Oil and filter changes are primary maintenance duties every car owner is aware of. But then certain nitty-gritties are often overlooked because there are no immediate implications of negligence in that case.
If you are planning to keep and drive your vehicle long term, say more than 5 years, you must take every maintenance duty seriously, including the following three that are commonly overlooked or skimped on to save a few bucks.
Throttle Body Cleaning
Sounds familiar? Your service center expert might have suggested you get the throttle body cleaned to ensure the recommended throttle response and prevent RPM fluctuation. The throttle body is part of the air intake assembly. It opens up in proportions to travel of the gas pedal. The further you press, the more it opens up and the more air gets into the system to support combustion.
The inevitable gunk and grease build-up inside the throttle body restrict the airflow. As a result, the engine can’t breathe properly, and the performance dips significantly. Cleaning the throttle body regularly is as important as changing the air filter.
Everyone knows about the benefits of wheel alignment and balancing. And most car owners think wheel alignment is not necessary unless the car pulls to either side while driving. One thing that you might not know is that wheel alignment has three components: Camber, Caster and Toe.
Poor wheel alignment becomes apparent to the driver when either wheel is Toed-in or Toed-out. In this case, the vehicle pulls to the side.
On the other hand, there are no apparent signs when the camber or caster is off, except the uneven tire wear. Therefore, before you start losing tread, consider getting wheel alignment and balancing done regularly. For gently driven cars, annual wheel alignment should suffice, whereas car owners that often hit the curb or drive through potholes and over speedbumps should get the wheel alignment done every six months.
For accurate results, always visit a laser wheel alignment facility.
Merely draining your radiator is not enough. It drains out only 50% of antifreeze in the system as compared to the 100% radiator flush. Why is radiator flush important?
Besides keeping the radiator fluid from freezing up or boiling in extreme temperature conditions, the antifreeze acts as a lubricant for the water pump. Over time, the antifreeze loses its lubrication properties and accumulates contaminants, which may affect the overall efficiency of the cooling system.
Flushing the radiator gets rid of the worn-out antifreeze along with these contaminants altogether. A radiator flush is a fairly economical procedure and should be done once every two years.
Other benefits of radiator flush include:
- It removes rust and scale deposits that eat away at internal metal parts and obstruct the flow of coolant.
- It reveals any leakage, big or small, in your cooling system.
- The new antifreeze poured in after a radiator flush will work more effectively than regular top-offs.
What else can you do to let your car reach its full lifespan with minimal maintenance overheads?
The way you drive your car determines how long it is going to last. Not every car is designed for 150miles/hr highway pulls, off-roading or attacking the canyons. So make sure you don’t push her to the limits unless it hails from the upper echelon of V8s and V10s.
And when it comes to maintenance or repairs, going to the dealership can cost you a small fortune. You can always find a discount on a specific part that you are looking for. Buying cheaper car parts means you can use the savings to buy gas for a leisure drive.