Many of us are rely on the ease and convenience of having a family car, but how many of us really take the time to give our four-wheeled friend a little TLC? Car maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple with these 10 tips to maintain tip-top car condition.
Experts recommend a full service, done by a professional mechanic, at least once a year —more often if you rack up a lot of mileage. Consult your user manual to stay in line with the guidelines of the manufacturers for your make and model.
Tools of the trade
The cheapest way to solve car maintenance problems? Roll your sleeves up for a spot of DIY. Car maintenance kits are widely available and, though contents vary, most include screwdrivers, wrenches, a set of pliers, a socket/ratchet set and car jack — everything you need to tackle simple jobs with ease.
As many accidents are caused by tyre malfunctions, checking yours regularly could be a life-saver. You can check the pressure quickly and easily by using a gauge at your local petrol station (read your owner’s manual to take the reading correctly). Tyre treads are examined during a service, but get into the habit of taking a look for yourself on a monthly basis.
Don’t be a dipstick
It doesn’t take a genius to locate and remove your car’s oil dipstick, wipe, and replace it into the oil pipe before removing a final time to check whether the level reaches ‘full’ or ‘add’ .
Engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid…these may sound like foreign words, but a spot of research will show just how to locate, check and top up these fluids in your engine.
Making time to regularly test your car lights and wipers in the safety of your driveway could avoid an accident or fine if you’re unlucky enough to be spotted by the police.
Never ignore niggles
Small annoyances can become big (and costly) problems if you don’t deal with them swiftly, so try to keep on top of nagging issues. Replacing a windscreen wiper blade is a straightforward job that costs next to nothing. Discovering your wipers don’t work in a storm when you’re driving on the motorway could have devastating consequences.
Revving your accelerator, driving fast over speed bumps and hard-braking are best left to boy-racers, causing excessive wear and tear to your car.
Keep it clean
Keeping your car clean (both inside and out) will help retain as much value as possible should you wish to part with it down the line. A good going over every month will keep it gleaming and banish bad smells.
Call in the experts
The trick to any DIY job is to know what you can handle and when a job is best left to the professionals! Good research and common sense will help you tackle the basis, but if in doubt, consult a reputable mechanic rather than getting out of your depth.
Disclosure: A collaborative post.