Car Maintenance 101: Prepping for Checking Your Vehicle’s Exterior for Car Troubles

Vehicle maintenance isn’t just about checking under your hood or looking through your vehicle’s exhaust system. Most of the time we tend to overlook the simple dents and rust problems we see at the exterior. The condition of your vehicle’s exterior can be extremely telling of the state of your ride’s crucial systems.

The simple problem that most vehicle owners encounter when it comes to checking the vehicle’s exterior is that the more time you spend driving your vehicle the easier it becomes to overlook the seemingly simple problems. Having critical eyes are crucial when it comes to checking your ride’s exteriors for signs of vehicle troubles. Sometimes, a simple check of the exterior can help you find out the different problems your vehicle has, allowing you to correct these problems as soon as possible—thereby saving your hundreds or even thousands of dollars in major vehicle repair.

When checking your ride’s exterior, be sure to watch out for signs of leaks, rust, busted lamps and signs of exhaust issues. Here are some tips on how you can prepare your car prior to checking your vehicle’s exterior.

Park your vehicle on a level surface. There are numerous reasons why you need to park your vehicle on a level surface. First, you’ll need to see your vehicle’s balance and second, you need to make sure your wheels are perfectly aligned.

As much as possible, conduct your check during the day and park your vehicle outside the garage. Aside from better visibility because of the amount of natural light, you have to keep in mind that you’ll be running your vehicle’s engine at least a short time before the actual inspection. By parking outside, you’re preventing the buildup of exhaust fumes inside your garage. If you really plan on working indoors, make sure all the windows are open and that you have an exhaust fan turned on and pointing outdoors.

Have a pen and a notebook ready. If you spot more than one potential problem, the pen and paper can be really useful in helping you remember all the vehicle parts you need to check.

Have a flashlight ready for under the vehicle action. It’s not just the sides of your car that you’re inspecting; you also need to peer underneath your car. For added light, have an ultra-bright flashlight ready.

Bring a friend or a family member along to help you assess your vehicle’s condition. When checking your vehicle’s exterior, you’ll also be checking all the different types of lights installed on your vehicle. Having someone with you will help make this routine check faster and easier. You can also ask your willing assistant to tell you how funky your first stream of exhaust appears to be to help you figure out if you have a damaged engine head or if your ride is in dire need of an oil change.

Lastly, it’s highly advisable that you conduct this test at least once every four to six weeks.

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