By Theodore Opara
So you bought a new car – complete with the new car smell, gadgets, the shimmering paint-job, the freedom only a new car can provide. However, your new pride and joy requires maintenance and care.
You don’t need to be a petrolhead or have a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering to make sure your new ride is running smoothly for years to come, but you need to be familiar with your car’s maintenance requirements as well as some technical basics. Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with its official distributor Coscharis Motors, offers the following tips to keep your car in showroom condition:
The most important thing you can do for your car is to ensure it is regularly serviced by an authorised dealer as they will be familiar with your vehicle and have all the necessary equipment to work on it. Therefore, one does not need to worry about faulty car parts being used. Your dealer will have parts designed specifically for your car. For example, at each service, Ford certified technicians at Coscharis Motors will check that your car is running as it should be and ensure that genuine Ford parts are used.
Some things you need to do yourself. These helpful maintenance basics from Ford Motor Company will help you keep your car in tip-top condition:
Engine: Water and oil are the lifeblood of your engine and Ford service agents recommend that you check your water and oil levels every time you fill up at the petrol station. It may sound excessive, but why not? Better safe than sorry and the petrol attendant will do it free while your fuel is topping up.
The tyres are what connects your car to the road and you really want the peace of mind that your tyres are in good shape. Make sure to stick to the correct tyre pressure (check your owner’s manual) and check the tread on each tyre.
Ask a friend to stand outside your car and help you check your park lights, high and low beams, indicators, and brake lights. Unless you have mechanical knowledge do not risk replacing faulty globes and bulbs on your own – it is a tricky job and you do not want to damage the light fixture.
Windscreen and wiper Clear visibility of the road is critical, so always get any chips or cracks on your windscreen fixed as soon as possible. Remember that small cracks will get bigger. Make sure your wiper blades are clean, and if they leave lines of water on your windshield in wet weather, they may be cracked, and it’s time to replace them. It is good practise to replace windshield wipers annually.
So If you feel that you might have a problem with your brakes, attend to them immediately. Several things may indicate a problem with the brakes: Does the brake pedal feel soft or spongy when depressed? Does the car pull to one side under braking? Can you hear a grinding or squealing sound? If the answer is yes to any of these, have your technician address the issue right away.
Paint & Bodywork: Ford recommends you wash your car on a regular basis with mild detergent liquid soap and lukewarm water. Rinse the bodywork once a week if you are unable to wash. Then check the paintwork for chips and scratches, and attend to any damage immediately. Failure to do so could cause unwanted corrosion.
If you are ever in doubt, check your owner’s manual and warranty/service guide. These booklets contain all the information you need to know as a car owner – how your car works, what consumables to use, what falls under the warranty and service plan, and much more.
“Through our various aftersales service centres and Ford-backed Quick Lane facilities, Nigerian drivers can be assured of expert auto maintenance,” says Abiona Babarinde, GM Marketing and Corporate Communications, Coscharis Motors.
Quick Lanes offer motorists the option of having professional maintenance performed for minor service items in the shortest amount of time possible and regardless of their vehicle’s brand. This includes oil and filter changes, new brake pads and drive belts, as well as electronic diagnostics. Quick Lane centres can also fit and rotate tyres, perform wheel alignment, and replace shock absorbers.
Ford Motor Company was recognised as the 2017 Auto Brand of the Year at the Nigerian Automotive Industry awards.
The brand’s comprehensive offering in the Nigerian market through Coscharis Motors includes the flagship assembled in Nigeria Ranger, halo nameplate Mustang, and Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) line-up which consists of the Edge, Escape, EcoSport and Explorer, the current Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the Year.