A Basic Guide to Car Maintenance in Australia – What you Need to Know

Surya Yadav

If you have recently passed your driving test, you are probably thinking about buying your first car; a small budget will get you a small hatchback that is economical to run, which for many, is the only way to become a car owner.

In this short article, we offer some basic knowledge on vehicle maintenance and why it is so important. 

  • Power unit – The engine would either be petrol or diesel fuelled, both require servicing in accordance with the owner’s manual, an important document that stays with the vehicle for its entire life. Engine oil is changed every service, which would typically be every 5,000 miles, along with the oil filter, a small device that captures tiny slivers of metal that could harm the engine. The best car mechanic repairs in Southport are only a Google search away and they can service your car according to the correct mileage.
  • Belts – A car engine has numerous drive belts and they have to be examined for tension and wear. The timing belt is a critical component and should be checked by an approved technician, while fan belts are required to cool the power unit.
  • Brakes, wheels & tyres – Brake pads are checked every service; a quality set of ceramic brake pads would last around 50,000 miles. Tyres should be inspected for tread depth, wear and tear and bulges. Tyres must be changed by the pair or all four; the only time to change one tyre is for an emergency situation; it is important for handling that both left and right tyres have the same tread, which gives even grip. So, you can replace the front or rear 2 tyres, or replace all 4 tyres, the choice is yours. Click here for tips to maintain your driveway.
  • Engine cooling system – The radiator cap is removed (when the engine is cold) and coolant level checked and topped up as and when required. The fan belt is checked for correct tension and the system inspected for leaks.
  • Steering – Most cars have power steering and the fluid level needs to be checked and topped up if required. The mechanic would check the steering when driving the car and investigate anything out of the ordinary.
  • Gearbox oil – This is always checked and rarely replaced; see owner’s manual for details. Most cars are auto gear, which means the clutch mechanism is enclosed and should not require attention until it is time to replace the clutch plates. If there are strange sounds, inform the mechanic and he will investigate.

We recommend sourcing a local garage that is manufacturer-approved to service your make and model. Click here for vehicle registration information from the Australian government. Make sure that your car has adequate insurance before driving it on the roads and never drink and drive!

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