The preventive maintenance is one of the most effective and easiest methods to keep your car in a good running condition without investing much on the repair and replacement procedures. As the name suggests, preventive maintenance helps early detection of the faults/mechanical failures and has the potential of saving you from expensive repair/replacement work.
If you notice any kind of strange smell, fumes, leakage, or sounds, you should consider taking your car to the authorized service center to fix the issue as early as possible. However, there are other problems which don’t give any indication in advance and it is, in fact, in such cases that the concept of preventive maintenance is really helpful. We chalk out a list of four important preventive maintenance measures that you should take every year to detect the malfunctioning signals early and nip them in the bud.
1) Inspection of timing belt: Timing belt is one of the most important components required for the proper functioning of the engine. It regulates the movement of the piston and the camshaft and has a profound impact on the operation of inlet/outlet valves. The smooth functioning of the timing belt ensures that the engine runs smoothly without being unduly obstructed by frictional forces. Even a slight variation in the way timing belt is assumed to operate could have a devastating impact on the car’s engine resulting in a very severe mechanical damage. If that happens, the repair/replacement work will be very costly and sure to burn a hole in your pocket.
It is comforting to know that the timing belt has a very long life and ideally, it should run for more than 1 lakh kilometers without any trouble. Still, we suggest you go for a preventive checkup of the timing belt once in a year to make sure that it’s working just fine. You need not go to a service center especially for the inspection of timing belt rather at the time of servicing your car, you should ask the mechanic to take a look at timing belt and check whether it is functioning properly or not.
2) Engine Oil: Providing lubrication to moving parts and absorbing the excess of heat are the two primary functions accomplished by the car’s engine oil. Compared to the timing belt, discussions related to engine oil are far more common and most of the car owners are quite aware of its functions and importance. Engine oil should be checked for its level as well as quality as both these parameters are important for the proper functioning of engine oil in the car.
Different manufacturers have different recommendation when it comes to changing engine oil and you should stick with the guidelines given in the owner’s manual of your car. It is recommended that engine oil should be changed every 10,000 km/1 year interval and any laxity on this front could cost very dear to the car’s owner. You can check the level of engine oil in your car manually with the help of dipstick and for detailed information related to the engine oil, the function it performs, and how to determine whether it requires change and its types, you can refer blog section of CarDekho Gaadi at https://www.gaadi.com/blog
3) Checking the Battery: The battery of your car might not sound as significant as the other mechanical hardware but then it is at the heart of the matter. Picture the situation of you just starting off on a holiday trip with your extended family with everybody set for fun and excitement and then suddenly, your car refuses to crank up. You try time and again but in vain as battery have gone totally dead. This is really embarrassing though more important is to notice that this might be the issue related to battery or perhaps even more than what meets the eye.
If you experience trouble in starting your car then this might be an indicator of bigger issues rather than the problem only being limited to the battery. For example, the starter motor of the car might have malfunctioned or the alternator is not doing its task of charging the battery properly. Sometimes, the reason could be as small as build up on the contact points of battery which, in turn, hamper the proper charging of battery points.
In all such situations, getting the condition of the battery reviewed from a trained repairman will help you to diagnose and rectify the root cause of the problem. Ask your technician to look for leakages, buildups, and any other kind of abnormality obstructing the proper functioning of the battery. Early detection of these fault lines will help you to get the car repaired without spending much on it. In fact, in most of the battery cases, it will not take more than a couple of hours to get your car back on the road with gusto.
4) Wheel balancing and Alignment: Tires are important in the sense that they are the only touchpoints between your car and the road surface. Well-maintained tires with accurate air pressure are conducive for optimum performance of your car and also help you to derive good fuel efficiency. On average, a pair of new tires should last anywhere between 40,000-60,000 kilometers but in many cases; tires undergo uneven wearing due to the wrong alignment and improper balancing. In order to avoid this, it is recommended that you should get the wheel balancing and alignment of your car checked from experts after every 5000 kilometers. It might cost you some extra bucks (in the range of Rs 300-600) but this practice will go a long way in ensuring that tires last long without giving you any unnecessary trouble. It is also a good practice to rotate your tires every 20,000 km as this will help tires to wear evenly on both front and rear ends. You can also invest in a tire pressure monitoring system besides purchasing an electronic air pump for meeting any contingency.
They say that the prevention is better than cure and the proverb is absolutely applicable to your health as well as your car. In sum, detecting early signs of trouble in your vehicle will help you to curb the problem from becoming more severe and cost-intensive. These preventive maintenance tips will help you to avoid any major breakdown besides benefiting you monetarily by reducing the repair/replacement cost. All you need to do is to stay alert and listen actively to what your car might be trying to tell you. If you do that correctly, you will enjoy every bit of your ownership experience.