Basic Car Maintenance

Bridgestone Tire Clinic | Drivers' Essential

Working on your car isn’t the easiest task in the world, but neither is it the most difficult. There’s endless stream of useful information online for most car makes and models!

Whether it’s information on YouTube or from fellow car owners on Facebook, any sense of trepidation can be dispelled. Also, you can’t deny that one of the greatest feelings in the world is stepping back from a finished project!

Checking and/or Cleaning Battery Posts and Terminals

You’ll need:
• Battery Cleaning Solution
• Wrench
• Wire Brush
• 2 Cloths

Bridgestone Tyre Clinic Drivers' Essential - Basic Car Maintenance

It might sound odd, but the key to keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently is a good battery connection. Without a good connection, the combustion engine, as well as other electrical accessories, won’t run as smoothly as the manufacturer intended.

Thankfully, it’s easy to spot when your connection terminals need cleaning with a simple visual check. You’ll notice a few specks of crunchy white residue, or in the worst case, a blue powder-like substance caked on the terminals.

To get rid of corrosion, simply remove your battery terminals (remember: negative cable first!) and clean both the battery terminals and posts with a battery cleaner solution. Give them both a good scrub with a wire brush until all corrosion is gone, then use a cloth dampened with water to wipe them down properly.

Before putting everything back together, use a dry cloth to ensure all terminals and posts are free of moisture. You can now reinstall and tighten the battery terminals!

Replacing windscreen wiper blades

You’ll need:
• New Wiper Blades (If necessary)

If you find that your windscreen wipers don’t get rid of water as effectively as before, or if they leave water streaks on your windscreen, you most likely need new windscreen wiper blades. During the rainy season, it’s downright dangerous to drive with worn wiper blades, especially when they’re so easy to replace!

Unfortunately, wiper blade setups differ from car to car, so you may have to follow a few different steps according to your owner’s manual. However, the general procedure is to lift the windscreen wipers off the glass surface, then press the locking tab to remove the old wiper blades from the wiper arms.

Taking the new wiper blades, simply press the locking tab aside and push the new blades into place. You should hear a ‘click’ noise when they’ve been successfully installed!

Bridgestone Tyre Clinic Drivers' Essential - Basic Car Maintenance

Inspecting and/or replacing your air filters

You’ll need:
• New Air Filters (if necessary)

An engine air filter is one of the only lines of defense a car’s engine has from the elements. A clogged filter will cause an engine to work harder than it needs to, leading to the failure of internal components due to added strain.

Inspecting your engine air filter takes just minutes! Unlatch your car’s air box, pull the filter out for inspection, vacuum out any debris within the box, and drop a new filter in place if necessary.

While changing the engine’s filter, take a peek at the cabin air filter to see if it also needs replacing. Your car’s cabin air filter protects you from many nasty elements in the atmosphere – including soot and exhaust smoke – by filtering the air that comes streaming through the air vents. Often found buried behind the glove box, simply unhinge your glove box and slide the filter out to replace it.

Bridgestone Tyre Clinic Drivers' Essential - Basic Car Maintenance

Checking and inspecting your tires

You’ll need:
• Tire Tread Depth Gauge

One of the most important aspects of car maintenance is tire inspection. Without it, the likelihood of getting into an accident increases significantly.

Many drivers overlook this fact, that the only thing keeping us in control are the four contact patches with the road – our tyres. When checking your tires, be sure to check tread depth and always test several different tread grooves around the tire; the Land Transport Authority (LTA) legally requires tires to be replaced when they reach a depth of 1.6mm.

While at it, do look out for any punctures, cracks, dry rotting, or bulges on the tire itself. For this step, the best way to check is to run your hand carefully over the tire surface, feeling for anything out of the ordinary.

If you’ve noticed something that seems out of the ordinary, but you’re not too sure, head on down to any of our authorised dealers located around Singapore! There, our highly-trained technicians will be able to perform a complimentary tire inspection and accurately advise you on any required action.

Bridgestone Tire Clinic Drivers' Essential - Basic Car Maintenance

Checking and/or Topping Up Your Car’s Essential Fluids

You’ll need:
• Spare Engine Fluids (if necessary)
• A Rag to Wipe Dirty Fluid Reservoirs

Perhaps the simplest and most vital aspect of car maintenance is checking on all of a car’s fluids. What’s more, fluids play a huge role in almost every aspect of your car, including fuel economy and longevity. Keeping them at the proper level will help your car last longer and drive better, a logic we can’t argue with.

When inspecting a vehicle’s fluids, it’s always important to cover the six essential fluids in your car:

• Engine Oil
• Brake Fluid
• Transmission Fluid
• Power Steering Fluid
• Windshield Washer Fluid
• Coolant (both the expansion tank and radiator)

All fluid reservoirs have a min/max line, and sometimes they need a little cleaning for accurate measurement. If the fluid levels are slightly difficult to read, shine a torchlight through the opposite side of the reservoir!

Bridgestone Tyre Clinic Drivers' Essential - Basic Car Maintenance