Car maintenance: Spark plugs, air filter and oil (2022)

15 Min Read
Car maintenance

Even a low-cost purchase could turn into an expensive mistake if you do not give the classic vehicle the reverence it deserves.

When owners of inexpensive cars get their vehicles appropriately serviced, they frequently express gratitude.

Car maintenance

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some important considerations that should guide your search for an affordable pre-owned vehicle.

The excitement of purchasing a car for five hundred dollars

Many things set a 500 car apart from other automobiles: Some owners invest tens of thousands of euros in their vehicles. In contrast, others are satisfied driving cars that cost about the same as a new set of aluminum wheels.

If a vehicle of this price range has passed the pre-purchase inspection, it is usually possible to fix it with just a few measurements and have it function normally for many years.

Initial Evaluations Regarding Automobile Upkeep

There is a justification behind why these automobiles are sold at such reduced prices: They are no longer required.

In most cases, previous owners have refused to care for the vehicle for months or even years properly.

Because of this, the importance of beginning the time intervals for car maintenance from scratch has grown even further.

That is, the car’s new owner is aware, beginning from either a specific date or a specific mileage, of the intervals at which it is necessary to perform the regular tasks of maintaining the vehicle.

The following items should be prioritized when it comes to auto maintenance

– Give the engine a complete and thorough cleaning

– Change all filters

– Replace the breaker contacts and any spark plugs, ignition distributor caps, wires, and distributor caps, if necessary

– Make sure to swap out all of the fluids in the vehicle.

Learn how to properly wash an engine by looking at this guide: Car washing tips for optimal maintenance of your motor vehicle


The engine air filter is considered the most critical filter in a vehicle. It can be found in the engine compartment, concealed behind a large plastic cover.

The housing may be fastened shut using screws or staples, depending on the type of vehicle.

Once the housing has been opened, the filter will be extracted. When you first open it, you should examine its state to see if it has been damaged. It is dripping with oil, and there are a few possible explanations for this:

– The engine is sucking in oily air and leaking oil at the same time

– There is a problem with the gasket that seals the cylinder head

– There is a blockage in the engine’s ventilation system

– The AGR valve is stuck

– There is a problem with the gaskets that are attached to the valve stems

– The car has valve damage

– There is a tear in the compression rings

A few years of neglect will almost certainly result in the formation of a thin layer of oil film on the vehicle’s surface.

On the other hand, if the air filter is sitting in a puddle of oil and has been soaked with engine oil, then the damage is most likely significantly more severe.

Before you buy a car or perform any maintenance, you should always check the oil filter. Do not buy a vehicle that has been damaged to this extent!

Before installing a new air filter, the housing of the old filter must be cleaned if it is dirty or slightly greasy.

You must wait until all the brake cleaners have evaporated before starting the engine if it was used for this purpose.

Pollen filters, air filters in the air conditioning system, air filters in the fuel system, cabin filters, and so on are other filters that can be found in a vehicle.

By replacing all of the car’s filters, the comfort level and the vehicle’s efficiency will be significantly improved.

Car maintenance, best tips

To get the car to start up once more

If you buy a used car, you must change the spark plug as part of the vehicle’s regular maintenance.

Even in this regard, it may have been done incorrectly for many years, making it necessary to adjust in any event.

When purchasing a new spark plug, you should only use the information printed on the vehicle registration.

It is not the best idea to go to an accessories dealer carrying your worn-out spark plug in your hand. There is always a chance that the previous owner installed the incorrect model in its place.

During the process of changing the spark plug, taking a look at the old spark plug can be very illuminating:


It has been years since the spark plugs were changed, a fuel of poor quality has been used, either the piston rings or the cylinder head gasket are faulty, and the engine has not been adequately maintained.

Coating of soot

Either the driver has only taken the vehicle on relatively short journeys, or the spark plug has the incorrect thermal value.

Coating of oil

Because of a problem with either the spark plug or the ignition cable, the cylinder will not start. A complete overhaul of the ignition system can immediately result in a power increase of up to 30 percent.

Changing a spark plug is a reasonably straightforward process

Remove it using the appropriate wrench, then screw in a replacement after you’ve finished. Only tighten by hand, thank you!

A broken spark plug is a costly problem to fix. The spark plug will almost always need to have a hole drilled through it, and a new thread will need to be cut.

When it comes to older cars, like the ones we’re talking about here, this typically means the vehicle is a total loss financially.

The ignition distributor cap and wires for the majority of vehicles only cost a total of approximately 50$ when purchased together.

When these components are replaced, the vehicle is returned to its like-new condition. However, a slightly higher level of expertise is required to repair the breaker contacts.

These can be found directly beneath the distributor cap. On the other hand, using ignition systems that include breaker contacts is becoming increasingly rare.

Simply switching out the engine oil is not enough

Oil for the engine, coolant, and brake fluid are the three most essential fluids in a vehicle.

When purchasing a used car, one thing that needs to be done is to get the oil changed.

This should be done regardless of whether the previous owner knows when it was last done, especially if the previous owner does not know. Altering the motor oil also necessitates the replacement of the oil filter.

Through the bleed screw located on the cooler, the coolant can be drained with relative ease. If it is a rusty red color, you must flush and clean the cooling system as soon as possible.

When this occurs, no antifreeze has been added, and the vehicle has been sitting still for a considerable amount of time.

Attach the watering hose to the cooling water hose, then flush the system with water until the reddish color of the water no longer appears.

However, you should be aware that there is also a red antifreeze. This is more pink or cherry red, and it is straightforward to tell apart from the rust-red caused by corroded iron.

When the coolant has an intense rust-red color, it is typically beneficial to perform a comprehensive cleaning of the cooler.

The appropriate means for this purpose is sourced from a reputable manufacturer, ranging in price from just 8 to 15$, and have the potential to extend the amount of time the car is functional significantly.

It would help if you went to a workshop to have the oil changed. Because they are an essential part of the vehicle, the brakes should never be worked on by anyone other than trained professionals.

Those concerned about their budget should, at the very least, check the amount of water in the oil: This tool can be purchased for only 7$, providing the necessary level of safety.

If the color of the brake fluid has already changed to green, the only option is to replace it.

Changing the transmission oil can be helpful if the car has a wheezing quality and it isn’t easy to shift gears.

This job is somewhat more complicated, but one person can do it perfectly well if they have the appropriate amount of experience and tools. Using new transmission oil can perform miracles in an older vehicle and bring it back to life.

The timing belt, brakes, and tires

It is rarely a good idea to go through life without knowing when the timing belt was last replaced.

In this kind of scenario, only one thing can be done, which is to replace all of the relevant components.

New components will need to be installed for the water pump and the belts and tensioner roller. This ensures no unpleasant surprises during operations and provides the necessary operational safety.

Examining the state of the brakes should be considered a bare minimum. The discs and linings should be replaced to achieve the best possible results.

The prices currently being asked for these components in online sales are extremely low. No justification exists for bringing the brakes up to their maximum wear level.

The same reasoning can be applied to tires. New tires are available for 20$. The cost of a professional installation, including balancing and disposal of the old tires, is approximately 15$.

In exchange, you will receive brand new wheels to drive without risk. Therefore, operating in the rain and turning corners won’t be an issue anymore.

A fresh battery for the chilly winter months

It is in the owner’s best interest to replace the battery in older automobiles if the battery is the same age as the vehicle.

Nothing is more frustrating than a vehicle that will not start because the battery has become less potent with age.

The price of new batteries has dropped to around 40$. Even the most miniature expensive batteries are preferable to one not working correctly.

Don’t forget to bring the old travel battery with you when you buy the new one at the store specializing in spare parts. In most cases, they will take used batteries there to be disposed of.

Lighting that is guaranteed for the long term

You will have a reliable solution for a long time if you install LEDs to power the taillights, turn signals, and brake lights on your vehicle.

The benefit of these lights is that they are so long-lasting that you can even use them in your next vehicle.

Fixing the headlight cover only requires an old toothbrush, some toothpaste, and a few minutes of your time (pearl white is ideal). Similarly, they use LED lamps for the dashboard lighting, which is a significant improvement.

During the replacement process, you will notice that most previously used bulbs have already lost their light. Therefore, driving at night turns into a thrilling experience.

Do not be afraid while the mechanic is working on your vehicle!

The ability to customize low-cost automobiles to an extreme degree is one of their primary selling points.

With a car worth €500, you don’t have to worry about wrecking it. Therefore, empty your toolbox and prepare your grinding wheels before continuing.

You have nothing to lose while also having the potential to advance your knowledge. Working on an old car is how many people have discovered that they have a passion for being a mechanic; you might be one of those people.

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