Car maintainance and servicing
Buyer Tips

Maintaining Your Car: Five Key Things To Consider When Servicing Your Car

By Femi Amisu Updated: 10/15/2018 Posted: 10/12/2018

There’s hardly anything mechanical with moving parts that doesn’t require some sort of maintenance. From mobile phones to household appliances and laptops or gas cookers. Automobiles, more than anything else, need maintenance. Maintaining your car should be your priority. 

Maintenance is popularly referred to as “servicing” in the Nigeria. Sadly, Nigerians are fond of stretching the maintenance schedule fartoo long, so much so that critical damages start to occur before they give it the required attention.

Before we go into the things you must check out during your maintenance routine, here are some of the typical car problems you might encounter.

Auto Conditions and Common Car Problems In Nigeria

Servicing and maintaining your car in Nigeria, Oil, ENgine

There are quite a lot of car issues that can set you on a search for professional automobile intervention. The number can easily double if you’re Nigerian. This is in part due to the unfavourable roads, dare devil drivers, and individual driving style. Common problems any car owner will have to contend with regularly or at one time or the other while using their car includes;

  1. Mis-aligned wheels and flat tyres
  2. Electrical problems caused by previous owners of a second-hand car.
  3. Clutch burn outs.
  4. Wheel bearings and ball joint issues
  5. Steering rack issues
  6. Expired batteries.
  7. Corroded springs causing defection on starter motors.
  8. Fuel issues ranging from leaking busted pumps and bad injectors.
  9. Brake failure.
  10. Coolant leaks that might have been caused by a malfunction in the cylinder head gasket.
  11. Broken A/C condensers.
  12. Faulty window regulators.
  13. Overused spark plugs.

Further Reading

  1. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars
  2. Considering a Used BMW for Sale? Here Are 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy One
  3. Used Lexus for Sale: 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy One
  4. Tips for Maintaining Your Used Car

Maintenance Schedule Per Car

A maintenance schedule is a planned out list of maintenance actions to be carried out on a car at specified times.

Different cars based on their make, model and year of manufacture have different schedules for maintenance. However, there is a general and advisable way to determine when to service your car and it is by engine mileage.

Servicing and maintaining your car in Nigeria, Oil, ENgine

For every 3,000 miles be sure to check the following;

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Engine Oil
  • Battery
  • Cables
  • Exhaust
  • Belts
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Hoses
  • Dashboard Indicator Light On
  • Lights
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

In the next 6,000 -7,000 miles

  • Oil and oil filter
  • Transmission fluid level
  • Coolant
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Windshield washer wipers
  • Power Steering Fluids
  • All Exterior Lights
  • Tyres.

Tyre pressure and service. Check guage

For 9,000-12,000 miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Dashboard Indicator Light On
  • Engine Air Filter and Engine Oil
  • Exhaust
  • Hoses
  • All Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

For 12,000-15,000 Miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts and Brakes
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Dashboard Indicator Light On
  • Antifreeze
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Engine Air Filter and Engine Oil
  • Exhaust
  • Hoses
  • All Exterior Lights
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Tire Condition
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Windshield Washer Fluid and Wiper Blades

Five Key Things To Consider When Servicing Your Car

  1. Engine Oil:
    This is one of the most basic maintenance routines. You don’t need to have auto repair knowledge to be able to check levels and see that the oil has changed colour. The oil in the car helps to ensure smooth movement of engine components and smoother rides. Bad oil will wear your engine parts faster causing friction and costly damages you’d want to avoid
  2. Tyre Condition:
    Tyres that aren’t correctly inflated stand the risk of blowouts that can lead to fatal accidents. In addition, the wrong tyre pressure as a result of over-inflation affects the efficiency of your car increasing fuel consumption. Ensure that your tyre has the right pressure especially when being pumped. When your car is due for a service ensure that your tyres are checked.
    Service and mantaining your car, Oil, engine, fuel, Tyre
  3. Wheel Alignment
    If your wheel alignment is off, you would notice your steering wheel and the car will seem to work in opposite directions. Whether you have this issue or not, ensure that it is checked to avoid any future potentially fatal occurrences.
  4. Wheel Balancing
    Your wheel is out of balance when you move at certain speeds and feel your car vibrating. Usually, you’d also feel like the wheels are wobbly and feel like a particular side is heavier than the other. 
    Your mechanic can solve this problem by placing the wheel on a balancing machine and most likely adding lead to the lacking side to balance it up. Driving feels better when your wheels are balanced.
  5. Brakes
    Waiting for your brake pads to damage before servicing them is a dangerous and potentially fatal decision. Brakes are the components that allow you to stop the car and prevent an accident. Without them functioning properly, you’d be at risk. So ensure that you check and replace them whenever you go for your routine servicing.

Advantages Of Monitoring and Maintaining Your Car

  1. Ensures your safety
    Whatever happens, your safety is more important than anything else including the cost of maintenance. Servicing your car regularly prevents component damage and allows you to enjoy smooth rides free of accidents.
    Service and mantaining your car, Oil, engine, fuel, Tyre
  2. Saves you money
    It might seem like preventive maintenance is a lot more expensive. It’s not. It’s always cheaper to carry out preventive auto maintenances than maintaining to fix a problem. In fixing a problem other problems can arise and ultimately cost you more. Worst still, the problem might just refuse all solutions ultimately leading to costly replacement and overhaul.
  3. Increases your car’s lifespan
    Just like every other gadget and even the human body, lack of a maintenance culture will cause the car to deteriorate more rapidly than usual. Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule will also help to expand your car’s lifespan.
  4. Increases resale price
    Most Nigerians resell their cars when they want to buy a new one or just need a change. It will obviously be more difficult trying to sell a car with faults and where possible will be severely underpriced. Maintaining a good car servicing culture will make your car look really new even when its three years old and give you maximum value whenever you chose to sell off.

Consistently monitoring the state of your vehicle helps you notice when something is about to go wrong and allows you an opportunity to fix it before it completely breaks down.  As mentioned earlier, failure to monitor your car and afford it proper maintenance will expose you to risks of accidents, damage of significant car components, and possible permanent irreversible damage.