Most people use their car every day without a second thought. They get in, turn the key, and head out on their way. Unless you are a car enthusiast, you might not notice something is in need of repair until a warning light appears or a strange noise occurs. After all, keeping up with a vehicle requires some attention.

But what if you could minimize the likelihood of an expensive repair by doing only simple maintenance items? In this post, we will look at simple car maintenance tasks you can do that will potentially save you from experiencing a catastrophic event or costly car repair.

Check Tires

Tires are essential components of your vehicle as they make contact with the ground. Good tires versus bad ones can make a huge difference. Have you ever experienced a tire blowout or know someone who has? At high speeds, a tire blowout can be incredibly dangerous and cause more damage than just a flat tire. Almost all tire blowouts can be avoided by simply checking your tires periodically and replacing them when needed.

A good rule of thumb is to inspect your tires every month for wear, tread, and correct inflation. The tire sidewall will tell you the max psi they should be filled to. Overinflating can be just as bad as underinflating, so it is best to stay a little below the max. Check for signs of damage to the tires as well; if anything looks suspicious, you can take it to Greasemonkey Inspectors for a professional check.

Check the Oil

There is no avoiding the topic of engine oil when discussing basic car maintenance. Oil reduces the friction of the metal movable parts within the engine and is an absolute must. Checking the oil isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Most vehicles are equipped with dipsticks labeled “check oil.” The dipstick will also indicate if you are low on oil. If there is one maintenance item you should routinely do, it is checking the oil levels. If you find that your car is consistently low on oil, it could signal a leak or other issues within the motor.

Check Coolant Levels

Lastly, make sure to maintain adequate coolant in your vehicle’s cooling system. Each car requires a different type of coolant. TIP: Use caution when checking your coolant levels. Never try to open the radiator cap if your car has been running and reached its operating temperature. Doing so can cause injury. The coolant is a pressurized system, and when it is hot, pressure builds. The second you turn the cap, it will spray out at close to 200 degrees, which can cause burns. Instead, wait until your car has cooled down or check it before starting it in the morning.

Basic Prerequisites

Read the Owner’s Manual

When it comes to vehicles, there is no ‘one size fits all’ prescription. For example, the oil change schedule of your car depends on the type of car you drive. Contrary to the common misconception, you don’t need to change the oil every 3,000 miles. Make sure you read the owner’s manual to double-check what your vehicle needs during maintenance. If you don’t, you might end up putting the wrong oil into your vehicle’s engine and cause serious damage.

Learn the Meaning of Different Warning Light Indicators

Most modern cars will notify you via warning lights whenever there are issues that require immediate attention. However, those warning lights will be useless if you can’t interpret what they mean. Here’s how it goes:

  • Service engine light – This indicator light reminds you that the recommended maintenance schedule is due.
  • Check engine light – This light will tell you whenever the sensors in your engine detect a problem that needs fixing. Consult a mechanic or use an OBD2 scanner to find out the root cause.
  • Brake warning light – This light could mean your brake fluid level is low or the brake pads are worn out. Refer to the owner’s manual to be sure.
  • Coolant warning light – If you see this light, pull over immediately, open the hood, and wait for the car to cool down. Never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot!
  • ABS warning light – If this light flashes, there could be a problem with the anti-lock braking system. Do not risk driving your vehicle until the problem is fixed if both your ABS and brake warning lights are on.
  • Oil warning light – This light indicates the oil in your engine is lower than recommended. Driving your car when this light is on can wreak havoc on the engine.
  • Electrical fault light – This means there is an issue with the electrical charging system. Run a diagnostic to dig deeper into the cause.


Maintaining a good running vehicle is as simple as checking its primary components. These basic car maintenance tasks only take a few minutes and are well worth the time. Many repairs, breakdowns, or troubles can be avoided with proper care.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact Greasemonkey Inspectors. Check out our Inspection Packages to ensure your vehicle is in top condition.

Greasemonkey Inspectors | Melbourne Car Inspection

📞 0481 608 866
📧 support@greasemonkeyinspectors.com
📍 13/324 Settlement Road Thomastown VIC 3074

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