If you own a car, it is important that you take it to a mechanic a couple of times a year for maintenance visits. However, there are certain maintenance checks that you can perform on your own at home.

If you own used cars in Calgary, it is good to know about some of the problems you can diagnose in your vehicle, so you can save time and money when you bring it into the shop. In this blog post, our team goes over four things you should check your car for and how to check them.

#1 Check for Leaks

Leaky fluid can just be water coming from your air conditioning unit, but depending on the color of the fluid, it can be a sign of a problem. A slippery, clear fluid indicates that your brake fluid is leaking. If you notice dark red fluid, this could be your power steering fluid or transmission fluid. Amber or black liquid may be engine oil.

#2 Keep an Ear Out for Screeches

A screeching noise may be tough to miss. It is important to take action when screeching occurs to properly determine what is going on. When you notice screeching after hitting the brakes, this can indicate that your brake pads are worn down and require replacement. Screeching when you accelerate can mean that you require a new fan belt.

If you hear screeching in the early morning when backing out of your driveway, this might just be because of the accumulation of early morning dew and moisture coming out from under your brakes. This isn’t a concern most of the time, but if it is persistent, get your car checked out.

#3 Pay Close Attention to Your Brakes

It should come as no surprise that your brakes are an essential part of your car. Any time you notice something wrong with your brakes, you should get them looked at immediately by a professional mechanic. If your brakes feel squishy or springy when you press down on them, there may be excess air in your brake lines.s

Sometimes, brakes can pulsate or vibrate when you press down on them. This can indicate that the rotors are worn down. Check the rear and front rotors to determine where the vibrations are coming from.

#4 The Battery is Important

If your car does not have a working battery, you won’t get very far with it. If you see white powder on the outside of your battery, this means that the alternator is overcharging it, and you need to take your car to a mechanic.

If you notice that your engine takes a few turns before starting or that your headlights are unusually dim, then your battery may be running low. Most batteries last about three years, so if you are suspicious that yours is losing steam, have it checked.