Published By Blog Breed
When you buy a new vehicle, it may not require maintenance. After all, it is fresh off the lot! However, over time, signs of aging start to surface, especially if you live in a country like Singapore.
Stop-and-go traffic and constant braking put additional stress on the vehicle’s mechanical parts. A squeak here, a flat tire there, stiff gears, and increased fuel consumption – All these signs indicate your car requires more attention.
To help you, we have compiled a list of car maintenance tips that can prolong your vehicle’s lifespan and ensure its smooth operation for years. By adhering to these tips, you will not just cut down on expensive repairs but also enhance your safety and comfort on the road:
1. Maintain Proper Tire Inflation
Underinflated tires pose a myriad of problems. To begin with, they increase the rolling resistance, meaning your engine has to work harder to move the car forward.
This additional strain reduces fuel efficiency and puts unnecessary stress on the engine, transmission, and other key components.
Consequently, your car burns more fuel than necessary, which eventually results in increased expenses at the pump.
Moreover, properly inflated tires maintain adequate traction with the road surface. As a result, your car keeps up with responsive steering and effective braking.
These features come in handy in emergencies where even split-second reactions make a significant difference.
Depending on your location, maintaining proper tire inflation may not be a one-and-done task. For example, let’s say you live in Singapore.
The country has a tropical climate with high humidity levels throughout the year. Changes in humidity in Singapore may affect tire pressure more than in other countries. Therefore, you may require car service more frequently.
2. Use Quality Fuel
Engines are complex machines with various components working together. When you use high-quality fuel, it prevents the accumulation of deposits in the engine.
These particles can lead to inefficient combustion and increased emissions. If left unchecked, they may cause wear and tear on vital engine parts in the long run.
Many modern vehicles are equipped with advanced technologies such as turbochargers and direct fuel injection systems. These technologies operate at high pressures and require precise fuel delivery.
Quality fuel prevents issues and allows these advanced systems to function at their peak performance.
Besides, using quality fuel directly influences fuel efficiency. Vehicles running on premium fuel tend to have better mileage because the engine can extract more energy from each unit of fuel.
Sticking to reputable gas stations is your best to get quality fuel. Established brands typically adhere to strict standards. Avoid filling up at unknown or sketchy-looking stations, especially if the prices seem too good to be true.
Most cars run perfectly fine on regular unleaded fuel with an octane rating of 87. However, if your car’s manufacturer recommends a higher octane rating, be sure to use the appropriate premium fuel.
3. Keep The Battery Terminals Clean
Battery terminals serve as the connection point between the battery and the rest of the vehicle. Dirty terminals are prone to creating voltage drops.
As a result, your car could keep up with sluggish electric windows and slower operation of other electrical accessories. In severe cases, it might even lead to the car failing to start because the starter motor does not get enough power to turn on the engine.
Additionally, sensitive electronic components within the car heavily rely on uninterrupted electrical signals.
Dirty or corroded terminals can cause erratic signals, paving the way for misfires and rough idling. In modern cars, even minor electrical issues could manifest as major problems.
If you want to clean the terminals yourself, start by disconnecting the battery. Always remove the negative terminal first to prevent accidental short circuits.
Once the terminals are disconnected, use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste.
Apply this to the terminals and use a wire brush to scrub away the corrosion and dirt. After scrubbing, rinse the terminals with clean water to remove any residue.
Ensure the terminals are completely dry before reconnecting them.
4. Replace Air Filters Regularly
Air filters play a vital role in your vehicle’s engine system. They act as the first line of defense against dust, dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can potentially damage your engine. Gradually, air filters get clogged with impurities.
Engines require a precise mixture of air and fuel for efficient combustion. If the air filter is congested, the engine has to work harder to draw in air.
It creates an imbalance in the air-fuel mixture, resulting in poor fuel efficiency, reduced horsepower, and sluggish acceleration. Regularly replacing promotes better overall performance. When the engine can breathe freely, it responds more quickly to the driver’s input.
Wondering what could be the tell-tale signs to replace the air filters? Well, if your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system detects a problem related to the air intake, it could trigger the check engine light on your dashboard. While this light may indicate various issues, a clogged air filter might be one of them.
5. Tighten Exhaust Clamps And Mounts
Exhaust clamps are metal bands that secure various components of the exhaust system together. These clamps are usually placed at joints where pipes meet and the exhaust system connects to the engine.
On the other hand, exhaust mounts are rubber or metal hangers that support the weight of the exhaust system and keep it in place under the vehicle.
Exhaust clamps and mounts might become loose due to frequent exposure to heat, vibration, and moisture. When this happens, it can pave the way for several issues such as exhaust leaks, increased emissions, unpleasant noise, and more.
On top of that, they may force the exhaust system to hang too low. It may account for damage to the pipes and other components as the vehicle moves over bumps or uneven surfaces.
When tightening exhaust clamps and mounts, you need to use the appropriate tools and techniques to achieve the correct level of tightness.
Over-tightening can damage the clamps or mounts, while under-tightening may not provide a secure seal. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s specifications or consult a professional mechanic to determine the appropriate torque for tightening exhaust clamps and mounts.
Having a car adds to your convenience. You no longer need to rely on lackluster public transport to reach from point A to point B. That said, car ownership is a huge responsibility. You cannot just buy a car and assume that you have done your part. If you want to keep your beloved car up and running in the long run, be sure to follow the maintenance tips covered in this blog.