Car Maintenance Tips for Optimal Performance and Safety

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Every car owner has to engage in proactive maintenance to have a reliable vehicle. Yes, keeping track of car chores is not fun, but it is crucial for minimizing the risk of being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

There is a camp for those that enjoy tweaking car systems and all sorts of parts. These are the people that not only have a well-oiled machine but also sport a host of stylish or convenient accessories.

One must keep an eye on all scheduled work even if they don’t have personal preferences. Cars have a lot of moving parts running at the risk of wear, so keeping on top of these issues is essential.

Steering Wheel

Two aspects are important when it comes to steering wheels: looks and functionality. Holding aesthetics in such high regard is not a fluke because the wheel is a primary point of contact for control over the vehicle. If you dislike the style and feel of your steering wheel this will shape your attitude toward driving in general, let alone the very car that is fitted with a lame handwheel. It’s also one of the few pieces you can easily replace with an affordable steering wheels substitute that will reflect your style.

replacing steering wheel
source: procarreviews.com

Controlling the movement of your car is well beyond the eye of the beholder. They have to be able to provide superb functionality as your life depends on it. If you don’t have clue where to start looking for a good one, checking the Australia Design Rules is a safe bet. Aftermarket parts like handwheels have to comply with these and other regulations. Double-check if the steering wheel is are compatible with the airbags. This is a major issue and you should be well aware that sometimes this replacement may leave you without viable airbags.

In terms of materials, you have to make sure the wires, connectors, mounting bolts and adapters are made to last. Mounting should be fairly easy to do with a hex key, however, if you don’t know how to do it head to an experienced fitter. Leather and wood are often used to make the spokes more appealing and stylish. This is quite subjective and you have to choose the look and feel that will put you at ease.

Don’t forget the other elements of the dashboard that serve as a backdrop to the wheel. All of those car gauges, indicators, and performance meters have to form one unit. The whole front dashboard in a car has to be inconspicuous so you can focus your attention on the road ahead.

Brakes

Speaking of car parts paramount for controlling your vehicle, you also need to do regular maintenance of the braking system. This is particularly important because unlike your handwheel, brakes are prone to wear. Brake pads are subjected to great heat when they are put to use. Failing to service pads on time can result in substantial damage to the entire braking system.

brakes maintenance
source: ridetime.ca

Different types of original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket parts play their part in making your automotive brakes reliable. You have to keep track of the level and viscosity of the braking fluid. To do this you have to flush the brake fluid and bleed the brake lines once in a while. Don’t worry, not all of these tasks are done at your garage. Almost all of them have to be done by an experienced mechanic. Your chief task is to document the visits and keep a schedule. 

Automotive brakes are more than just brake pads and rotors. There are cylinders, pistons, and a whole hydraulics system. Some brakes don’t even employ brake discs, what they use are called brake drums. You can monitor them based on the mileage or at an interval of two years.

Keep in mind that your driving style contributes to the degree of wear in the braking system. Avoid carrying too much weight in your car because using the brakes when overloaded puts a lot of pressure on the system. If you are a novice, ask someone with driving acuity for tips on using the brakes. Overzealous or last-minute braking will have a toll on the system way sooner than skilful braking.

Exhausts

Some of the maintenance tasks have to do with the outline of the vehicle, the undercarriage or with making sure the ground clearance of the chassis is optimal. There are a lot of parts that end up on the other side of the car floor. It goes way beyond the brake lines and includes tubing, gears and exhaust systems.

Tweaking of the exhaust is quite common. Some off-road enthusiasts do it because they dislike the audible drone which penetrates the cabin during driving. Others go for it because they are looking for ways to improve fuel economy. Installing new high-quality 4WD exhaust systems will deliver those results.

car exhaust
source: mufflermasterscs.com

It might seem counter-intuitive, but aftermarket exhaust is superior to original manufacturer equipment. This is a generalization, however, it applies across the board. Vehicle manufacturers are looking for ways to streamline the process. Often this includes using inferior, but fast and cost-effective production methods. In terms of 4WD exhaust systems, you can simply check the method that was used to bend the tubing and you would be made aware of the quality of the parts.

Manufacturing uses stock parts. They are crash-bend and this creates restrictions to the airflow in the tubing. Aftermarket exhaust systems are predominantly handmade and shaped with the mandrel bending technique. You should also pay close attention to the materials used for the hardware. High-grade stainless steel or aluminium alloys are most durable, and this applies to all of the pieces in the set: tubing, plates, brackets, straight pipe and resonator. The weld and the type of enamel are also signs of craftsmanship so take a good look at those aspects too.