It is simple commonsense to have your car serviced regularly, at least in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommendations. But between services, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your car in tiptop condition so that you can avoid expensive repairs.
Every driver is different and it is your driving style that largely determines how often your car needs to be serviced. Aggressive drivers or those who drive short distances in stop start traffic should pay closer attention to lubricants by topping up oil at least every week and checking your vehicle for signs of trouble.
One of the easiest things you can do is to check your car’s filters on a monthly basis. Filters are used to prevent damage in various parts of your engine and it is a simple preventative measure to maintain the filters in the best possible condition. They are like an insurance policy against costly engine repairs.
Let’s take a look at the filters you can check and some ideas on what to look out for.
- Oil Filters. To maximise the life of your engine it is important to change your oil regularly, and at the very least in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommendations. In harsh climates or driving conditions you will need to change the oil more regularly. Similarly, aggressive drivers or those engaged in short frequent trips will also need to change the oil at more regular intervals. Changing oil is one thing, but your oil filter also needs to be changed every time you change the oil. This is because the oil filter is the first line of defence in protecting your crankshaft, so it plays a vital role in protecting the life of your car.
- Air Filters. In the same way that oil filters work to protect your crankshaft and other vital engine parts, air filters play a similar role in protecting your fuel system from damaging dust and other dirt and grime that can accumulate in the combustion chamber. As a filter gets dirtier you will find fuel performance dropping and emissions levels increasing. Your mechanic will monitor the performance of these filters every time you have your car serviced and will generally alert you about having it replaced.
- A fuel filter prevents impurities from entering into the fuel injection system thereby protecting the carburetor. Contamination can enter your system every time you fill the petrol tank. Underground storage tanks are subject to corrosion and without a fuel filter in place, the dirty petrol will soon clog up your fuel system.
It takes some expertise to check these filters and unless you are well equipped and acquainted with maintenance procedures for your vehicle, it is better to leave everything to your mechanic. Today’s modern engines often require specialist tools and many maintenance procedures are conducted through computer checks which are only accessible at major service centres.
The important thing to remember is that these filters need to be checked on a regular basis and if you cannot do it yourself get your mechanic to do it for you.
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