Unleashing the Magic: Demystifying Light Vehicle Engine Maintenance

Understanding Light Vehicle Engine Maintenance

Knowledge of light vehicle engine maintenance is not only important for those who work in the field of mechanics, but also for car owners. In fact, light vehicle engine maintenance is a topic that is covered in Mechanical Engineering Vocational High Schools (SMK).

The curriculum covers various practical and conceptual steps related to the maintenance of a vehicle. However, this article will focus on summarizing the maintenance steps that can be taken by car owners. For those who wish to dive deeper, a guidebook is provided on the Ministry of Education and Culture's website.

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Purpose of Light Vehicle Engine Maintenance

According to Bintoro's book, "Maintenance of Light Vehicle Engines," vehicle maintenance can be divided into two types. The first type is planned maintenance, also known as periodic maintenance. This type of maintenance is carried out based on the vehicle's mileage or its lifetime, and is generally done every 10,000 km. The second type is unplanned maintenance, which is performed when the vehicle is damaged and requires repairs.

The main objectives of maintaining a vehicle include optimizing its condition, reducing operational costs, and ensuring safety and security while driving.

Stages of Light Vehicle Engine Maintenance

The same source details the steps that need to be carried out during light vehicle maintenance. In other words, disassembling a car also involves certain steps.


Before beginning any work, several things must be done during the preparation stage, such as selecting a work location, gathering the necessary equipment, and referring to the vehicle manual if needed.

Work Implementation

Once all the preparations are in order, car owners can work on their vehicle's parts. It is recommended to follow the applicable Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) during this stage.

Road Tests and Controls

After the work is complete, it is essential to exercise control over the work that has been done. For example, checking the tightness of bolts and ensuring there are no leaks. It is also important to make sure no equipment is left in the engine.

Cleaning and Delivery of Vehicles

Ideally, every vehicle that comes out of the workshop after undergoing maintenance should be in a clean condition. This means that there should be no traces of workmanship, such as oil or grease stuck to the body or interior. After cleaning, the vehicle is ready to be handed over to the consumer or used again. Lastly, all equipment that was used should be tidied up.

Types of Light Vehicle Engine Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, light vehicle engine maintenance covers a broad range of topics, from the correct way to wash a car to adjusting valve openings. Car owners do not need to understand everything, just a few simple points that can be useful in keeping their car healthy.

Checking Water Radiators

The radiator plays an important role in the vehicle's engine cooling system. Car owners are advised to regularly check the amount of radiator water in their vehicle. Do not let the radiator water fall below the minimum limit or even run out, as it can cause significant damage.

If the radiator water is low, car owners can refill it themselves. Before doing so, make sure the car engine is cold, as the radiator water temperature will also be high when the engine is hot. Never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot, as it could result in serious injury. If the car has been used, wait about 30-45 minutes for it to cool down.

In Bintoro's book, it is stated that filling the radiator water can be done directly through the radiator hole. Ideally, the water should inundate all the radiator fins. Alternatively, car owners can fill the radiator water through the reservoir tube. The tube has a sign indicating the minimum and maximum amount of radiator water. Fill the radiator until it

Tire Maintenance

Tires are an important component of a vehicle, as they are the only point of contact with the road. Therefore, tire maintenance is crucial to ensure safety while driving.

The first thing to do is to regularly check tire pressure. The correct tire pressure can be found in the vehicle manual or on the tire itself. It is important to not overinflate or underinflate the tires, as it can affect handling and fuel consumption.

In addition to checking tire pressure, car owners should also regularly inspect the tires for any damage or wear. This includes checking the tread depth and looking for any cracks or bulges in the sidewall.

Regular rotation of tires is also recommended to ensure even wear and prolong their lifespan. This can be done at a tire shop or garage.


In conclusion, understanding light vehicle engine maintenance is important for car owners to ensure optimal vehicle performance, reduce operational costs, and maintain safety while driving.

Regular maintenance should include periodic maintenance based on mileage or usage, as well as unplanned repairs when necessary. The maintenance process should follow proper procedures and include preparation, work implementation, road tests and controls, and cleaning and delivery of the vehicle.

Specific maintenance tasks, such as checking radiator water, choosing the right lubricant, and maintaining tire pressure and condition, are also important for car owners to know.

By following these maintenance steps and taking care of their vehicles, car owners can avoid costly repairs and ensure their safety while driving.