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Top five car maintenance tips

Snapshot: Here are the top five most important things you should keep a check on to make sure your car keeps running smoothly

We all love owning cars, but how many of us are good owners of cars, is something that you need to think about. Owning a car is not an easy thing. Cars need a lot of attention on your part. Well, to say the truth, they don't just need attention, they demand attention. Ignoring them can be risky for the car as well as you. Following are the ten biggest mistakes that most of make over the period of ownership of one. Let's look at a few mistakes and how not to make them.

1. Driving around with worn out tyres. Those four pieces of rubber are the only thing that have you in contact with the road. They need to be taken care of as much as your engine and other fancy things. They need to be checked regularly for signs of damage such as cuts and tears and bulging. Bald tyres are very dangerous, once they have had their run, they should be replaced. If the tyres have uneven wear, the wheel should be balanced so that the uneven wearing out can be checked before they become useless prematurely. They should be cycled every 1000 kms in sets of 2. The rear left tyre should be moved to front right, the rear right to the front left, and the front tyres should be moved to the rear as they are. You should always replace the tyres in pairs because that ensures that both the tyres are at the same level of wear at all times 

2. Lights and electricals. The electricals are the lifeline of the car. They read information from the engine and various sensors and they send it to the computer which processes the information and controls things such as the fuel injection, electronic braking distribution system, etc. and shows information about the status of the various parts of the car. The wiring system should be glitch free and should not be short circuiting anywhere. Blown fuses mean something is wrong with the system and should be checked as soon as possible and the blown fuses should be replaced.

Lights keep others on the road informed about what you're going to do. Brake lights tell them you're going to stop so they can slow down while they're approaching your car from the rear, turn indicators warns them that you're going to turn, the reversing light tells them you're going to reverse your car. The headlights help you see the road clearly and warn approaching cars. Any of these lights being non-functional means you're putting others and yourself in danger. Before starting off, you should check all lights and if they're not working, head to your nearest car care professional and get it replaced. If this keeps on repeating, then that means that there is something wrong with the electrical systems and should be fixed at the earliest.

3. A dead battery. Getting stuck with a dead battery in your car never makes it to someone's bucket list, and for good reason. Such a situation can frustrate you, get you stuck in case of an emergency. Imagine you have to leave really quickly because you're late for a date, you get dressed and jump into the car, turn the ignition to fire up the engine. And nothing. You don't want to take the bus to the date and reach late, do you? The only solution is to have your battery checked and kept in top condition so that it does not die on you. A good idea is to install a maintanence free battery, but even then you need to keep a check on its status.The average life of a battery is 3 years for the new batteries in the market, although some may die earlier. Look for batteries with a longer warranty, that can be indicative of how long your battery is expected to last. 

4. Keep an eye on warning lights. Warning lights are a way the car tells you about how it is feeling. You can call it a health check for the car. e.g. If the car is feeling too hot, the temperature warning light will light up, and you need to stop the car at a safe place as soon as you can and call a tow truck to take it to an authorized service center. The various things that the car warns you about are the oil level, car operating temperature range exceeded, fuel level too low, 

5. Look out for safety recalls. Most of us who buy first generation cars don't ever bother about looking out for recalls. A recall is when a company finds a major fault with the car and decides to replace that particular part or system for everyone who bought a production model from a particular batch. E. g. there might be something wrong with the braking system of the car and the problem causes the brakes to fail over a certain speed. You would not want to be involved in an accident that is caused because of the fault. Manufacturers look into similar accidents and figure out what is wrong and replace parts for everyone, everywhere. It is best to not ignore the recall for your own safety and benefit.

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