|A lot of guys are particular about their wheels getting the monthly once-over by a mechanic. But guess what? Sometimes a car needs to feel the touch of its owner more than anything else. On top of undergoing regular professional maintenance, enjoying a hands-on check-up by its owner can have a car performing much better than it otherwise would. And it takes just 20 minutes!
So roll up those sleeves and proceed with checks of the following:
Done? Now turn on the engine and enjoy the ride!
- Engine Oil: Let the engine run for a while. Then, turn it off. Wipe the dipstick clean and check oil level. Top oil if it's low.
- Radiator coolant level: Coolant level must be between the high and low marks. Add if it's low. Only check when the car is cool.
- Wiring, hoses and pipes: Check for damaged, loose or disconnected wiring. If there are any, get a mechanic to check immediately.
- Fan belt: Check for thin areas. Change if necessary.
- Automatic transmission and power steering fluid levels: Only top up with fluid specified by the car's manufacturer. If unsure, seek a professional.
- Brake and clutch fluid levels.
- Battery: Always check that the distilled water level is about 5mm above the plates. Never smoke when you are doing this. Check connections for corrosion and clean with wire brush if necessary.
- Windscreen wipers and washer fluid: Fill the container with clean water. Check the windscreen wipers and replace if it is not in good condition - very important in rainy weather!
- Tyres: Check the tyre pressure. Your life may depend on it!
- Headlights: Check that all lights are working. Especially high beams, stop and reverse lights.
- Inside controls: Do not switch on the engine. Check brake pedal and gear for tightness. Test the steering wheel.