Looking After Your Car: A Complete Guide
You wouldn’t abandon the maintenance of your home, be it vacuuming, cleaning surfaces, or any other sort of chore that helps to keep your property looking fresh and tidy. So, why would you neglect your car?
Regular maintenance of your vehicle is essential to help ensure that it is roadworthy, fuel-efficient, less polluting and not a danger to anyone. Read on to learn how you can look after your car and you’re bound to avoid excessive costly repairs.
Acronyms can be really helpful when it comes to establishing a plan of attack. How? They’ll help you to remember the steps you need to take.
We all know there are aspects of our car that need to be checked, but can we always remember them? Not off the top of our heads. Give your car a “TOWBIF” maintenance check and extend its long run:
Tyres – Check the pressure and tread
Oil – Check your oil levels frequently
Windows - Make sure that all windows, mirrors and lights are clean and not broken
Brakes – Check the sensitivity of brake pads and the appearance of brake discs
Interior - Clean and vacuum the interior as needed
Fluids - Coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, and other fluids need to be checked at least once per week
Other than fluids, there are other checks that need to be carried out on a weekly basis. These include:
- Washing and cleaning your car to ensure that all windows, lights, mirrors and number plates are clean and clear
- Making sure that all lights work
- Ensuring that the exhaust system is in good working order
- Checking wiper blades are working correctly
- Checking the condition of the vehicle's tyres for damage, air pressure and tread - there must be at least the legal minimum, 1.6 mm of tread and preferably more than 2 mm.
Be in the Know
It’s important to understand the meaning of all warning displays on the dashboard. Why? If you ignore these warning signs, you could run the risk of a dangerous fault developing.
Warning lights will automatically light up when you turn the ignition key, however when the engine starts they should all go (apart from the handbrake warning light). If they do not, or if they come on whilst you’re driving be sure to stop and investigate the problem.
Book in For an MOT and Service
Taking the annual MOT test will ensure that your vehicle, over a certain age, is checked to see that it complies with key roadworthiness and environmental requirements. Whilst a service on your car isn’t a legal requirement like an MOT, getting your car serviced each year and maintaining it between services, is money well spent.
Problems are likely to be caught early on which means they’ll be cheaper to fix, your car will have a better resale value and longer life. A well-maintained car is also more efficient, so you’ll save money on fuel.
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