Here is a proceedure to service your own car .
1. Choose the correct engine oil for your engine , the correct spec of oil sae grades are written in your service had book or there will be a list where you buy you oil for the correct weight oil for you car , important , get the right grade of oil .
2. choose a good oil filter ryco or cooper i use , they are good filters , i use cooper as they are better quality and around the same price .
3. Before to go buy the oil and filter take a look at your oil , if its brown and gritty you will need to run an engine flush through the engine before you add new oil , best stuff for this is nulon engine flush , pour the whole bottle in your engine oil fill and run te engine hot for 20 to 30 mins , remove the sump plug drain the oil over night .
4. In the morning , replace the oil bung , add new oil to fill mark on dip stick , start the engine till the red oil light goes out , then switch off engine .
note : depending on model it is also a good idea to clean out your throttle body as the poor fuel we have in australia leaves carbon deposits in the throttle body , buy a good carbrettor cleaner and squirt down the throttle body , around the butterfly valve till all the carbon is gone , dont let the chemical laek all over the engine , put a rag under the throttle body as its highly volitile and can ignite . Put the engine intake pipe back on after cleaning and start the car , you will notice it will not start first go and when it does it will blow smoke , all that smoke is the crap you have just cleaned out of your throttle body , rev engine till the smoke clears . ( its best to clean out the throttle body BEFORE you drain your oil .
Thats your engine lube done .
5. Check the condition of yur drive belts , one of the most common cause of breakdowns is the drive belt worn or not tensioned correctly , run your fingers along the belt , if you feel or see cracks , replace the belt .
6. Check for oil and coolant leaks in your engine bay , if you see a leak , de-grease the area , wash with water but take note not to wet the electricals . After the area is clean , start the engine again and pinpoint the leak , replace the gasket or seal that is faulty .
7. Check the condition of the coolant , dip your finger in the coolant , it should have a strong colour , feel slippery when you rub it between your fingers , if its not replace it , and check the level , if its down there is a reason and no its not evaporation unless you have water in the system , to not put tap water in your coolant , use demineralised water if you need to add . the best coolant i use is nulon green 5 year coolant , its a bit more expensive but its good coolant suited for the tropics , check to make sure you use the correct type of coolant , most coolants have glyco in it but some cooling systems are not suited to glyco .
8. squeeze the cooling hoses , if you feel the hoses are crackerly , squeeze all the hose till the cracking sound stops , do all the heater , radiator and cooling hoses till this carcking sound stops , remove the bottom radiator hose and flush out system with water untill only clear water runs out . Note for excessive cracking in the hoses you will need to get your cooling system power flushed at some radiator outlet , the thermostat may need to be removed as well . Its best to let a professional do it , i can do it and a cooling service starts from $160.00 .
9. Remove the front wheels and check your steering , your looking for loose or worn parts , carry out a freeplay check with the wheel on the ground , engine of , wiggle the steering whel slowly back and forth , if you feel or hear any knocking or clicking when you wiggle the wheel then you have a problem with your steering , and again , best to let a professional do this .
10. Check your brakes , again let a professional do this , a car can break down , but remember it always has to stop , brakes are the most important item on any motor car .
11 . Check all your lights , washers etc for correct function .
12 Lubricate all door catches
13 Check you battery , terminals should be clean , battery clamp should be firm .
14 Check your brake and clutch fluid , you can see the level in most cars without taking the cap off , again if the fluid is down , there is a leak and you should take it to your mechanic straight way .
15 Check your drive line oils and fluids , if you have an automatic , you need to check the auto fluid with the engine running , if you don't you wont get the correct reading and if yu don't know how to check the levels , refer to your serive book or get a mechanic to do it .
16. check hand brake , make sure its not loose and holds the vehicle on a hill , if it doesn't adjust it , there is a diffrence in a hand brake and a park brake if your confused , dont attempt to adjust the cable as you may cause the park brake linings to overheat .
17. Check your tyre pressures , and adjust , including your spare but add another 5psi to your spare . It amazes me that people only check the pressure when they service the car , it should be done once a week . Check the tread on the tyre , it should have even wear accross the surface of the tyre , if its scrubbed its needs a wheel alignment or it could be a result of poor under inflation which in most cases it is . Dont fit a worn tyre to the front steers , they need to be the correct size and tread pattern , this is the law , make sure you do this , very important .
Thats about it , thats the way you should service your car , if your not qualified or confident to do this give me a call 0498483681 i can teach you or do it for you .