Whether your car is brand new or a few years old, you should always keep it in tip-top shape. That’s why it’s important to give your motor regular love and care so it serves you well in the long term. After all, the last thing you want is to keep forking out for repair costs. So here are 10 maintenance tips to keep your car in top condition.
1) Check your windscreen wash
Keep your windscreen wash topped up, especially during the winter months and before long journeys. It’s actually illegal to drive a car without fluid in the screen washer bottle. So not only is a full windscreen wash handy tip for keeping your car maintained, but it’s also a legal requirement.
2) Change your oil regularly
If you want your engine to run nice and smoothly, then you should check the oil levels at least once a month to see if there’s an adequate amount in your car. Most carmakers advise that you change the oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. But if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, leave your car idle or drive in extreme weather, you may need to change the oil more frequently.
3) Maintain the battery
The average age of car scrappage is about 14 years, with the average age of time a vehicle spends on the road around eight years. But you can get a bit more juice out of your motor by keeping the battery in good condition. Use a trickle charger to keep the battery topped up, especially if you don’t drive it much. Also, aim to drive your car at least once a week to keep the battery in good nick.
4) Pay attention to warning signs
How often do you see a warning sign pop up on a car, only to ignore it? You should pay close attention to the warning lights on the dashboard. Some might be minor inconveniences, but others could indicate a larger problem that worsens over time if you don’t attend to it. Don't say the car didn't warn you 😉
5) Fill up at a reputable station
Fortunately, the UK is on point when it comes to petrol stations. That’s a good thing because pump filters should be changed regularly at stations, so the gasoline doesn’t get dirty. All the major brands regularly attend to their pumps, so always aim to shop with the big guns.
6) Be mindful of your tyres
You can have a set of tyres that last for ages with no issues, but all it takes is one tiny nail to derail everything. And even if they aren’t punctured, overly low or high tyre pressures can change how your car drives and wear them out at the same time. So get checking to see if your tyres are in good shape and they meet the national minimum legal requirements of 1.6 tread depth.
7) Don’t forget to change your filters
Oil filters and air filters become clogged over time and are usually replaced as part of a scheduled car servicing. But you can opt to do it yourself, especially as it’s a relatively simple job. You could save yourself money and keep your car going for that little bit longer.
8) Use reputable mechanics
Everyone could do with that one good mechanic they know and trust. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy to find one. Still, you shouldn’t just go to the first garage that offers the lowest prices. We’re not saying all cheaper mechanics are bad, but using a reputable garage increases the chances of your car staying in good shape for a longer period of time and you getting more joy out of it. After all, you need to trust the person who's making changes to your car!
9) Park in the shade
Let’s face it; there isn’t a great deal of sun in the UK. When it does come out, though, try and avoid parking your car in the hottest spot right under the blazing sun. Aim to some shade so the car stays cooler and nothing overheats. Oh, and if you’ve got leather seats, then you most definitely want to park up in a nice cool spot. Ouch 🥵
10) Check your horn
Here’s a chance to use your horn without inciting road rage. Give it a good beep while it’s parked up to ensure that it’s functioning properly and can easily be heard by others. The last thing you want is to reach for the horn to warn another vehicle or pedestrian, only for it to be silent. Regular horn checking is necessary to avoid potential dangers while you’re driving, and warn others of dangers too! Not so much for showing your frustration in a traffic jam... you know who you are!
The best car around
Simple and regular maintenance of your car can make a significant difference to how it runs while potentially saving you money on costly repairs in the long term. So the next time you have a spare few minutes, why not spend them checking your car to see if it’s in great shape and ready for the road? 🚘