Tips on used car maintenance

These are some simple checks you can perform on your imported used Japanese car or truck before starting off :

  1. Check the battery power. If it is on the lower end,recharge or change the fluids or the battery itself.
  2. Check if there is enough fuel and you are using the right quality fuel.
  3. Let the speedometer glow for awhile before you fully turn the ignition.
  4. If your engine is not starting up after this look out for blown fuses, you might need to replace one.
  5. Let the engine run for a couple of minutes before stepping on the pedal.
  6. Listen to the sound of the engine, are all cylinders firing, no knocking or smoke belching from the exhaust
  7. Check the engine oil colour and level. If it is too dark or too little you might have to change it.
  8. Check if all tyres are properly inflated,the right kind and with sufficient thread for your road conditions.
  9. Do a test drive to feel the brakes,power steering and electrics are functioning i.e. lights,windows,mirrors.
  10. Check if the wiper blades are not scratching the windshield glass,in that case you need to change them.
  11. If the timing belt change light shows on the speedometer you will have to get a new one.
  12. When changing the timing belt you could ask the mechanic if the spark plugs,fan belt,water pump need replacing.
  13. When changing the engine oil,ask the mechanic if the ATF (automatic transmission oil) oil filter need replacing
  14. Inspect the undercarriage,wheel wells and housing for excessive rust which might need coating.
  15. Check fluid levels of the coolant,brake fluid and wiper washer are sufficient.
  16. Feel the suspension by pressing down corners of the bonnet,trunk if they return smoothly,no bounces,squeaks
  17. If possible have regular tyre rotation done. Inspect for the slip sign "S" line showing on the thread.
  18. Look out for oil leaks under the engine oil pan.
  19. Make sure there are no chips or dings on the front windshield glass that will impair your view.
  20. Chipped glasses can be easily repaired. Cracked ones should be replaced for your own safety.
  21. Keep your boot uncluttered esp. of heavy items, it improves fuel efficiency and handling.
As mentioned these are a few tips from us to look out for. Buckle up and drive safely!

© Copyright 2000 Nippon Autos Ltd. All rights reserved.