Get Dirty With Your Car
These helpful maintenance basics from Ford Motor Company of South Africa will help you keep your car in tip-top condition.
Engine: Water and oil are the lifeblood of your engine and you should check your water and oil levels every time you fill up at the petrol station. It may sound excessive, but why not? Better safe than sorry and the petrol attendant will do it free while your fuel is topping up.
Tyres: Tyres connect your car to the road, so you really want the peace of mind that your tyres are in good shape. Make sure to stick to the correct tyre pressure (check your owner’s manual) and check the tread on each tyre (the AA recommends a minimum tread depth of 2mm).
Lights: Ask a friend to stand outside your car and help you check your park lights, high and low beams, indicators and brake lights. Unless you have mechanical knowledge, do not risk replacing faulty globes and bulbs on your own – it is a tricky job and you don’t want to damage the light fixture.
Windscreen and wiper blades: Clear visibility of the road is critical, so always fix any chips or cracks on your windscreen – small cracks will get bigger! Make sure to clean your wiper blades and if your wiper blades leave lines of water on your windshield in wet weather, they may be cracked and it is time for new ones.
Brakes: Attend to any concerns you have about your brakes immediately. Several things may indicate a problem with the brakes: Does the brake pedal feel soft or spongy when depressed? Does the car pull to one side under braking? Can you hear a grinding or squealing sound? If the answer is yes to any of these, have your dealer address the issue right away.
Paint and bodywork: Wash your car on a regular basis with mild detergent liquid soap and lukewarm water, or rinse the bodywork once a week if you are unable to wash. Then check the paintwork for chips and scratches, and attend to any damage immediately. Failure to do so could cause unwanted corrosion.
If you are ever in doubt, check your owner’s manual and your warranty/service guide for all the information you need to know as a car owner – how your car works, what consumables to use, what falls under the warranty and your service plan, and much more.
Source: Ford Motor Company. Image: Pixabay