Cost-Saving Practical Car Inspection and Trouble-Shooting Tips

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 | 9:05 PM


You don’t have to be an automobile expert to perform essential maintenance for your car. Learning how to inspect your vehicle correctly and do basic trouble-shooting saves both time and money. Here’s a list of car maintenance tips you can do at home:

1. Check the engine oil and add if necessary. Having the right oil quality and level prolongs the life of your engine. Major engine trouble occurred when the oil had already become chunky and dirty due to overuse and accumulation of sediments.

Check the oil by pulling out the dipstick and wiping it with a rag. Insert the dipstick back and pullout. Check the level of the oil based on the ‘wet’ oil marks on the dipstick. Examine the oil. Is it already dark and thick? If so, you probably need to do an oil change. If the oil quality is still good, but it falls short of the notch, add oil to your engine.

2. Inspect the tires. When the tires lack air, you usually feel heaviness when you turn the steering wheel. It means that the tires have different air pressure. You can use a portable tire air gauge to check. The recommended air pressure and other vehicle information for your tires are usually on an information plate at the driver-side door ramp or on the tire itself.

An external inspection of the tires is sometimes good enough to know if your tires are under-inflated. Having the right air pressure in the tires improves gas mileage, handling, and preserves the tires longer.

3. Check fluid levels. These are the fluids that need checking – brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Except for the transmission fluid, brake and power steering fluids compartments are under the hood. There are visible gauges in the flasks that shows the minimum level requirement for the fluid. If the fluid falls short of the minimum line, then it’s time to add more.

Read your car owner’s manual to know where the transmission fluid section is and how to check its level.

4. Test the Brakes. So much is at stake with the condition of your brakes. While driving around, step on the brakes at low speed and see how it reacts. Listen if there is any squeaking sound. Did your car stopped as soon as you stepped on the brake or it slid a bit? If any of these anomalies show up, you might need to replace your worn brake pads with new ones.

5. Check the battery. One of the worst things that can happen to your car is losing power when you are in the middle of nowhere or stuck in the middle of traffic. Either way, you’d be in a stressful situation.

Inspect your battery and look for signs of corrosion and wear-and-tear. Sometimes, the terminals accumulate caked fluid and numb the contact points. As a result, it disrupts the electric flow. Clean the terminals as needed by brushing it with a small amount of soda. Loosen the terminals and clean its inside, then reattach it tightly.

If difficulty in starting your car becomes more frequent, then you probably need a new battery.

Doing home car inspections and tune-ups would save you some money and time. Yet, not all car maintenance work and repairs could be done at home, especially if you lack the tools and specialized skills.

JK Automotive Volvo Specialist recommends bringing your vehicle to a car shop for check-ups and tune-up so that it has a maintenance record. If you intend to sell your used car one day, having a car maintenance record is a plus factor for the prospective buyer. It would detail the repairs, replaced parts, and maintenance services your car went through – a sign that it is well-taken care.

JK Automotive Volvo Specialist is located at 1587 East Walnut St., Pasadena, with telephone number (626) 792-2240. For more information about their service, visit their website at https://jkvolvospecialists.com/.