An Effective Way To Maintain And Service Your Car Yourself

One of the challenges facing car users in Nigeria and most African countries is not buying a car but ensuring the car is in good condition at all times which includes both servicing and maintenance. Adequate maintenance of cars does not only make it perform better but also enhance it to last longer.

To some low-income earners in Nigeria, adequate maintenance of cars is best achieved when you are wealthy enough to spend a huge amount of money in the garage.


This is true to some extent, however, maintaining your car does not necessarily means you have to spend heavily in the garage all the time if you know the tips on car maintenance and servicing.

Any person with the basic knowledge of car engine can easily maintain and service minor repairs in the vehicle, mainly if he has the necessary tools and the owner’s manual that spells out various parts of the vehicle.

Below are some directives on how to maintain and personally service your car;

Be Safety Conscious

  • Discover some parts of the car that can cause injury in certain condition such as engine (when hot), battery acid (when the battery cell is open or touching the exhaust section (when hot) and so on.
  • The above mention, can help you to avert the danger that may likely occur if you touch those areas.
  • Also, ensure you put a wedge under the car and don’t take the risk of working under the vehicle while on the jack as it can fall on you if there is a little shake from any angle.


Follow the right directive

  • Ensure you know and use the right tools, and guideline in loosening or tightening car bolts and nuts.
  • Remember that over tightening can cause the tread to worn out easily or bolt break into the tread section and which will be difficult to drill out.
  • Make sure you have original tools to avoid damaging the bolt or screw which will amount to extra charges before it will be extracted and replaced.


Read the owner’s manual carefully

  • Scan through the owner’s manual to identify solutions to the car problem you are trying to repair.
  • The owner’s manual can easily help you to identify the likely problems and solutions to the car faults.
  • Some of the modern vehicles do include a video CD that shows the likely problems of the car and its practical maintenance or repair solutions.
  • Remember that manuals and repair solutions of cars may differ from one car to another, therefore, make sure you use the manual or video of your particular brand of vehicle.

   The table of content will easily direct you to parts of the car and its solution.


Mark the areas you unplug

  • Apply caution on how you touch the electrical sections of the car especially the fuse box.
  • Make sure you don’t remove more than one fuse at a time and replace before removing another to avoid complications.
  • The owner’s manual will easily direct you on where to locate the fuse box of your vehicle.


Attempt fixing small and easy faults

  • The first step to solving problems is to discover the cause of the problem. Here, you have to find out the actual fault of the vehicle before attempting to fix it yourself.
  • Don’t work on assumptions to avoid complicating issues more further.
  • Attempt fixing smaller fault like changing of plugs, carefully replacing the wires, replacing the contact point of a distributor, changing the oil filter and engine oil, fixing the side mirror, and replacing the sand protector.
  • Don’t tamper with the timing, crankshaft and engine block and piston area, top cylinder, and others, leave that to a professional as this can cause a total breakdown of the vehicle and which will cost a lot of money to repair.


Consult a spare parts dealer

  • You need to be friendly with spare parts dealers of your brand of car as they are familiar with the likely faults and may have an easy solutions to them.
  • They are in the business and can know the fault of your car from your explanations.

Some of them can even know how to fix those faults and most out of enthusiasm can do it for you at a little or no cost.


Be careful on how you tamper with the parts

  • Carefully dismantle any parts of the vehicle that you think is faulty and place it very well as this will serve as a guide when replacing with a new one or when fixing it back.

You can also mark the parts removed with ink so as to help you know the right positions when fixing it back.


Replace the parts

  • Make sure you tight bolts and nuts removed while fixing the vehicle and make sure you put washer where necessary.



Not all car servicing and maintenance should be done by professionals. There are some minor faults that can be detected and fixed by non-experts following the guideline in the operational manual.

Related Information:

Basic Things To Do To Make Your Car Last Longer in Africa

Purchasing a car in most African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and other African countries; is capital intensive; car dealers no doubt are patronised by local buyers who can afford to...

How To Sell Fairly Used Car In Nigeria

The practice of selling off used cars after few years of usage is becoming increasingly noticed in Nigeria; this they say is to enable them to purchase a sound car and avoid spending a lot on...

How To Purchase A Good Car Brand In Nigeria

The first thing to do when planning to buy a car is to ascertain the amount of money budgeted for it. In budgeting, you have to know that you must not use the whole money you...