Being a car owner, there are certain aspects your vehicle that you need to be familiar with and various items you need to keep a close eye on. If you have a general idea of how your car works and the importance of some of these parts, chances are you’ll keep it on the road for longer. In addition to regular services and checkups, you should be looking at the tires, oil and brake pads regularly to ensure that they are well maintained. It’s obviously also important to be able to identify when there is something wrong with these parts. Let’s take a look at what you should be looking out for in these cases.
The lifeblood of your car, oil ensures that the engine is well lubricated, literally ensuring that all the moving parts run smoothly. Friction causes heat and an overly hot engine can cease up and have various components melting, which is obviously a big problem. Without regularly changing out old oil and replacing it, there is a real risk of having the engine do damage to itself. Over time, the effectiveness of the car’s oil is reduced. Heat from the engine, exhaust gasses and various other factors can break it down over time and change its consistency. Some of it will break down or evaporate as well.
So keeping an eye on your oil level is of paramount importance. You can get a measure of your oil level by popping the hood and pulling the oil gauge out. Generally, you should be changing it out every 4,500-5000 km, or every 3 months depending on how much you use the car. A lot of newer cars will have a system to remind you that oil may need replacing but getting into the habit of doing so yourself is a good idea.
It is quite remarkable how much old tires can affect performance and fuel efficiency. Not to mention, it can be very dangerous to be driving around in worn out tires too, putting you at risk. High-quality tires can be pretty pricey and their lifespan can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. But generally, it’s well worth going for quality rather than a cheap option, something that gets you a few years use. That way you spend less time changing them over and worrying about it.
So what should you be looking out for? Well, it’s tricky to notice the reduced performance simply because it’s a gradual change over time. Luckily, tires have indicators in the form of ridges on the tires themselves. If you’re checking regularly or simply go to local KIA service centre for servicing, you’ll notice the trend wear down and eventually reach that mark. It’s at that point it’s time to replace them. After changing your tires, you’ll more than likely feel the difference immediately as you’ve adjusted to driving on your old ones.
A lot of motorists assume that judging the wear of something like your brake pads is too complicated to worry about, but the fact is that it’s quite easy. In a similar way to tires, brake pads have built-in wear indicators, it’s simply a matter of checking them when you think it may be time to change them over. These indicators usually come in the form of a metal tab that wears down over time. They’re designed in such a way that when they have worn down, you’ll generally hear a scraping sound and eventually a grinding sound if you wait too long.
The trouble is, it’s anyone’s guess when this happens. There are a number of factors that can determine how long your brake pads last; your driving style, how often you drive, your vehicle, your tires and obviously the quality of the brake pads you’re using. We recommend driving calmly and responsibly and they’ll more than likely last that little bit longer.
When it comes to owning a car, the more you know about running and maintaining it, the better off. This can save you time and money in the long run and keeps your car on the road. And all it really takes is a little effort and research. Speak to the team at a KIA service centre today for more helpful car maintenance tips.