10 basic car maintenance tips every driver should know

Updated Feb 05, 2018 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Be a responsible driver by learning 10 basic car maintenance tips for some vital car components.

Let's be honest. Have you ever blamed yourself for your limited automotive knowledge, particularly when your car encounters mechanical failures at the middle of nowhere all of a sudden? You might excuse that mechanical field is too complicated and you are not a mechanic anyway. However, it is advised that car owners should equip themselves with some basic car maintenance tips so as to ensure the long and healthy life of the vehicles.

Today, Philkotse.com has put together some helpful information about 10 vital automotive components to provide Filipino motorists with an overview of their beloved cars. Check out now!

1. Car engine oil:

car engine oil

Main functions of oil are to cool down, clean and lubricate your car engine

While it is believed by many that the main function of engine oil is to help burn fuel, its actual and far more important roles are to cool down, clean and lubricate your engine. You might question what is going to happen if the remaining oil is inadequate. Well, here are the consequences:

  • Firstly, your car will suffer thermal degradation, mainly due to lacquer and carbonaceous deposits;
  • Secondly comes the oxidation - the phenomenon rusts iron and steel through varnish and sludge;
  • Lastly is the compressive heating.

When these happen, deposits left will lead to friction, building barriers that stop the flow of the engine oil. Over time, your car engine will get dirtier and start to pose certain failures. Make sure your engine oil is regularly checked and replaced. Learn more about 5 simple signs to decide if your next oil change is due

2. Spare tires:

car spare tires inside the trunk

Spare tire can be normally found inside the trunk

It is never redundant to have a spare tire on your car. You cannot tell if you will ever find yourself helpless in a remore area with a flat tire and there is no garage nearby.

Although it might require some tricky steps, replacing tires is actually not as difficult as you think. Click here for a step-by-step instruction with tutorial video on how to change your car tire on Philkotse.com.

Having a spare tire on your car means you have to save an equal room for it. Don't worry, with the modern design, most car brands have already had a space for spare tire. Normally, it is placed inside the trunk.

Before getting behind the wheel, make sure to check your car tires' pressure first.

3. Tire pressure:

Most car owners often overlook the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure, but it is absolutely wrong. When you are fully aware of its paramount importance, you will not underestimate it anymore. 

Basically, the lower tire pressure is, the more of its surface tends to touch the ground and thus, the higher friction between the tire and the road is created. If you always leave your tire at low pressure, it can get overheated and worn out faster. More seriously, this might even cause tread seperation and absolutely unsafe to drive.

checking car tire pressure

Before getting behind the wheel, make sure to check your car tires' pressure first

Meanwhile, when tire pressure is too high, the ride will become uncomfortable for everyone as it causes more vibration and you will feel every crack and bump in the road. Not to mention, less traction will also result in further stopping distances, which means you will have to suffer a little sliding before coming to a complete stop.

For more car tire maintenance tips, read our article about 3 important things to prolong the lifespan of a car tire. However, if putting low and high tire pressure into consideration, lower pressure is more preferable, according to car experts.

4. Vehicle fluids:

Among most crucial automotive parts, fluid is also an indispensable component. How smoothly your car could run partly depends on the quality of fluids. Make sure you have a regular checkup schedule for the 5 following car fluids:

  • Coolant
  • Engine Oil
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Brake Fluid

>>> Related post: Top 4 essential fluids in your car

5. Air filter:

It is recommended by professional mechanis that you should replace air filter at the 6-month intervals. Over time, car engines are covered with dust or by-products and become clogged, which forces them to work harder. If you don't want an additional cost for your fuel bill, have your air filter checked thoroughly every 6 month.

6. Car maintenance:

While car maintenance might increase your annual spending, it is very significant and cannot be excluded. Let's begin by reading your vehicle owner's instruction to grab the main guidance. In that book, car companies suggest the ideal service schedules for your own car because maintenance intervals vary from time to time and depending on each model.

car owner reading the manual

Read the manual to know the ideal service schedules for your own car

7. Shocks and struts:

It is a familiar problem in old-fashioned or intensively-exploited cars. In general, after driving a long time, the shocks and struts create rattling sounds when driving over bumps. That's a sign of worn-off shocks and struts. Do not hesitate any moment, it is high time to have your set replaced by a new one.

8. Emergency Roadside Kit

emergency kit for car

Always have a backup kit in your car for emergency cases

Breakdowns can come any times, so always keep yourself fully equipped with a backup kit. Although an emergency kit won't help you out in every situation, it can save your car in most common breakdowns. Click here to find the list of 8 must-have items for your car emergency kit suggested by Philkotse.com.

9. Headlights and Taillights

The significance of headlights and taillights is undeniable. In addition to give signals to surrounding drivers about your directions, it also helps you avoid getting over by the police. As headlights and taillights go dimmer and blurred over time, it is advised to check them regularly along with other car parts. Besides, car experts also recommend to replace headlights once every year.

10. Brakes

Their safety function is obvious. To timely and early detect brake problems, remember to obverse carefully as you drive. Particularly, while you are stepping on the brake pedals, if your steering wheel gets shaking then it is high time for a serious checkup. Malfunctioning car brake can impact on anti-lock braking system and the stability control system of your vehicle.


two mechanics inspecting a car

Ask your family and friends for contacts of good mechanics in town

Having a good and trust-worthy mechanic is also equally important to the 10 above-mentioned things. While it is necessary to equip yourself with most basic car-related knowledge, it is even more important to know a skillful, professional and responsible mechanic to lean on once your belove car encounters any failures. It is difficult and almost impossible for us ordinary people to handle issues that are already at mechanic level. Ask for advice from your family or car forums for contacts of good mechanics in town.

Hopefully this post has provided you with some handful basic car maintenance tipsClick here to catch more useful advice for car owners.