Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Simple Car Maintenance - Do It Yourself - Vol.157

Just because you are not a mechanic doesn't mean that you have to run to the garage for every simple little problem that develops with your car. There are many simple types of maintenance that even a beginner can do and save money in labor costs. You don't need to run out an buy specialized tools because the package that comes with the car has all that you need for simple maintenance.

Weekly maintenance tips for your car
There are some very common things you should do on a weekly basis to maintain your car and ensure that it is looking and operating well. These are:

  • * Wash the exterior of the car
  • * Clean the interior by vacuuming and dusting
  • * Check the level of air pressure in the tires

Monthly maintenance tips for your car
It is not hard to check the level of oil in the engine. There is a dipstick that you pull out for this purpose. Wipe off the stick with an old rag or a paper towel and then put it back in the slot. Wait a minute or two and take it out again. The oil level should be at the mark on the stick. If not then you should add the required amount of oil and the proper type for the engine.

Keep the windshield wash levels topped up so that you always have cleaner available when your windshield gets dirty or cloudy. During warm months of the year plain water is sufficient, but it can clog the system making it difficult for the water to spray out on the window. It is best to use proper windshield wash that contains antifreeze. The radiator also needs to have antifreeze added to the water during the winter months.

Occasional DIY maintenance
The wipers on your car will eventually wear out. They are very easy to replace. You can purchase the wipers for your car at a wide variety of locations including hardware stores and department stores. There are instructions on the packaging that will tell you how to install the wipers.

Check the level of fluid in the transmission. In some cars you cannot do this because there is a sealed unit, such as in the newer models. In older cars there is a dipstick in the transmission just like in the engine where you can see whether or not you need to add more fluid.

There is nothing wrong with checking under the hood of your car from time to time to ensure that everything looks as it should. Use a flashlight and shine it on all aspects of the engine and the belts that you can see. This will help you see if there are any small rips or abrasions on the belts that require you to bring the car in for servicing.

Learn how to detect problems
You need the brakes on the car to work well all the time. You can do simple maintenance to ensure that your brakes are functioning properly. If you notice that the brake squeals when you use it this could be a sign that the brake pads need to be replaced. It is better to get this done as soon as possible so that it doesn't lead to more serious and costly problems.

If the car tends to pull to one side of the road when you are driving this could indicate that you have an alignment problem. This can result in your tires wearing out more quickly than they should. You can also check the wear on the tires on a regular basis to determine whether or not the car is misaligned.