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Top 10 Car DIY Checks – Make Sure Everything Works

What are the things you can easily check in a car yourself?

Difficult DIY tasks like brake pad replacement should be performed by an experienced person only

Ensuring that every single thing works properly is the key to maintaining your car in top shape. If the car is carefully maintained, one doesn’t have to think twice before heading out for a weekend getaway or an inter-city drive. For those who love to get their hands dirty, the DIY checks listed below can result in saving of money as well as time.

Besides maintaining correct tyre pressures, one should check the tyre side wall for cuts or bulges

10) Check Under The Hood – One should have a quick look under the hood and ensure that adequate levels of engine oil, coolant and brake fluid are present. For long drives, it is a good idea to keep extra quantity of the above in the boot.

9) Tyre Tread – Tyres should be replaced before the tread wear indicator shows up. Small stones lodged in the tread should be removed to get rid of the knocking noise on cemented roads.

Using old wiper blades can damage the windshield of your car

8) Wiper Blades – Preferably every rainy season, wiper blades should be changed as they start showing streaks and making noise when the rubber hardens. The washer fluid should also be topped up from time to time.

7) Tyre Pressure – Variation in tyre pressures can adversely affect handling, fuel efficiency as well as ride quality. It is best to have an accurate tyre pressure monitor at home.

For those who drive often at night, keeping a spare set of bulbs in the car is a good idea

6) Electricals – Correct and proper functioning of headlights, tail-lights and indicators should be checked and blown-out bulbs, if any, should be replaced. Horn, central locking, wipers and defogger should be checked for proper operation.

5) Brake Pads – Thickness of the brake pads can be checked visually from the outside. One should also keep an eye on symptoms like loss of braking power, change in pedal feel and grinding noise from brakes.

If you drive in dusty conditions, it is better to clean the air filter more often than specified

4) Clean The Filters – A clogged air filter would hamper the engine’s performance and will take a toll on driveability and fuel efficiency as well. It is best to clean the air filter and cabin AC filter every 5000 kms.

3) Air Conditioner – Proper cooling from the AC and flow of air through the vents can be checked in a couple of minutes. One should also clean the cabin AC filter and check if the compressor is kicking in normally. Ideally, an AC service should be carried out every two years by a dedicated AC mechanic.

In most cars, the fuse box is located near the battery and on the lower right side of the steering wheel

2) Fuses – Other than keeping a few extra fuses handy, one should also remember the location of the fuse box. In many instances, a blown fuse is the cause of complex problems like total electrical failures.

1) Greasing – Periodic greasing of the hinges and locks of the doors, bonnet and boot will make them smooth to operate and close. Door hinges, especially, tend to make noise and uneven movements after a period of time.

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