So you've just returned from a long road trip, the mileage reading on your speedometer a happy reminder of days well spent trundling along bumpy roads and hilly terrain. Of course, the muddy worn-out tyres, scratched paint on your bumper and barely functioning windshield wipers tell a different story - one that signals it's time to send your car for servicing.
While you wait for the return of your near-perfect vehicle from the service centre, here's a list of essential things to check after car servicing.
1. Engine and Battery: The heart and soul of your automobile, this is the most important item on your full car service checklist. Besides ensuring sound functioning of the engine and battery, also check for engine oil refill and coolant refill; and that the engine belts, radiator and spark plugs are all in top-notch condition.
2. Brakes and Steering: Just as a runner is quite powerless without her legs, a car cannot function without brakes. Hence, the second most important thing to check after car servicing is the condition of the brakes and level of brake fluid. Now, test the clutch, power steering, horn, gearbox and along with that, the suspension and power steering fluid.
3. Tyres: Your car's tyres undergo maximum wear and tear during road trips. That's why it's essential to get them serviced or changed, if need be, on your return to home turf. Your tyres need to be changed if air pressure is low, there are unfixable punctures and tyre thread depth is low (shows how worn out it is). Also check the health of the spare tyre in the boot. Ensure wheel balancing and alignment has also been ticked off the full car service checklist.
4. Wipers and Lights: Continuous use of the windshield wipers, especially during the monsoons, could well trigger malfunctioning. Ensure that your service centre tests these and tops up the wiper fluid. Apart from wipers, the headlights and tail lights should also be tested.
5. Interiors: Safety and cooling is essential for passengers in your car. Check that the service centre has examined the air filter, safety belts, door locks and hinges, and rear view mirror after car servicing, to ensure all is in good condition.
6. Exteriors: Scraped paint and scratches on your car's body are synonymous with frequent road trips. However, while you get a paint job done during servicing to get your shiny car back, do remember to also check your side mirrors and number plate for signs of damage, which may have well gone unnoticed.
7. Test Drive: Once your car returns squeaky clean and shiny from inside and out after car servicing, it is time to go for a test drive to ensure that all the above parameters have been ticked off the full car service checklist. Needless to say, the drive should be so smooth as to make you fall in love with your car, all over again!
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