The importance of keeping your car in good shape cannot be overstated. Keeping your car in good shape will give comfort and freedom to drive wherever and whenever you want. For your safety, your car needs to be checked regularly by a qualified mechanic. Maintenance checks should not be limited to visual checks only but also mechanical checks such as checking major components like brakes, suspension, timing belts, etc. These checks mean the inspection of car components and replace or adjust the parts for optimum performance. Maintenance checks should be performed regularly and also as is necessary. Regular maintenance is critical in that it ensures the longevity and safety of the car.
The actual car maintenance schedule varies depending on the type of a car and driving condition. Many dealers have different recommended schedule from the manufacturer service manual for the same car. Some maintenance tasks have equivalent service intervals while others are not. This means that the choice of a dealer is important. It is important to choose a dealer who has a longer list of checks.
There are common maintenance checks that all dealers will have. These includes check or change of engine oil and fuel filters, inspection and replacement of wipers, inspection of tyre pressure and wear and tear and tire balancing, rotation and wheel alignment. Other checks include inspection of brake pads and brake fluids, checking and refilling of transmission, brake, and power steering fluids. Common checks also include flushing of radiator, checking and refilling engine coolant, inspecting and replacing spark plugs and air filters in addition to inspection of timing belt, cleaning and adjustment of throttle body, lubricating locks, latches and hinges, checking all lights and horns and maybe car washing.
There are some major mechanical checks that require particular attention. These are very important and may not be done in the usual normal service. These include among others the CV joints, the suspension bushes and the steering. Brakes are designed to slow down the vehicle using the First Law of thermodynamics by change of kinetic energy to thermal energy. The application of brakes causes the brake shoes or pads to squeeze in to the brake drum or rotor. This causes friction and energy is converted from kinetic into heat or thermal energy. The cooling of the brakes dissipates the heat and the vehicle slows down. Most vehicle manufacturers give recommendation on specific type of brakes to be used on their cars, this can however be changed. Care needs to be taken to ensure that car brakes are in good condition. It is advised that brakes should be checked any time a car goes for maintenance checks. In cars that suffer from excessive brake fade, the problem can be minimized, by installing better quality and more aggressive brake pads.
Most of modern vehicles are Front-Wheel-Drive, and they all have Constant Velocity joint or CV-joints used to transfer the engine torque to the front wheels. The CV-joint is greased inside and sealed by a rubber boot that unfortunately, tends to break sometimes. If the CV-joint boot breaks, the grease comes out, the dirt and water comes in and the whole axle unit may become inoperative in a short period of time. CV-joint located on the internal side of each of the front wheels. You can check CV-joint boots visually looking inside the front wheel arch from the front of the car with the wheel turned outside. The boot should be dry. If it's broken you will see a grease splashed all over the area. If the boot is broken, it needs to be replaced. If not replaced in time, whole axle shaft will need to be replaced. This may be very costly.
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