Auto Maintenance


In this section of Surfindia you will find some very useful tips of auto maintenance (car maintenance) that would keep your vehilce fine tuned. Before moving ahead first let us understand the meaning of auto essentials.

Auto essentials are the services and inspections performed regularly at appointed times to the vehicle to keep it running efficiently and safely.

We will discuss here the following types of regular vehicle maintenance:

Air Filters:

The air filter in the vehicle cleans the air brought in by the intake system. It helps in removing dirt, dust and other contaminants before it mixes with the gasoline. The engine of a vehicle uses approximately 10 litres of air for every litre of gasoline, hence air filters play an important role in maintaining the vehicle's performance and fuel efficiency.

Dirty filter results in reduced airflow, which again results in the follwing:
  • increased wear on your intake system
  • increased fuel consumption
  • reduced engine power

For the above reasons, air filter should be inspected regularly with oil change and replaced when damaged or visibly dirty.

Oil, Lube & Filter:

The engine of vehicles require uncontaminated oil to protect against the high temperatures and friction created by driving. Well lubricated engine will give the following benefits:

  • reduce engine emissions
  • prolong the life of engine components
  • decrease the possibility of breakdowns
  • minimize expensive repairs
  • promote smooth engine performance

Changing of oil every 5,000 km or according to the manufacturer's recommendation is the simplest and most important pieces of vehicle maintenance you can perform.

Wiper Blades:

Driving decisions are made on what the driver can see. This means a clean, unobstructed view through the windshield is a must for safety.

For optimal removal of moisture, dirt and other obstructions the wiper blades need to fit tightly against the windshield. This is achieved through the design and material of the blades and by the spring tension in the wiper arm.

The wiper blades need to be checked every six months and replaced regularly because:
  • abrasives such as dust and dirt wear away the cutting edge
  • corrosion weakens the wiper arm
  • hot temperatures warp the rubber
  • cold temperatures make the rubber brittle and susceptible to cracks and tears
  • sunlight and ozone age the rubber, making it less flexible

Belts & Hoses:

Engine always builds up a lot of heat during its working condition. This deteriorates the rubber of the vehicle's belts and hoses and as a result causes them to become brittle and prone to cracks and tears. Leaking hoses and broken engine belts may result in a sudden vehicle breakdown.

A visual inspection is sometimes enough to detect problems before they get out of hand.

Safety Inspections:

The general safety inspections evaluate the following areas of the vehicle:

Accessories Particulars
Lights All required lights must be operational. Headlights must be aimed correctly.
Horn It must work properly and be heard at a distance of 60 metres.
Windshield Wipers The blades, arms, and windshield washer must effectively clean the windshield.
Rearview Mirrors The mirrors must be free of cracks, pits or discolouration. They must be adjustable to give the driver an unobstructed view at least 60 metres to the rear of the vehicle.
Exhaust System It must be structurally sound and allow proper venting of exhaust gases.
Glass The critical vision area must be free of obstructions and discolouration.
Brakes All components including hydraulic lines, discs and drums, pedal, power booster and parking brake must be structurally sound and in good working order. Fluid levels must be within the manufacturer's recommendations.
Steering and Suspension The steering wheel, shocks, struts, steering linkage, ball joints, drive train and wheel bearings must be structurally sound and in good working order.
Wheels and Tires They must have sufficient tread depth. Wheels should be structurally sound and all rims and nuts present and undamaged.
Coupling Systems If applicable, all hitch or towing attachments must be structurally sound, with no missing or excessively worn components.
Other Body, fuel tanks and lines, sun visors, seat belts, bumpers, hood latch, floor pan and inner panels must be in good working order and/or structurally sound.