General Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs

Importance of effective vehicle maintenance

Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

Just by following the regular maintenance schedule, you can keep several vehicle problems at bay. When you are traveling in your vehicle, the last thing you want is a car breakdown. Keeping up with the regular maintenance schedule can help by preventing costly repairs of the cooling system, transmission system, drivetrain and other components.  Preventive car care reduces wear and tear of the engine and other components that extend the life of your vehicle.

Increased Safety

 A car breakdown at night on a quiet road can be a dangerous situation. You can never predict what may happen when you are stranded on a quiet road. Regular maintenance reduces the probability of a car breakdown and your car will be in great condition to support your journey. Checking treads of tires and air pressure is important for your vehicle for a strong grip on the road. It also plays an important role in the comfort of the journey.

Reduced Repair Costs

Regular maintenance doesn’t cost much but unexpected repairs and replacements can be expensive. Engine and other components don’t fail without a reason. When you neglect maintenance, it gives way to minor problems developing that can become major with continued neglect of vehicle maintenance. Regular maintenance of your vehicle gives you an opportunity to check whether there are any signs of minor problems like cracks, leaks, as well as excessive wear and tear due to friction. If you pay attention to these things and perform repairs, the specific part can be saved and you will not need a replacement for a long time. In a way, vehicle maintenance extends the longevity of the engine and other components and reduces the need for an early replacement. Thus, it helps in reducing repair costs as well.

General Vehicle Maintenance

Not only does professional maintenance increase the reliability of your vehicle, but also the resale value. Leaving the servicing of your vehicle in the hands of automotive experts ensures that problems are correctly diagnosed and treated with the right tools and know-how.  Preventative maintenance by you the driver however may help to avoid breakdowns. The following should be done frequently to meet the manufacturers guidelines.


Vehicle aspects that require General Maintenance

  • Air filter - Check monthly and replace it when it becomes dirty or as part of a tune-up. It is easy to reach, right under the big metal 'lid', in a carbureted engine, or in a rectangular box at the forward end of the air in a duct hose assembly.

  • Alternator 

  • Battery - Remove the earth strap (usually the negative pole) on a battery to avoid activating the starter if you accidentally touch an open wire when repairing the starter or working in the battery area. 

  • Brakes / Brake Fluid - Check the brake fluid monthly. First, wipe dirt from the brake master cylinder reservoir lid. Pry off the retainer clip and remove the lid or unscrew the plastic lid, depending on which type your vehicle has. If you need fluid, add the improved type and check for possible leaks throughout the system. Do not overfill. 

  • Carburetor

  • Distributor 

  • Engine Oil - Neglecting to replace worn-out oil results in poor engine performance, higher fuel consumption and possibly severe engine damage. To prevent engine deterioration, the engine must maintain the amount of oil it is programmed to receive. Check the oil after every refill. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean. Insert it fully and remove it again. If it is low, add oil. To maintain peak performance, the oil should be changed every 3 months. When doing general maintenance or repairs never overfill the sump with oil as this will prematurely damage the oil seals and result in engine oil leaks. When fitting a new oil filter, a light smear of engine oil on the oil filter rubber seal will ensure the vital sealing surface requirement when hand tightening the oil filters housing to engine mating block. 

  • Exhaust & Silencer Exhaust - Have the exhaust system checked if it sounds noisy or rattles. Look underneath for loose or broken exhaust clamps and supports. Check for holes in muffler or pipes. Replace the rusted or damaged parts. 

  • Fan & Belt - Inspect belts and hoses smoothly. Replace glazed, worn or frayed belts. Replace bulging, rotten or brittle hoses and tighten clamps. If a hose looks bad or feels too soft or too hard, it should be replaced. When replacing a missing or perished fan belt ensure that the tension setting at the longest run between the engines pulleys is about 10 to 12mm (Free tension play) 

  • Front Wheel CV Joints/ Wheel bearing kits - When undertaking repairs to wheel bearing kits use only one sachet of grease for both wheel applications keep the other grease pack for future use on your vehicle - one pack is more than sufficient to pack both wheels 

  • Fuel Line & Fuel Pump 

  • Gearbox Oil 

  • High -Tension (HT) leads 

  • Ignition Coil 

  • Lights -Check that all lights are working and replace any broken or burned out bulbs. The lights need to be properly focused, for your own and the oncoming vehicle's safety. Travel on low beam so that it does not obstruct your view instead of helping you along. 

  • Radiator

  • Water - If your engine uses water for cooling, take care to ensure that it is regularly changed. Water can also be used for cleaning the windshield. 

  • Rear Wheel Drive Shaft 

  • Shock Absorbers - Shock absorbers should always be replaced in pairs (or all four) ensuring that both the front and/or rear shocks are in the same condition and operate on equal settings on the same axle. 

  • Spark Plugs -  In an attempt to rectify erratic idling after replacing your vehicles spark plugs, ensure that the plug leads are secure on both ends of the plug lead and that the leads have not perished. 

  • Tyres - Mechanical irregularities will show up early on tyre wear patterns. It is important to have professionals check your wheel alignment and balance.  (The following mechanical components can lead to irregular tyre wear - Grabbing or unequal brakes, Spread axles, bent axles, sagging axles, Twisted or cracked chassis, Worn or lose wheel bearings, damaged or worn suspension, damaged or worn wheel assembly, worn bushes or ball joints, damaged of worn steering components, etc.) 

  • Tyre Pressure - The required amount of air pressure needs to be strictly maintained if your car is to get the right mileage and pick-up. 

  • Clutch Kits - Worn individual clutch plates pressure plates and/or release bearings should not be seen as quick fix loose unit repairs. Replacing all the corresponding components, pressure plate, clutch plate and thrust bearing in kit form is highly recommended; these components operate in conjunction with each other and have equal mileage and wear evident, replacing one only loose clutch component is a risk that could prove expensive and time-consuming.

  • Wiper Blades - It is recommended you change your wiper blades every six months, even if they haven't been used very often. The rubber deteriorates over time when exposed to the atmosphere. 

  • Seat Belts - Keep seat belts clean to prevent dirt and moisture from damaging the mechanism.


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Posted on Sep 23, 2020 by Auto Repair Directory

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