaves no traces, and the washer fluid should not be missing. Be careful to use an anti-freeze liquid in winter ... At the risk of making your windshield an ice rink.
7 - The suspension:
A good suspension is forgotten, but its condition is to be monitored every 20,000 kilometers, if possible on a special bench.
8 - Brakes, tires:
If its level must be monitored, the brake fluid must be replaced, as it deteriorates over time. An operation to be entrusted to a specialist. The tires must not be torn, or cut, and their tread must be worn with regularity, within the limit of wear of 1.6mm. Irregular wear underlies an imbalance of the running gear.
9 - The pressure:
To be checked every fortnight for the regular driver, the check is done when the tires are ... cold. Before a long journey, especially when the car is loaded, it is advisable to slightly over-inflate the tires (around 200g).
10 - The bodywork:
To avoid premature rusting, regular and thorough washing is necessary. If the high pressure jet is effective, a good bucket of water and a sponge may be sufficient ... Watch out for salt in winter, which accelerates the wear of paint and metal. Any impact of gravel, or any blistering, can lead to rust, so turn to a bodybuilder as soon as possible.