If you’ve all been following the Movement Control Order (MCO) directives diligently, chances are most of your cars have been left deprived from care for quite some time. Although some workshops (in Selangor) are allowed to operate, priority should still be given to the front line workers; our own maintenance services will have to wait until the MCO is lifted, currently scheduled to end on the 28th of April.
But there is no need to worry – certain simple maintenance work can be carried out by ourselves. Besides taking care of our prized possessions, working on our cars can give some much-needed peace and alone time while we’re all stuck at home (definitely not speaking from experience here).
Proton has provided some pointers for a simple five-point inspection that we can all do ourselves at home as part of their ongoing MCO car care series, so let’s get right to it.
Firstly, ensure that all fluids are topped-up to the optimum level. There are five important fluids that we can monitor – engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washer – and they can all be done without starting the engine.
If you notice insufficient fluids, you can try to top it up yourself. The fluids should be attainable in bigger supermarkets (when you’re out for your grocery run), and it shouldn’t be too hard to refill – instructions should be written in the user’s manual, or found easily via a Google search.
While the bonnet is still open, have a look at the battery to ensure that the clamps are tight and clean of any corrosion, and there are no visible bulges or cracks on the surface of the battery.
It’s advisable to keep track of your battery replacement dates, as batteries generally start to run low on power after about three to four years. If you have a voltmeter at home, check that your battery is pushing out higher than 14 volts – anything lower means it’s time for a replacement. It might also be a good idea to check on the alternator at your next service, after the MCO period.
Next, check that all your lights are functioning as usual. If a light is dimmer than usual, that means that the lightbulb is nearing the end of its life. A helpful tip to check the taillights is to park near to a wall, and use the rear-view mirrors to check the light bouncing off the wall.
Have a look at the tyres and make sure that there are no cuts, tears and bulges. At the same time, make sure that no tyre looks flatter than the others. Ideally, use a pressure gauge to check if the tyres are properly inflated to the optimum pressure – usually written in the user’s manual, B-pillars, or fuel tank flap.
While you’re at it, ensure that the tyre treads are still serviceable using the tread indicators built into the grooves of every tyre. If the indicators are flush with the surface of the tyre, that means that it’s time to replace the tyres.
Lastly, Proton recommends checking that the windshield wipers are in proper functioning condition by using the wiper washer function. If the wipers are leaving behind streaks, or making loud squeaky noises, then it’s time to replace them. We recently had a look at the Hella Cleantech wiper blades – check them out to see if they’re right for you!
A general tip to wiper blades maintenance is to prop it up away from the glass if your car is parked under direct sunlight. You can also wipe the blades with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil to extend the lifetime of the wiper blades.