You’ll arrive home safely after your holiday with a little help from dotsure.co.za. Before you step on the petrol and feel the summer air blowing through your hair, do the checklist and service your car.
Although your car is a strong 4-wheel lion on the road, it still needs some TLC to keep it roaring. You can’t expect to just hop in and drive from Durbs to Jozi without a maintenance check. Like us humans, our 4-wheel babies tend to get tired. Tired means they can break-down far from help.
Keep a copy of this car service checklist and make sure your car is road-trip ready.
The service checklist
If it’s on the car maintenance list, it needs to be checked even if it costs an arm and a leg. At least it won’t be your arm and leg… Saving a few bucks is not worth the risk of losing something money can’t replace.
6 Car checks
If your engine oil levels are low, your 4-wheel lion maybe thirsty. Keep it juiced by adding some vital fluids.
How to check your oil?
- Switch the engine off and wait a minute or three.
- Pop your bonnet and pull the oil dipstick out (it usually has a bright handle saying, “engine oil”).
- Wipe the dipstick off on disposable paper or engine lippie. Insert it again and pull it out to check the oil level.
- The oil level should be between the “low” and “full” mark. If the levels are low, add some fresh juice.
- Check the color. It should be golden brown not pitch black. If it’s black, you need to change the oil entirely. Chat with your mechanic about this.
- Read the owner’s manual for the best oil for your car.
- Check the oil again and put the dipstick back in its rightful place when you’re happy.
If you have trouble starting your mechanical feline, you might need to check your battery. Are the energy levels running low? It might be on the Highway to Hell.
How to take care of your battery?
- Remove your battery terminals. Always remove the negative cable first.
- Clean the posts. Coca-Cola or special products you buy at your auto shop will do the trick.
- Rinse the cleaning liquid with a little water.
- Dry the posts with rags.
- Replace battery terminals.
The road lion’s lashes might get sticky and it might need some replacing.
How to replace your blades:
- Lift the wiper blades and remove the old rubber.
- Pay attention to how the old rubber connects to the metal arms.
- On most models, you’ll see a tab on the underside of the wiper. Push the tab to remove the old rubber.
- Attach the new rubber and voila you’ve got brand-new lashes!
- Remember to reposition the blades against the windscreen…
Dirty windows mixed with the sun’s eye-blinding rays is a deadly combo. Keep your windscreens squeaky clean and wash away blurry views.
How to clean your windscreen:
- Spray eco-friendly window cleaner on your windscreen.
- Use a clean cloth and wipe in an up and down motion. Microfiber is magical.
- Remove all the wetness with a clean, dry cloth. An old towel works well.
Hint: Keep window cleaner and cloths under your car seat for those unexpected window blobs and blurbs.
Tyres tend to deflate. Check and adjust the tyre pressure before every long drive.
How to pump your wheels?
- Buy a decent pressure gauge.
- Find the recommended tyre pressure in your car’s manual.
- Follow its instructions. If the pressure is above or below the limit for your load, it needs adjusting.
- Pump it up or release pressure and start your journey.
Hint: Feel vibration at cruising speed? Balance your tyres. If the car is pulling to the side or feels unstable while you’re driving, check the alignment. Correct alignment means better cruising.
Your car’s lights need to be shining when the sun goes to bed.
How to check car lights:
- Grab a buddy to help you out.
- Brake lights – Press the brake pedal and see if the red lights at the back of the vehicle illuminate.
- Indicators – Left and right should flicker.
- Reverse light – Shift into reverse and white lights at the rear should come on.
- DRLs – Some cars have daytime running lights on the rear as well as the front. Check if your car has them and whether they work. It’s easier in the dark.
- Number plate light – Your number plate must be well-lit for driving in the dark.
Is your car still under warranty? There is almost nothing worse than the unexpected shock of a mechanical failure in your beloved vehicle. This tends to happen almost immediately after your factory warranty expires (thanks Murphy you bastard!). Our range of extended warranty products has spared many a budget in recent times and remains one of the best out there.
Give dotsure.co.za a ring on 0861 dotsure (3687873) if you’re not sure about your car’s warranty details or you’re not insured with us yet.
Well done, you’ve completed the checklist. Thumbs up to all the good drivers.