This post was written by Ibrahim Kareem.
Basic car maintenance is paramount when it comes to keeping your car on the road. As well as from bankrupting you if the worst should happen to it. Staying on top of the minor things can help you avoid huge pay-outs if bigger problems do occur, and can be easily carried out by yourself or at your local garage.
Here are some tips on how to take better care of your car.
1. Service Your Car When It’s Due.
If your car is new and under warranty, you’re in a good position to have your car serviced regularly. Take full advantage of this.
Scheduled maintenance involves checking your electronics, rotating the wheels, changing the oil and fluid levels. As well as plenty of other essential bits of work.
If your car is no longer under warranty, you should still take steps to ensure you receive a service once a year, to avoid bigger headaches in the future.
2. Change Your Oil Regularly.
Speak to a mechanic about the right oil change schedule for your car. Whether it’s 3,000 miles or 10,000, you should change your car’s oil regularly to ensure peak performance.
3. Check Your Tyre Pressure.
Most people already know how important it is to check your tyre pressure regularly. Underinflated or overinflated tires can waste fuel, cause unnecessary and uneven wear, and even make your car dangerous to drive.
Do it yourself or ask a mechanic for help. But it’s imperative that you check your tires at least once a month, and before each long journey. If you’re in need of new tires, you can find great deals for tires online.
4. Have Your Air Filter Replaced.
Clogged air filters can result in reduced fuel economy, a misfiring engine and reduced horsepower. So next time you visit your local garage, ask them to check your air filter, and replace if necessary.
5. Top Up Your Coolant Levels.
To help keep your engine from overheating or freezing in different temperatures, keep your coolant level full.
Without it, your engine will overheat, damaging its seals and gaskets, causing leaks. Which means you’ll spend unnecessary money on auto repair that could have been avoided.
6. Pay Attention to Your Brakes.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture. That causes components to corrode and fail.
It’s recommended that you replace your fluid and bleed the system once a year. But double check your manufacturer’s guide for more information.
7. Warm Your Car Up Properly.
A cold engine – meaning one that’s been sitting for more than five hours – will have little or no oil left on the moving parts as it’s all seeped down into the oil pan. It only takes a few seconds after start-up for the oil pump to adequately lubricate an engine. During those few seconds, you should keep engine rpm down to a minimum.
Give the engine at least 30 seconds before popping it in gear and driving off. Give it a little more time if it has sat for more than 24 hours.
8. Keep Your Windscreen Clean.
A clean windscreen help you see hazards more quickly and keep your vision unobscured. It can also help you recognize scratches or chips when they occur. Thus giving you more time to have them fixed before you require a full windscreen replacement.
9. Make Sure You Clean the Inside of Your Car.
Grime has chemicals that will eat away at things like your dashboard or seats, eventually leaving your car looking worse for wear. This can affect the resale value, and generally makes everyone think you’re a bit of a slob.
10. Don’t Let the Road Damage Your Car.
Speed bumps are designed to slow you down, and you can cause serious damage to your car by going over them quickly. Similarly, try to avoid potholes where possible. The same goes for mounting kerbs at the wrong angle, or too quickly.
11. Pay Attention to What Your Car’s Telling You.
Don’t ignore your car’s warnings.
Low on fuel? Fill up. Otherwise, your car will take fuel from the bottom of the tank, where contaminants often collect. A build-up of these can block your fuel filter and potentially get into the engine and cause damage.
Engine light on? That’s your invitation to fix problems as they arise, rather than waiting for them to become a bigger issue.
12. Keep Your Car in Good Nick.
Neglecting the outside of your car helps you maintain its exterior for as long as possible. Muck, chemicals, debris and animal faeces can strip away the finish of your car, leaving it vulnerable to moisture, and rust.
How do you take care of your car? And what tips do you have for maintaining it even better?