How to maintenance a car? General maintenance for cars
General maintenance for car: the most applicable for the average person to care for his or her own vehicle. Vehicle fluids, fuses, belts and hoses, vehicle lighting, and the air filter.Subject: Auto Repair - Sub Subject: General maintenance
Date: 6/27/2019 Status: ACTIVE
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❝How to maintenance a car? General maintenance for cars❞ answers. technician asked first. Total 2 replies.
Vehicle Owner's Manual
The owner's manual will have a maintenance chart. The chart will include such information as when to change the oil, rotate tires, replace the air filter, inspect fuel cap and lines, change other fluids (transmission fluid, etc.) and other maintenance issues. Your vehicle may have different maintenance requirements at 30,000 miles, 90,000 miles, 150,000 miles and at other intervals as indicated specifically in your owner's manual.
Being familiar with the maintenance chart in your owner's manual can help you save money when taking your car to the mechanic for maintenance checks. Sometimes the repair shop will suggest additional services that aren't necessary.
If you don't have the owner's manual for your car then you may be able to find one online by using Google or another search engine. Search the website for the make of the vehicle. You could also try your local library.
- Turn the engine off.
- Remove the dipstick.
- Wipe off the end of the dipstick with a rag or paper towel.
- Put the dipstick back in.
If you've just been driving then don't open it. After you think the engine has cooled then you can lightly touch the radiator cap to test it. If it's still hot, then don't open it. Opening the radiator cap while the engine is still hot can shoot a six-foot geyser into the air and burn any skin it contacts. The best time to check the coolant is in the morning before the car is driven.
A low coolant level indicates a possible leak which should be investigated. A very small amount of evaporation of coolant can occur over time. As a rule, if you need more than one quart of coolant, that indicates a problem.
If the coolant is low then it needs to be replenished with the proper type of coolant and mixture. Consult the owner's manual for the proper type of coolant. The proper mixture is a 50/50 ratio of coolant and distilled water. It is important to use distilled water because the impurities in other water would circulate through the system and ruin the system over time. Coolant can be purchased pre-mixed in a 50/50 solution if desired.
Power Steering Fluid:
Windshield Washer Fluid
Battery Fluid and Terminals:
The presence of corrosion indicates a problem that should be addressed. However, as a temporary fix, you can clean off the corrosion to get the car started. Start by rinsing off the corrosion with the garden hose. Then disconnect the terminals starting with the negative terminal first, then the positive terminal. Use a mixture of baking soda and water or battery terminal cleaner to rinse off the terminals and battery posts. You'll see the baking soda reacting with the corrosion to form fizz and bubbles. Use a wire brush or scraper (depending on the type of terminal) to clean the inside of the terminal and battery posts. Then rinse again with more water. Once the terminals and battery posts are clean, reattach the terminals starting with the positive terminal first, then the negative terminal. It is not sufficient just to clean off the corrosion. Again, the presence of corrosion indicates a problem that should be addressed.
- Violet 3 Amp
- Pink 4 Amp
- Orange - 5 Amp
- Red - 10 Amp
- Blue - 15 Amp
- Yellow - 20 Amp
- Clear - 25 Amp
- Green - 30 Amp
- Orange 40 Amp (and many others)
When testing it by removing it, simply pull it directly out and look through the colorcoded plastic to see if the element (connection in the center) is intact. If it's open, then the fuse is burnt out. Sometimes you'll also see a black singe that makes the transparent plastic more opaque. Never remove more than one fuse at a time. This helps to keep track of where the fuse was pulled from and permits easy replacement of the fuse in the correct place. If multiple fuses happen to get pulled at the same time then the size and placement of each fuse can be found in the owner's manual.
An easier and faster way to test the fuses is with a testing light since the fuses don't have to be removed. The testing light looks like an electric screwdriver with a pointed tip. The wire end, or black end of the testing light must be grounded to a clean, unpainted metal surface of the vehicle. If you can't find a place on the body of the vehicle, then you can always ground it to the negative terminal of the battery. The point of the testing light is placed on the metal contacts of the fuse. There is a metal contact on each side of the fuse's color-coded plastic (on the back of the C). Upon contact the display will indicate if the fuse is still good.
Belts & Hoses
Hoses can be checked visually and by touch for signs of cracking, swelling, or leaks. If the engine is cool, then squeeze the hose to check for softness. If there is any variation from hose to hose within the same vehicle then that could indicate a problem.
A cooling system pressure tester can be a useful tool to pressurize the cooling system and check for leaks or swollen hoses. This tool be rented from an auto parts store and should come with instructions for use. You'll attach it in place of the radiator cap and hand-pump it as you watch the gauge. Never exceed the indicated pressure that is written on the top of the radiator cap. Most modern cars have a limit of 16 psi. Again, do not open the radiator cap if the engine is still hot.
The instrument lighting is all of the backlighting for the instrument cluster (all the gauges, speedometer, fuel gauge and others). The instrument lighting can be checked by turning on the headlights at night or in a dim garage. Check to see that all the gauges are clearly visible. There should not be any dark spots on the cluster.
The warning indicator lights on the dashboard include the brake light, oil light, check engine light, anti-lock brake (ABS) light, airbag light, tire pressure monitor, engine temperature light, and others -- all of which can be found in the owner's manual. All of the warning indicator lights will turn on for a set amount of time (about a minute, but varies per vehicle) when you turn the key to the on position without cranking the engine. Once the engine is running, none of these lights should be on (even the seat belt light should be off, indicating that you're wearing your seat belt). If one is on, then it indicates a problem with its correlating system. The number of lights and types of lights will vary by make and model. Some vehicles have features that others don't, such as traction control.
Exterior lighting is checked with the key turned to the on position in the ignition (or with the engine running, but it's not necessary to have the engine running just to check the lights). Turn on the headlights. Check all four corners of the vehicle. On both sides (right and left, or driver side and passenger side) the same number of bulbs should be illuminated. There should be two front marker lights that are orange, two tail lights, and a license plate light.
Turn the left turn signal on. Check the left front and left rear of the vehicle for blinking lights. Some vehicles have more than one bulb for the turn signal and some even include a signal in the side rearview mirrors. Be sure every applicable bulb is illuminating. Some vehicles have a cornering lamp, which is a clear lamp on the front of the vehicle which illuminates corners while turning. This should be illuminated but it will not blink.
Turn the right turn signal on. Check the right front and right rear of the vehicle for blinking lights. Be sure all applicable bulbs are illuminating. Check the cornering lamp if applicable.
When the turn signal is on and the indicator is blinking fast or not blinking at all, these are indicators of a failed bulb.
Brake lights require two people for inspection. One person presses the brake pedal while the other person checks the rear of the vehicle to make sure all the brake lights are illuminating, including the high mount brake light in the rear window if the vehicle is equipped with one.
Activate the hazard switch. Check to make sure that there are flashing lights with an equal number of bulbs on all four corners. The hazard lights are wired separately from the turn signals, so it is important to check the hazard lights even if the turn signals have been checked.
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