Auto Dealer

A Guide to Servicing your Car

As a car owner and driver, you would already be aware of the need for regular servicing and this can either be carried out by an approved garage, or if you prefer, you can service the car yourself. In order to carry out a service, you will need the right tools, plus the owner’s manual, which contains all the technical data needed to carry out the service. If you would like to service your car, but lack the confidence, it really isn’t that difficult, and with that in mind, here is an overview of a typical vehicle service operation.

  • Changing the Engine Oil – This should be done at every service, no matter how old or young the car is, and the oil needs to be of the type recommended by the manufacturer. Aside from purchasing the replacement oil, you will also have to buy the right type of oil filter, which must also be replaced. An oil change should be carried out at specific mileage intervals (see owner’s manual) but as a general rule, every 6-8,000 kilometres. You will need to jack up the front of the vehicle to allow access to the engine sump plug, which is removed and the used oil left to drain in a metal tray. Once the oil has drained completely, remove the oil filter and replace it with a new one and after making sure the sump plug is firmly tightened up, you can pour the new engine oil into the cap on top of the engine. Do not overfill the engine (the owner’s manual will tell you the correct quantity of oil) and always check the level using the dipstick.
  • Replacing or Cleaning the Air Filter – The air filter prevents dirt and dust from entering the engine and some cars have air filters that cannot be cleaned and a replacement in needed, while others have a reusable air filter that can be cleaned with compressed air. If you are looking to replace your car, there are affordable new and used cars for sale in Canberra from approved dealers, which is much preferred to buying from a private seller.
  • Checking Coolant Levels – All internal combustion engines use a water-cooled system to stop the engine from overheating and the level can be checked by untwisting the radiator cap. In the event it needs topping up, you can buy engine coolant fluid (a mixture of water and anti-freeze) and add as much as is necessary to fill the radiator to the brim.
  • Brake Fluid Check – Your car uses a hydraulic braking system and there is a small reservoir, which is usually located at the back of the engine compartment. This will have two lines – minimum and maximum – so make sure the level is between these two lines and refill as and when necessary.
  • Power Steering – Almost all modern vehicles have power steering, which is hydraulically operated to make steering easier and a special power steering fluid should be used if the level is on the low side. In the event the power steering fluid is too low, you will hear strange noises when the engine is running as you turn the steering wheel to either full left or right.

While some drivers like to get their hands dirty and carry out a DIY car service, the majority will take their car to an approves servicing agent, as they can be sure the work is carried out to the car manufacturer’s recommendations.