Owning a car is both a luxury and a responsibility, and one that you should not take lightly. It is essential to maintain your car to keep yourself and others safe on the road, as well as help your car run more efficiently and save yourself a lot of money in the long run.
But car maintenance is not something everyone knows how to go about, or thinks they are capable of doing. So we've put together the top 10 easy ways to maintain your car, which even a novice can do!
1. Drive carefully
Not many people realise that the way you drive has a significant impact on the life of your car parts. You’ll be able to save a ton of cash on repairs and general maintenance if you drive carefully and safely, and avoid handling it roughly. It’ll help your car last longer too.
2. Take care of your tyres
Keeping your tyres in good condition is not only important for the performance of your car, but it is also required by law. Every car requires different tyre pressures, so you should read the manufacturer’s handbook for the correct pressure and make sure you check it regularly. Check the tread of your tyres every few weeks and make sure there’s no damage to the sidewalls, and don’t forget to check the spare tyre as well.
3. Change the oil and filters
Check your oil levels using the dipstick every fortnight, and before going on long drives. If the oil is below the minimum level, you need to top it up. If you want to extend the life of your car you can drop the oil and change the filters every 3,000 miles (approximately 4,800 km), but for most people an annual service is enough.
4. Maintain the battery
Even if the manufacturer claims your car battery is maintenance-free, it is still important to take care of it because without it, your car simply won’t run. Regularly clean the terminals with a cloth, and check the case for any signs of cracks or bulges.
5. Look after your windscreen wipers
Your wipers need to be working efficiently for full visibility while driving, and you need to be able to clear both rain and dirt from your screen at any time. Make sure you have plenty of screen wash in your car, and replace the windscreen blades when they’re worn.
6. Check the water
Regularly check the water levels in your car and make sure you always have enough coolant, especially in preparation for colder weather to stop the water from freezing. If you need to top up any fluid, only do so when the engine has completely cooled down.
7. Wash and wax
Washing your car at least once a week will help prevent corrosion, and cleaning the inside of your car at the same time will prevent wear. You can also wax your car to slow the oxidation process and protect the paintwork.
8. Park in the shade
UV rays from the sun can severely damage both the paintwork of your car and its interior, so park in the shade whenever you can. You’ll be able to reduce the effects of the UV rays and keep it in better condition.
9. Clean the engine
Cleaning your engine once a year will help it run cooler, and also make it easier to spot any faults or leaks. You can do this yourself by first covering the sensitive parts of the engine with plastic bags such as the electrical components and air intake, using a bristle brush and grease-cutting detergent to clean it, and then rinsing thoroughly. But if you’d rather not take on the job yourself, you can hire a specialist steam cleaning service.
10. Change the spark plugs
You can improve your car’s fuel mileage and engine performance by making sure the spark plugs are changed. Current guidelines recommend that they are changed every 30,000 miles (approximately 48,200 km) and most annual services will take care of this for you, but check with your mechanic if you’re not sure.
Save yourself some serious money by following these simple tips! You’ll improve the overall performance of your car, have fewer problems and need fewer repairs.