When it comes to regularly maintaining your Honda cars, the saying “prevention is better than cure” is true a hundred times over. This is not only to ensure a smooth ride but also to keep your vehicle in good condition.
Yes, we all agree to the fact that being a car owner, you often tend to ignore the maintenance of your car, as long as it is running without making any weird noises.
Studies have shown that the average age of cars in Malaysia is rising. Cars require good repair and service as they get older.
The Car Care Council recommends drivers of older vehicles to ensure there is a preventative maintenance plan for their car to reduce the chance of any roadside breakdowns and to help the car to run more economically.
Richard White the executive director of Car Care Council has said that “with the average vehicle age exceeding 11.5 years, the chance of a breakdown or service issue on an older vehicle is much greater.”
Why is car maintenance important?
1. Reduces the repair cost
Regular maintenance helps to reduce the repair cost of your Honda car.
Having periodic check-ups allows you to determine your car health and to check whether there are any signs of minor problems such as wear and tear due to friction, cracks, leaks and so on.
When you neglect to fix these problems, they can develop into a major issue costing you a huge sum for repair or replacement.
Vehicle maintenance helps to prolong the longevity of the engine and other components, minimizing the need for an early replacement.
2. Increased Safety
A car breakdown on the highway and at odd hours is a very risky situation.
When it comes to running parts, anything can happen if not properly maintained. Sticking tightly to your routine car maintenance services will increase your safety while on the road.
This will also help to prevent sensitive or moving parts from breaking off and creating larger issues while running.
3. Gives a long life to your car
By adhering to a regular maintenance schedule, you could ensure the smooth functioning of all the working components and ensure that your car enjoys a long life.
This can also help to reduce wear and tear, thus giving your car a long life.
Additionally, you could also prevent costly repairs that might creep in on:
- Cooling system
- Transmission system etc.
4. Reduces the fuel cost
Often you might have noticed that the fuel mileage tends to do well if you take good care of your car and vice versa as well.
Keeping your car in good condition with regular maintenance will ensure that you don’t have to fill up your fuel tank more often, which is a waste of both time and money.
5. Ensure peak performance
A car which is properly maintained will keep up with the best performance.
If you are someone who regularly maintains your car, you can ensure:
- Stable steering
- Better speed
- More tyre traction, and,
- Reliable engine starts
6. Keeps the car value high
Another additional advantage of regular car maintenance is that it will help to keep the car value high.
Honda authorized service centres create a service history which contains the details of all the maintenance done on your vehicle, cost, frequency, difficulty level and so on.
A prospective buyer can verify all the records during the time of resale, and you are sure to get a good price by selling your used car.
7. Saves cost
Needless to say, if you take care of your car on a regular basis, you could cut down the chances of any major repair and therefore, save on the over annual cash spent on your vehicle.
Top car maintenance tips to follow
To help maintain your car better, we present you with a list of tips that are sure to make your vehicle runs smoothly for years to come.
1. Inspect your vehicle on a regular basis
This is something you could do by yourself every weekend.
The main advantage of a physical inspection is that you get to know whether you can fix the problem by yourself or need to call for professional help.
If you are doing it for the first time and don’t know where to start, you could refer to the user manual or look for self-help videos on the internet.
2. Check what the sensors have to say
Almost all versions of Honda cars have sensors and warning systems attached to a centralized microprocessor-based control unit.
If you know about the various indications from the warning sensors, you can fix your car as soon as a warning indicator triggers an alert instead of waiting for the service mechanic to discover the problem.
Below are a few lists of warning sensors that you need to look out for:
Brake light warning
You might have seen it flashing on your instrument panel. This could simply mean your parking brakes are on or you need to fill your brake fluid.
Better to check the manual for any special indications.
Coolant warning light
This usually happens when your engine is overheated. It is not a frequent occurrence but could happen after driving long hours. In these scenarios, pull over your vehicle and open the hood. Do not open the radiator cap without the engine cooling down or it will lead to serious accidents.
Oil warning light
When this indicator is on, it is advisable to immediately stop your vehicle and check the oil levels. Do not attempt to drive any further as it could seriously damage your engine.
This warning could indicate a faulty oil pump, blockage in the oil filter or low levels of oil.
Electrical warning light
If this indicator is on, it simply means there is a fault with your car’s electrical system. In a good number of cases, the problem will be a loose wire or a faulty alternator.
This usually indicates some problem with your anti-lock braking system. ABS is a crucial part of your car to maintain the balance and enable perfect braking.
If you find this light on it is better to stop your journey and immediately dial the emergency Honda roadside assistance.
This could indicate a problem in any of the components attached to the engine. If you cannot understand the codes, you could ask for the help of service personnel to scan your engine with a scanner.
3. Check the tyre pressure
Although it sounds simple, most people often fail to check their tyre pressure on a regular basis.
Tyre pressure is a vital component which has a direct relation with your mileage, smoothness of the drive, braking and road grip.
Ideally, tyre pressure should be checked on a weekly basis. You could get simple gadgets to check your tyre pressure or avail the free service which several filling stations offer.
4. Check the wheel alignment
Wheel alignment is important as it has a direct role in ensuring your safety, breaking and maintaining fuel levels.
The alignment of the wheels has to be checked after running certain prefixed kilometres. This may vary among different models, and you could always refer to your car user manual to determine the exact number of kilometres after which you need to check your wheel alignment.
5. Check the belt drives.
The function of a belt is to transfer the power from your engine’s crankshaft to various other devices such as power steering, water pump, alternator, compressor and so on.
Modern-day cars are fitted with a single belt drive which is made of polymers or rubber. After prolonged running, the belt drives will tend to develop cracks and degrade.
It is vital to check the belts from time to time to inspect for any cracks or damages.
6. Transmission fluid
Checking your transmission fluid should be an integral part of your car maintenance. Your car has a lot of mechanical moving parts that brush against each other. To ensure smooth working of your car and maintenance of the car’s fuel economy, it is important to maintain good levels of engine oil.
Remove the oil dipstick and check the level of oil. Make sure that your oil level is between the H and L points marked on the tip of the stick.
Ideally, the transmission fluid should be changed after 40,000 kilometres.
7. Check the levels of coolant
Engine coolant helps to cool down the engine and other moving parts from excess heat generated due to friction.
If the coolant levels are not enough, excess heat won’t be dissipated into the environment, and this will result in overheating.
You could visually inspect the levels of your cooling reservoir and check whether it is up to the mark or not.
8. Check your mileage
Your car mileage has a lot to tell about its performance. If you’ve noticed a sudden dip in your engine mileage, it means that something is not working properly.
In most of the cases, low tyre pressure or improper alignment of the wheels could be the reason. Fixing this could solve the problem.
If the problem persists, you can check with a certified Honda service centre.
9. Air Filter
A clogged air filter negatively impacts your engine performance, making it hard for your engine to breathe.
Changing your air filter after every 15,000 to 30,000 miles will ensure good performance of the engine. If you drive your car in a highly dusty environment, replacing your filter every 15,000 miles will be a good idea.
10. Replace the spark plugs
Some symptoms of a faulty spark plug include:
- Lack of acceleration
- High fuel consumption
- Trouble in starting your engine
Replacing spark plugs after every 100,000 miles will help to keep your engine running smoothly.
Some of the factors that negatively impact battery life include:
- Extreme temperature
- A long period of non-use
If there is a fault in the battery, it will be indicated in the control panel of the car.
Make sure to replace your batteries after every 50,000 miles.
12. Power steering fluid
Lack of enough power steering fluid will make it hard to turn your steering wheel or cause excessive noise while turning.
If you are finding it hard to turn your steering wheel, change your steering fluid. It is recommended to change it after every 75,000 miles.
The above-mentioned steps are vital to make sure that all the internal components of your Honda cars are working smoothly. You could refer to the car user manual to check for a more precise maintenance schedule.
Do keep in mind that you could avoid some seriously expensive repairs by regularly checking your car for any fault and fixing it at the right time.