Cars stopping on one corner of the road or even the middle of the road is not a foreign sight on Nigerian roads anymore, the conditions most Nigerians have to drive under are very hazardous to not only the cars but unsafe to drivers as well. Bad roads, frustrating traffic.. etc are very common in Nigeria. In addition, most Nigerians don’t believe in preventive maintenance of their vehicles which is characterized by regular service checks, being proactive in taking care of their car, being careful in the use of their cars and paying attention to warning signs of impending car breakdown. Instead they focus on corrective maintenance which is more expensive, stressful and frustrating especially for people that have one car. It can be very frustrating if your car stops you on the road and even more dangerous especially at night, you are vulnerable to robbery attacks and kidnappings especially in this christmas season where people are desperate. Then the amount you have to spend to tow the car, especially on the third mainland bridge, need I say more?? Likewise, people who have experienced car problems can attest to the fact that the breakdown of one part of a car can lead to multiple complications in the car, which is very expensive and can be avoided. Your car is meant to serve you and it can only do its best if it’s well taken care of. If you mistreat it, it won’t work well for you.. Many people shun preventive maintenance because they believe it’s the mechanics ploy to rob them of their money. Some are completely clueless about what preventive maintenance entails, the important parts of the car to check, they have no idea whatsoever when it comes to car maintenance.
The first step in the right direction is taking the car for general service checks regularly. There are other very important preventive maintenance tips that every car owner should know. They will be listed below;
- Ensure you check your radiator water level daily to avoid car breakdown.
- Ensure you check your engine oil level if it is gauged or not.
- Ensure you check your battery terminals for corrosion.
- For petrol engines, ensure routine service check is carried out every 5000 kms or every 3 months.
- For diesel engines, ensure routine service check is carried out at 5000 kms or every 2 months.
- Ensure you regularly check the level of the brake oil and make sure it is adequate. This will reduce the level of wear and tear on the brake pads and brake lining.
- Ensure you regularly check the level of the power steering oil/fluid to notice if there’s a leakage.
- Whenever you’re driving through a flood, always switch off your AC to prevent the compressor from breaking down.
- Ensure you steam wash your condenser and radiator once a month to avoid blockage in the radiator/condenser fins.
- Ensure you buy fuel for the day in the morning not at other times of the day when it has gone low. This is because the hot afternoon sun causes condensation in the fuel tanks at the fuel station and if you buy your fuel in the evening it will be mixed with water droplets and that will affect your engine. However, by morning the water will have settled and the fuel will be at its best state.
- To avoid tyre burst or sudden wear, ensure you check the vehicle manual or Pillar B for the actual tyre pressure and do not exceed it when pumping the tyre.
I hope these few tips will help reduce the mysteries surrounding preventive maintenance of cars. These are simple, easy and cheap things you can do to take care of your car. Although they are not all-encompassing and there are more complex tips, but these simple ones in addition to routine service checks will ensure your car is up and running every time you need it. However, it is important to note that there are some tips that are particular to specific car brands and models. It is imperative for car owner to research and find out those tips and adhere to them so as to properly take care of their cars. Remember preventive maintenance is far cheaper than corrective maintenance. Take care of your car so it will serve you well and not become nightmare for you.
A frustrated car owner looking at his broken down car..
Extreme overheating could result in fire outbreak.