When it comes to the maintenance of your beloved Mazda 3, it’s probably safe to say that you won’t spare any expense. If at all possible, you’ll entrust everything to a trusted Mazda 3 Perth shop to keep your car in great shape inside and out. Still, no matter how willing you are to spend for your car, you have to admit that regular check-ups and maintenance works cost a LOT. It may be easier on your schedule, but definitely much harder on your wallet.
You’ll do yourself and your Mazda 3 a favor if you instead learn a handful of car maintenance techniques. Not only will you save time and money, your vehicle will also look and run like new for longer. As a result, you’ll boost safety for you, your passengers, pedestrians, and fellow drivers. Check out these five simple maintenance procedures that you can DIY at any time.
Checking the Oil and Coolant Levels
To do these two easy but very important maintenance checks, make sure that your Mazda 3 has had the chance to cool down. It’s also important to park somewhere flat so the liquids aren’t tilted in their reservoirs. For the engine oil level, you need the oil dipstick. Wipe it clean then push it all the way down into the tube. When you pull the stick out, the oil streak should be somewhere between the indicators. If it’s not, add a few millilitres of oil then wait for a few minutes before checking the oil level again.
For the engine coolant, it’s as easy as checking the bottle near the radiator. This bottle is marked with high and low indicator levels, so all you have to do is to top up when necessary. Make sure to wear protective gloves or use a thick cloth when removing the radiator cap to prevent accidental burns and other injuries.
Checking the Tyre Pressure
The ideal tyre pressure for your Mazda 3 is 36 psi (this is indicated in your owner’s manual). Keep this figure in mind whenever you check the tyre pressure. Under- or over-inflated tyres can result in poor handling and traction, sagging, and premature and uneven wear and tear. Moreover, you’ll be covering less miles per litre of fuel if your tyres aren’t properly inflated.
The best time to check tyre pressure is before you’ve driven, so that the tyres are cold or at ambient temperature. This results in a more accurate reading. If you’ve driven for more than a kilometre, wait about three hours to let the tyres cool down. To use a tyre pressure gauge, insert it into the valve stem of the tyre. A digital gauge will show a reading immediately, while a pencil-type one will pop out the gauge and show the corresponding number. Let out some air if the reading is above the recommended psi; otherwise, add some air or bring your car to a Mazda 3 Perth shop to get the air pressure level right.
Cleaning the Engine
There are plenty of things that can affect the performance of your Mazda 3’s engine. Accumulated grease and dirt and debris like leaves and twigs can cause damage and prevent your engine from cooling down properly, among others. That’s why you should make it a habit to check your engine bay and learn how to clean it as needed.
As always, you should wait for your engine to cool down before cleaning it. Moreover, you should cover all electrical components as a precaution against electrical damage. Remove any debris you can remove by hand, then use a combination of a degreaser and car wash soap. This is to make sure you’ll remove all traces of dirt and oil. After a good scrubbing, rinse and dry all the parts thoroughly. You may want to use a vacuum cleaner to blow off excess water from hard-to-reach spaces. As a final step, you can use plastic or metal polish to restore shine.
Washing and Waxing Regularly
Maintaining your Mazda 3’s exterior looks highly depends on how often and how thorough you wash it. Once a week or once every two weeks would suffice, depending on how often you use your car and where you park. (If you park in a covered garage or lot, your car is less likely to get rained on, etc.) However, if your car gets muddied or splashed with oily residue, it’s best to wash immediately. You should also get rid of bird droppings, squashed bugs, and other debris as soon as possible so they don’t stick and get more difficult to remove.
Use soaps that are specially formulated for cars so you don’t strip away the wax. Also use a soft cloth for scrubbing so you don’t scratch the paint. Moreover, consider using the two-bucket method. One should contain clean water, while the other should be filled with your preferred car wash soap. The first bucket should be used to rinse the cloth before you dip it again into the soap bucket. Afterwards, rinse your car thoroughly and dry completely. Don’t let any of the water droplets to air-dry to prevent them any leaving marks on your car. Take note that your car’s surface can also get damaged eventually due to accumulated minerals from leftover water. Finally, you should wax your car after it’s completely dry to keep the paint in good condition. If you find minor scratches and similar kinds of damage, bring your car to a Mazda 3 Perth shop for polishing.
Keeping the Interiors Clean
It doesn’t matter if your car’s exteriors are gleaming and the paint is as bright as ever if the inside is filled with dirt, debris, and musty odours. Not even the strongest air freshener can cover a dirty, grimy car smell. What’s more, the air-conditioning system will work doubly hard and may get damaged prematurely if it’s always recirculating dirty, mildewy air.
All it takes is some mindfulness to keep your car interiors clean and smelling fresh. Remove any takeout food containers and wrappers immediately, check every nook and cranny for any trash, and wipe down all the surfaces like the dashboard and center console. Vacuuming the inside of your car is also a must to remove every bit of debris from top to bottom. Apart from keeping your Mazda 3’s interiors spotless, it also prevents dust, pet hair, and other allergens from circulating. Finally, you should regularly wash and change car seat covers (if you use them) and spray or wipe the seats with appropriate cleaners.
Learning simple car maintenance has a lot of benefits for your budget, comfort, health, and safety. You can start with these five and then move on to other steps in the future, like changing spark plugs, replacing the brake pads, and more. Just make sure that you’re using genuine Mazda parts for best results.