A complete checklist to maintain your car in perfect condition does not start and end with your mechanic. There are many aspects to it and it all begins with YOU. Your driving patterns, whether you are constantly riding the clutch, overloading your car or going off-road places that are good for an SUV but not your sedan all play a great role in how well your car is maintained.
Here are some points that you will do well to follow that are not necessarily a part of your car log book service.
Be good to your car and you will get paid back many times over in terms of performance. Gently warm up the engine when it is cold and maintain an rpm level below 2000 until the engine has reached the usual operating temperature. It is not only good for the engine but for other components also like the turbo-charger, transmission, tyres and brakes. Drive smoothly as doing so in a rough manner puts additional stress on your mechanical parts which will show premature signs of wear and tear.
Do not be lazy and cruel on the engine. Shift down to lower gears if the rpm is too low for the current speed. If at a speed breaker you find that your car is struggling at 2nd, don’t increase the rpm and push forward. Shift down to 1st and go over it smoothly.
Make a habit of filling up the tank as soon as the metre shows ¼ levels. It is advisable not to wait for the reserve mark or the empty lights to start blinking unless of course you are in the middle of nowhere on a driving trip. There is always a possibility of the fuel pump getting damaged in a dry tank. And while you are filling up, give the under-bonnet position a look through for loose wires and fluid levels. Check tyre air pressure simultaneously.
Maintain a detailed record of the services and schedules undertaken. This will serve as a handy guide to your vehicle’s history as it gets older. When you buy a car, always opt for extended warranty even if you have to pay substantial sums for it. This will ensure that minor faults too are attended by manufacturer trained technicians even in the 4th or 5th year. It will add years to the life of your car.
Now this is important. Have mechanical issues fixed as soon as they crop up. An issue at one point can blow up and affect other mechanical parts of the car if neglected for long. For example, if you are staying in Melbourne and your car faces any problems in the suburbs, look for a mechanic in Sunshine or Flemington or Carlton or wherever you are and have it fixed immediately. Do not wait to go back all the way to the city for repairs.
However, you should ensure that the nearest service station you head to should be an authorised and accredited one. Sub-par garages and mechanics can ruin your vehicle.
When you take your car to a garage for repairs or servicing, have a talk with the service advisor. He should be aware that you are in the know of the mechanical aspects of your car and will not accept sloppy quality of work. It is advisable that you prepare a checklist of all the work that needs to be done and hand over the list to him after explaining every point. Check the list for work done before paying up and taking delivery of your car.
Maintaining your car well will give you a lot of satisfaction. This is apart from the fact that a mechanically sound car is an assurance of your safety while on the roads.