Maintenance Tips for cars in Kenya

1.Toolkit

Always ensure your car has a functional toolbox. Make sure the tools are specific to the car. Always carry a spare wheel, a jack and wheel removing tools (plus a wheel locking nut key if necessary).

2.Water

Check your coolant level frequently especially if you are planning on a long trip. Make sure the engine is cold and fill the water reservoir with clean water. Most engine heat ups occur if there is no cooling water or there is a leak. Check for leaks while the Engine is running.

3.Lights

Car lights are very important whether it is during the day or at night. Check all the lights regularly (including indicators, reversing lights, brake lights and fog lights) for dirt on the lenses, blown bulbs or cracks or dirt.

4.Check your oil and get it changed regularly.

Engine oil should be checked regularly when the car is warm and on level ground. Stop the engine and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean. Push the dipstick all the way in, wait a second, and then withdraw it and check the level. The oil should be between the two marks. The dipstick should be pushed fully in when refitting.

5.Battery and contacts check.

Many cars still use non-maintenance free batteries. With this always check for leaks and mineral build up on the contacts. A cleaning brush can be used to cleanthe build up. The battery fluid should be maintained between the acceptable levels about 5mm above the plates. Only top up using distilled water. Ensure the battery is securely fit and the terminals are clean and tight.

6.Brake and clutch fluid

Most cars have their brake and clutch fluid levels visible through the transparent plastic containers. The level should be maintained between the minimum and maximum marks. The reservoir should only be topped up with new brake fluid of the correct grade. Constant topping up indicates the possibility of a leak. Ensure this is be checked by your mechanic.

7.Spark Plugs.

Spark plugs sometimes get worn out and coverd in build up. This reduces engine efficiency leading to higher costs in fuel consumption. Check and replace them if they are worn out. This should prevent certain levels of breakdowns.

8.Windshield wipers and washer.

Wipers can be such a menace if they don't clean the windshield neatly. They are cheap and easy to replace. There is also a plastic reservoir for the washer fluid that is usually mounted in the engine compartment. Always ensure the bottle is filled with clean water and special windscreen detergent. Household detergents are not recommended for this purpose.

9.Cabin air filter.

Replacing a cabin air filter is probably one of the easiest things you can do to keep your car comfortable. Most vehicles make the cabin air filter easily accessible. It may not be critical to the car's operation, but it makes the ride more pleasant.

10.Tires and wheel alignment.

Tires are not cheap to replace all at once. It is however necessary to have your tires run smoothly and wear evenly. Tires last much longer when you check pressure frequently and have the wheels well aligned. There are many wheel alignment stations along major highways or local petrol stations. A well wheel balanced car will give you a smooth drive that is effortless and the vehicle does not run off the road unnecessarily.