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Keeping your vehicle well-maintained is one of the best ways to avoid expensive breakdowns and catastrophic accidents. While you might need to leave some maintenance tasks to the pros, there are a few simple projects that you can carry out on your own once every few weeks. Here is a quick look at four engine parts that you every driver needs to inspect periodically.
Most mechanics and auto experts agree that modern radiators should last for at least 10 years with the proper maintenance. In order to boost your radiator’s service life, you should regularly check it for any signs of damage. Bent radiator fins are usually not a big problem, but you need to contact a mechanic if large areas are bent or damaged in any way. You must also check the coolant level once every few weeks and add fluid as needed.
The engine air filter is an essential part of your vehicle, and you are going to experience a wide variety of issues if it ever becomes clogged. As a general rule, you should replace the air filter at least once a year, but you might need to replace it more often if you live in a dusty or windy area. In most modern vehicles, the air filter is located near the front of the engine compartment in a rectangular box. The engine must be completely cool before you take out the air filter to inspect it.
Near the front of your vehicle’s engine bay, there are probably a few different belts. Most vehicles have at least two belts attached to the front of the engine block, and they need to be regularly inspected. After turning your vehicle completely off, you can check the belts for frays, cracks, or any other signs of damage. You can also turn the engine on and listen for any squeaking sounds near the belts. Those noises are usually caused by worn springs or damaged tension pulleys.
Your dashboard should have a warning light for your battery, but you still need to visually inspect it every month or two. Older batteries often drip acid, and it can damage all of the nearby hoses, belts, and wires in the engine. You also need to look over the connector cables to see if they are frayed. Damaged parts must be replaced immediately in order to avoid further issues. A damaged electrical system will result in blown fuses and other secondary problems.
If you ever notice any issues with these four parts, then you need to visit an experienced mechanic as quickly as possible. In many cases, major mechanical problems can easily be avoided as long as you catch the early warning signs.