Car owners in Uganda often neglect their vehicles until they face a breakdown. A car is an important asset, which should be routinely checked and taken proper care of. A little attention to the needs of your car can ensure that you are safe on the roads, and your car retains its resale value. A well maintained car performs better and has lower running and repair costs too.
Carkibanda.com brings you 20 essential car maintenance tips that will help extend the life of your car.
- Avoid rash driving. If you drive carefully, it can prolong the life of your car and cut down on repairs and maintenance costs. Sudden accelerations, driving rashly over speed breakers and potholes, rushing over rough roads, overloading, etc. can lead to sudden breakdowns and increase maintenance costs.
- Check the tires. Maintain proper tire pressure always to avoid unnecessary wear and tear of tires. Also, check the tread depth and examine the tires for signs of damage regularly. Get damaged tires repaired without delay and replace them with new ones if required. Always keep a spare tire for emergencies.
- Wash the car regularly. A clean car is a pleasure to drive. Wash your car with a good vehicle cleaning formula on a regular basis to protect it from dust, mud, dirt, and bird droppings. Use micro fiber towels to wipe the car to avoid swirl marks and scratches.
- Vaccuum and clean the interiors. Cars reflect our personality. To make a good impression, it is essential to maintain the cleanliness of your car at all times. Wipe and vacuum the interiors regularly to avoid dirt build-up, bad odors, and ugly stains on the upholstery & car seats.
- Wax your car from time to time. Waxing your car helps maintain the value and appearance of your vehicle. It works as a barrier between the car and dirt particles, pollution, sun’s UV rays, etc. and thus keeps your car looking shiny and new!
- Keep the windows clean. Clean car windows help reduce glare and enhance your visibility while driving. Ensure that the windshield, the mirrors and the windows are clean before driving. Get broken or chipped windows/mirrors repaired or replaced without delay.
- Schedule routine check-ups. A car that is serviced regularly runs smoothly, performs better, is more fuel efficient and contributes less to pollution. Scheduling regular tune-ups and check-ups with trained car mechanics can extend the life of your car considerably.
- Do not ignore the warning signs. Cars nowadays notify the drivers about issues with the car via indicators or warning lights on the instrument panel. Read the user manual and get to know the meaning of different indicators and warning lights. Get professional help if required.
- Avoid parking in direct sunlight. Parking in the shade during the day prevents exterior damage from sun’s rays and interior damage caused by excessive heat trapped inside. A garage or covered parking is best as it saves the car from things like bird droppings, tree sap, dead bugs, and airborne elements like dust, dirt, and pollen.
- Check the lights. Always keep the headlights, tail-lights, and indicators clean and in proper working order. Replace faulty or broken bulbs before they cause safety issues, especially during night driving.
- Keep the wipers in top condition. Clean the wiper blades regularly and check once in a while for cracks and other signs of damage. Replace worn out windshield wiper blades that make a squeaking noise, leave streaks on your windshield, or don’t effectively remove water from the windshield.
- Top-up the engine oil. Maintaining the correct level of engine oil is essential as it protects the moving parts of an engine. It prevents the engine from seizing up or breaking down.
- Top-up the fluids. Check the fluids once every month to ensure that they are clean and at a sufficient level. Top them up when required to keep your car running smoothly. The coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc. should always be checked before going on a long road trip.
- Check engine air filters. Engine air filters prevent dust, dirt and other environmental contaminants from getting into the engine. Dirty and clogged filters can lead to improper air flow leading to lower mileage and low performance. Get the filters checked and replaced whenever required.
- Inspect the brakes, belts and batteries periodically. Ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers by checking your brake pads for signs of wear routinely. Batteries and belts should also be inspected and replaced periodically to avoid major breakdowns.
- Check the spark plug. When your car gives trouble while starting, has rough idling, transmits uneven power when accelerating, or you notice an increase in exhaust emissions, it is time to change the misfiring spark plugs.
- Keep your keychain light. Do not hang anything heavy on your car key chain. Avoid having multiple keys on the chain, when you drive. The weight, along with the bouncing during rough rides, can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition, resulting in ignition switch failure over time.
- Do not fill up gas when you see a tanker. When the tanks at filling stations are re-filled, sediment and debris are disturbed and can be passed into your vehicle, which in turn can choke fuel filters and injectors.
- Check wheel alignment: If you find the steering stiff, or feel the car pulling to one side, get the wheel alignment checked. Get the wheels aligned after fitting new tires as well. Improper alignment can shorten the life of tires and also result in poor handling.
- Keep emissions in control: In Uganda, vehicle emissions are a major contributor to poor air quality, especially in urban areas. Uganda imports its vehicles from other countries, of which only about 10% are new ones. Older vehicles emit more fumes than newer ones, and hence need to be regularly serviced and checked to keep the emissions within permissible limits. Remember, a cleaner environment begins with you.
Visit Carkibanda.com for more tips and blogs on buying and maintaining the vehicle of your choice car reviews etc. We can help you find cars that are more environmental conscious and also fit in your budget. So, the next time you think of cars or bikes, think of Carkibanda.com.