Most reputed car service stations do a great job as far as regular servicing is concerned. However, as a responsible car owner, you need to know the basics of car maintenance. The tips shared in this post will help you figure the quality of a recently done car service.
Without further ado, here are the 4 things you need to check after they give you the keys at the service station.
Check the Undercarriage
No matter where you go to get your car serviced, a deep clean is included in the package. This not only includes cleaning and buffing service but also includes cleaning the car’s undercarriage using a pressure washer. While it’s easy to detect if the car in general looks polished or not, the undercarriage often goes unnoticed. Some service stations even forget or knowingly skip cleaning the undercarriage because it’s an effort intensive task. Some avoid doing that because their vehicle lifts are already working overtime. Dirt and grime can cause rusting and thus you need to make sure this task has been done properly.
Almost all service stations are equipped with heavy duty vehicle lifts and you can ask them to jack up your car so you can check out the job.
Check the Dipstick Before and After the Service
One of the most important aspects of regular car servicing is changing the engine oil. If a service station cannot do that properly they should pretty much refund you the entire money and then pay you some more for the time. This simple task of oil change ensures optimal engine performance as well as reduces wear and tear.
A simple way to check if the engine oil has been changed or not is by pulling out the dipstick. If it’s black and grimy, then the service has not been done properly or not done at all. The oil on the dipstick should have a golden hue and clean without even a smidgen of dirt.
Check the Coolant Color
Depending on whether or not it was performed, you need to check the status of your car’s coolant or antifreeze. By status we mean color.
Warning: Coolants can get really hot, enough to cause second degree burns. When performing this test make sure the engine off and it has been so for some time. The temperature of the upper radiator hose is a good indicator of whether you should open the radiator cap or not. If the hose is cool or slightly warm, you are good to go. If the hose is hot, then allow the engine to rest for a while before coming back and checking again.
Considering that you read the warning, remove the radiator cap to check the coolant color. If it’s green and clean, then it has been recently changed. If the color is brown and rusty then the coolant change has not been done. Also, the level of the coolant is a good indicator. If it’s full to the brim, almost ready to spill out, then the coolant has been changed.
Now, here’s a scenario. What happens if the coolant levels are fine but the color is brown? That simply means that the service center either poured in used coolant or at least there is enough reason to question the quality of the “new” coolant.
Take a Test Drive
Taking a test drive is the best way to find out how your car is doing. As a regular driver, you know how your car behaves and know the sounds and noises it usually makes. Ask the service station technician to take a test drive with you and point out the problems if you find any.