Most owners of cars in India remain quite unaware to the maintenance schedules of their cars. They either go by what the company dealer advices or follow the lead of their friendly neighbourhood garage. In an ideal world this would have been alright but an ideal world it isn’t. People are always on the lookout for making a fast buck and the average car owner is a prime candidate for this.
Here’s a few things to bear in mind when servicing your car:
- The general procedure is to change the oil & the oil filter for the engine.
- Make sure the existing oil is drained out fully before adding in fresh oil.
- Reconfirm that it is the optimum grade as recommended by the manufacturer.
- If you’re getting things done at an independent garage, ensure that you have the OEM filter (manufacturer recommended brand & grade) for replacement.
- Avoid surrendering to the temptation of cheaper spares, these may be of sub-par quality. Similarly, watch out for spurious spares. Buy spares only from trusted sources.
- Next, check for free play in the clutch pedal and adjust as necessary. Many of the current set of cars in India come with maintenance free clutch assemblies. These have to be dealt with as per manufacturer guidelines.
- Check the brake pads, service & change them as necessary. Make sure there’s no leaks in the system.
- Align and balance the wheels at every 5000 & 10000 kilometres diligently. These not only ensure a long and optimum tire life, but they also reduce load on other wheel & suspension components thereby reducing unnecessary expenses. A pro tip here would be to seek out a trusted, independent alignment service, rather than the company dealer. The latter tend to be needlessly expensive and often outsource the job to third-party entities. Worse, there have been instances where the customer has been billed when the job hasn’t been carried out. In any case, a specialist who handles alignment jobs all day is preferable.
- Ensure that key components such as door stops & clips are lubricated appropriately. While you’re at it, check the wiper-washer fluid levels & top-up as required.
- Inspect & replace wiper blades if worn out. Many owners neglect this small expense not realizing that persisting with worn wiper blades causes irreparable damage to the windshield which later builds up to a major expense.