How to Maintain Your Car
Where can I find out how to maintain my car?
Knowing how to maintain your car doesn't require any special mechanical skills. Much of what you need to know can be found in your owner's manual. If you don't have your owner's manual, most carmakers have manuals online. Kia Canada provides online manuals here.
How do I check my oil?
To check your oil, all you need is a rag or cloth and to know where your engine's dipstick is located. Your owner's manual will show you where the dipstick is. Your car should be parked on a level surface, and the engine should be cold unless your owner's manual recommends warming it up first.
Raise the hood and prop it open, and pull the dipstick out. Wipe the excess oil off the dipstick, and then insert it back into its tube. Pull it out again, and look to see where the oil is on the dipstick. There should be two marks or holes or a crosshatched area, and if the oil level falls between the marks or holes or within the crosshatching, your car has enough oil. The oil should be brown or black, and clear without any metal particles in it. If it has bits of metal or looks milky, make a service appointment to have your engine checked out.
If the oil level is a little low, you can buy oil at any gas station or auto parts store. Your owner's manual will tell you what kind to buy. The filler cap where you pour in the oil is usually on top of the engine, and is often marked with a little icon of an old-fashioned oilcan.
How do I check my tire pressure?
Ideally, you should check your tire pressure once a month. You'll probably find it worthwhile to buy a tire pressure gauge to keep in your car. You can buy one for as little as $6 online or at auto parts stores. The ideal pressure for your tires is listed on the sidewalls of your tires or in your owner's manual. You can add pressure with a service station air hose, but a bicycle pump works just as well.
How often should I rotate my tires?
Most experts recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or every six months. Check your owner's manual to see if there is a recommended interval for the model of car you drive. Some people get their tires rotated with every oil change, but if you get your oil changed several times per year you might only want to have your tires rotated at every other service interval.