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Car Service Checklist: 5 Mandatory Checks When Servicing Your Car

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Like every other machine, the car needs its fair share of periodic maintenance in order to function at optimum capacity. Right from changing tyres that are worn off to the tread to ensuring adequate lubrication, investing in quality car repair services can translate to sure-fire handling, improved fuel economy, confident braking and an overall reassuring drive.

Mahesh, a software engineer based out of Kolkata, was waiting for his friend Soham to pick him up on their way home. They have known each other since their school days, and Soham would often bank on Mahesh’s advice when it came to academics. Today, after all these years, time could do little to weaken the bond they shared and Soham still depended on his friend when he found himself stuck in a rut.

After 15-odd minutes, Mahesh saw Soham’s car approaching from the nearest roundabout. While Soham was usually fluent behind the wheels, Mahesh could sense something amiss this time around. The car screeched to a halt, and Mahesh got into it.

After a few stuttered attempts, Soham eventually sparked the ignition as his almost 6-year old car wearily took off. Mahesh felt something amiss and asked his friend whether he was OK. Soham, visibly irritated, shrugged saying that his car has been behaving rather strangely since the night before. It had taken him twenty extra minutes to reach Mahesh’s house.

Mahesh nodded his head. From his experience at having interned in an automobile company years ago, he realized what was wrong with the car. Mahesh knew intuitively that car needed servicing. Soham appeared to be at a loss. He didn’t know what he had to do at this point. As if by force of habit, he banked on his class friend to come up with something. Mahesh told his friend that he did not need to worry. However, there were some aspects that required attention when Soham finally took his car for repairs, he explained.

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Soham was listening intently as Mahesh continued rummaging through his experience tool-kit. Mahesh told Soham that he would do well by first reading the user manual. More often than not, you’d find useful information contained there. In case of immediate help, calling the manufacturer’s helpline is recommended. In case the engine heats up, knowing how to change the coolant or antifreeze is not required. Instead, understanding these vehicular fluid levels and what they mean is critical to improved servicing the next time.

Knowing basic troubleshooting also has other advantages. You would be able to oversee the repairs and make sure you’re not getting short-changed at the garage.

It is important to check your tyres. The monsoons are here, and any lack of attention here can prove costly. Always check that the tyres have adequate tread and are in proper alignment. When you take your car for servicing, ensure that they carry out what you call a ‘twist and run’ check. This indicates tyre quality and stability.

Soham was listening with rapt attention, as an enthralled audience in a packed auditorium would. He interrupted Mahesh to say that he had been feeling a little breathless inside the car and didn’t know why.

This concerned Mahesh. He knew that this indicated at inefficient cabin filters, something that could lead to breathlessness for the one driving the vehicle. Every car has four primary filters – cabin filter, motor oil filter, fuel filter and air filter — functions of which include enabling adequate flow and trapping impurities. The fact that you feel short-of-breath often hints at your cabin filter not functioning at optimum capacity. This will only make driving more difficult for you.

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Make sure that these filters are cleansed thoroughly during servicing. I shall add one more benefit of this – clean filters mean easy upkeep, and eventually, lower maintenance bills.Just when Soham thought he knew all there ever was to car servicing, Mahesh cautioned him against stalling servicing for such a long time. He asked whether Soham wanted to risk an engine breakdown due to a faulty spark plug.

Soham was thankful to his friend helping him like a true “friend indeed”.

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