4 Vehicle Maintenance Skills for Everyone

4 car maintenance skills everyone should know

Car maintenance may be something you prefer to leave to the professionals, but there are some basic problems you should be able to handle yourself. Read ahead to learn some basic car maintenance skills that every driver should know:

Check your tire pressure

Checking your tire pressure is a task that should be done regularly by every car owner, but is often neglected.

Buy a tire gauge and make a habit of checking the pressure on a monthly basis (this should include checking your spare as well).  You can refer to your owner’s manual to determine the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) for each tire. If any of the tires are underinflated, you should fill them up to the correct level.

Clean your wiper blades

Having wiper blades that leave behind streak marks can become a safety hazard if they inhibit your ability to see through your windshield. In order to correct this issue, pour some windshield washer fluid on a rag and clean the blades.

If they still leave behind streak marks even after cleaning, it’s time for a new set of blades. If you do need new wipers, it’s strongly recommended that you purchase original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wipers. There may be cheaper ones available, but it’s unlikely they’ll last long and likely won’t do nearly as good of a job.

Replace your air filter

Replacing your vehicle’s air filter is one of the easiest tasks you can do as a car owner. Simply open your hood, remove the air filter cover and take the air filter out, insert a new filter and replace the cover. Easy.

If you’re not already aware, failing to replace your air filter could decrease your car’s fuel efficiency, increase your emissions and reduce your engine’s useful life. Therefore, it’s very important you don’t let your air filter get too dirty before replacing it.

Check your oil

While you may prefer to leave actual oil changes to a professional, checking your oil is certainly a task you can do on your own. Before checking, you should ensure you’re parked on a flat surface and the engine is cool.

First, take out the dipstick and wipe it off with a rag or paper towel. Then, push the dipstick all the way back in. Pull it out, and check the dipstick on both ends to see where the oil is. It should be noted that having too much oil can be just as detrimental as having too little, so it’s important to stay above the minimum mark and below the maximum mark.

It’s also a good idea to inspect your oil’s colour. If it’s not dark brown or black, you should take your car in to have it looked at by a mechanic.