How to Perform a Service Check

Jan 5, 2009

Author: Robert

Performing regular maintenance on your car is very important to ensure the longevity and economy of your vehicle. However, most people don't know how or what they need to check in order to make sure the car stays in tip-top shape. Although you could go to a dealer or service shop for regular maintenance, there is no reason to spend the money if you can learn how to check things on your own. Therefore, I've assembled a guide to teach you how to look and what to look for when you perform a car service check.

The first thing you need to look at is the exterior of the vehicle, both around and underneath. If you see cracked or peeling tires, then obviously you need to replace them, but it is also important to check for leaks. A good sign of a leak of any type will be a small amount of liquid underneath the car. If you see black, then it is probably oil, if it is green than you most likely have a leak in your cooling system.

You also want to check the fluid levels under the hood to make sure they are all at proper levels. Check the engine oil (usually very easy to find), coolant levels, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission or transaxle fluid, and window washer fluid. All of these are important to top off as required to prevent your car from breaking down. Also, when you check your oil, if you see that it is very dark black, then you probably need to change it. Keeping your motor oil fresh is one of the easiest ways to keep a car's engine in top shape.

Once you've checked fluids, you need to look at the hoses, wiring, and sparkplugs. Check to make sure that everything is tight, that the insulation is intact, and that there are no cracks or holes in any of the wires or tubes. A vacuum leak, electrical short or loose sparkplug can all sideline your car, so take the time to look through every part of the engine compartment.

Once you've been under the hood, you have finished most of the car service check. Still, as a final check make sure that your lights, front and back, right and left, all work and that your break and emergency lights work as well. Test your horn, wipe off your lights, and make sure your wipers are still good to go. Once you've done all of these things, then you've done 90% more than most vehicle owners will do and as a result your car will run smooth and you'll know when something is wrong.

When it comes time to do a large repair, such as something inside the engine or underneath the body, or check something you don't understand, then I agree that you should take it in to get serviced, but there is no reason why you can't do the little things on your own and save a ton of cash in the process.

I Knew It! provides a large database of information -- from how to paint a car to how to sell your car. Visit How To Perform A Service Check.

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2 comments:

Amelia said...

Thanks for this post. Happy holidays to you and your readers!

Scooters For Sale said...

Doing your own regular service check is the most important thing you can do if you plan on keeping a car for a while. I have a 1998 Dodge Stratus with over 230,000 miles on it! The only major part ever changed was the fuel pump.