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Vehicle maintenance: everything you need to know


Jan 21, 2023
Vehicle maintenance

The rule is simple for car owners, both new and used, a well-maintained vehicle is a vehicle that will run longer and guarantee a certain safety on the roads. In fact, vehicle maintenance slows down the inevitable wear of parts while limiting fuel consumption. Therefore, checks are necessary and should be carried out at regular intervals. The same is true for certain mandatory checks such as for example the technical check which has become much more severe since July 1, 2019 and whose objective is to warn the driver of any mechanical problems, pollution and / or dangers that may have the vehicle.

Check vehicle fluid levels

The first simple step is to make some basic checks on the level of the different fluids that are essential for the proper functioning of a vehicle.

Engine oil

This liquid mainly helps the engine worked properly and lubricates its various parts that compose it. To prevent the engine from being damaged, it is necessary to regularly check when cold, the level of the engine oil by simply pulling the dipstick which is used for this purpose. This oil level gauge being graduated, you can see if the expected level is between the marks, minimum and maximum. If there is a lack of oil, all you have to do is open the filler cap and fill the tank with an oil suitable for your engine.


The coolant ensures that the engine does not overheat and maintains negative temperatures. Be careful to always have the engine cold before checking the fluid because the cooling radiator cap is a pressurized element so when hot, it can come out violently. Besides, one last piece of advice, use gloves, a towel or a cloth to avoid hurting yourself and even burning yourself.

Brake fluid

The brake fluid is very important and should not be neglected since it ensures the braking operation of the vehicle. To check the level of the brake fluid, you just have to look at the reservoir by transparency. In fact, too low a level or worn fluid can be a sign of brakes in poor condition. Do not play with fire because if so, you must quickly change the brake pads of your vehicle.

Transmission fluid

The transmission of a vehicle must be checked by an automotive professional during each maintenance visit because be aware that an insufficient amount of transmission oil can cause damage. All oil changes must be mentioned in the vehicle maintenance log and carried out according to the recommendations of the car manufacturer.

Power steering fluid

This fluid dedicated to the power steering must also be checked regularly by a professional according to what is indicated in the maintenance booklet for the vehicle . Note that not all models are equipped with a power steering fluid reservoir since some cars have electric power steering.

Windshield washer fluid

Windshield washer fluid affects visibility when driving, not the proper functioning of the vehicle. The latter is useful for cleaning the windshield, especially if you decide to take your car for a long trip. It is therefore advisable to adjust the windscreen washer level regularly and to top up the reservoir with an appropriate fluid depending on the season. In winter for example, do not hesitate to use an antifreeze product.

Condition of tires

It is useless to recall that the good condition of the tires ensures the safety of all persons on board the vehicle. It is necessary for a driver to know whether the tires of his vehicle are in good condition or not. The tires allow the wheels to adhere well to the ground and to expel water in the event of rain so as not to slip. To do this, they are provided with treads with an optimal depth or sometimes with studs. Each of the wheels has a wear indicator located in the tread pattern of your tyres, which together form a small bump. It is therefore advisable to check the depth of the tread pattern of your tires to realize that the wear has not reached the level of the indicator indicating that you have reached 1.6 millimetres. If that is the case,

The tread of the tire wears out more quickly, it is necessary to assess its condition regularly because it is very common for objects to lodge and remain stuck in the tread. However, if you notice the presence of a nail, screw, tear or dent, a tire change is mandatory to avoid the risk of a blowout or a flat tire. Before each departure of long car journeys, remember to inspect the tire pressure to avoid over-inflation or under-inflation that can lead to a tire blowout. It is even advisable to check the inflation pressure of your vehicle’s tires monthly and when cold. Respect the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer because it is adapted to your vehicle. And we remind you that incorrect tire pressure has a negative impact on fuel consumption.

Technical control

One of the most important checks that should not be forgotten is the technical inspection which is compulsory in France for all private vehicles as well as light commercial vehicles with a total weight less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes. The first technical inspection must therefore be carried out during the six months preceding the 4th year of registration for a new vehicle. Then, it is imperative to carry out it every two years, except if you have a professional use of it and there, you will have to do the technical control every year. Don’t forget that if you wish to buy or sell a vehicle, a technical inspection dating from less than 6 months must be given to the future owner.

Since the reform of May 2018 , the technical control has evolved at the level of the various checkpoints of the vehicle. But beware, on July 1 , 2019 , technical control was again affected with changes that have a more severe impact on polluting vehicles, including diesel cars. Be aware that in the absence of technical control you expose yourself to sanctions with the possibility of immobilization of the vehicle by the police.

Vehicle review

The revisions of a vehicle are usually done directly within one of the vehicle manufacturer’s centers but it is perfectly possible to do it at a reliable garage. They depend on the models and the brand, but generally a service takes place every 20,000 kilometers. The vehicle then undergoes a more in-depth check and overhaul: oil change, change of the various filters and others. Servicing a vehicle is strongly recommended to keep it in good working order for as long as possible. The practice is that the owner takes his vehicle to a garage at least once a year or every 15,000 kilometres. The maintenance of the vehicle, in this case, then concerns the checking of the engine, the balancing of the wheels, the quality of the brakes,

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