A definitive guide to car maintenance

Hate the thought of having to do car maintenance? Don't worry, you're probably not the only one. However, given that our vehicles are an important part of our lives, it's important that we look after them.

Find out more about what you can do to maintain your car and to prevent any car nightmares.

1. Take some timeout for your tyres

Looking after your tyres have to be up there as a top priority. If they're not, then you're doing something wrong. They're one of the most important components of your vehicle, and why wouldn't they be? They come into contact with the road with every little move that you make. They're responsible for so much, braking, handling, acceleration, and even for carrying the weight of the car, including its passengers.

Failing to maintain your tyres, could compromise everything to do with your car and put you in a very tricky position, not to mention the cost of any repairs too. Therefore, the three main things that you'll need to check on is whether there is any damage, check the tyre pressure, and also whether there is enough tread. Once you've covered all these and everything is as it should be, you'll be well away.

The tread depth should be over 1.6mm as anything under is illegal and tyre pressure should be kept and the recommended levels too. If you find yourself having over or under-inflated tyres, you'd be amazed at the amount of stress that this can put on the wheel, engine and other components. It's a lot to take in but once you get the hang of it and in a routine of checking them regularly, you'll have a ball.

2. Engine oil at the ready

Apart from smelling beautiful, engine oil is definitely up there on the list of maintenance. It might seem like a tedious job, but you'll thank yourself in the long run, when you've got plenty for your car journey. If you're worried you won't, then keeping it in your car for emergencies is always a good one. The last thing anyone wants to have to do is to pay over the odds for a bit of oil at the petrol station.

To help stay on top of it, make sure that your oil is changed regularly as this will help to make sure that the engine is on top form and working in good condition. If you forget to keep on top of your oil and top it up when needed, this could land you with a hefty repair bill.

3. Clean and clear

You know when you're driving down the road at night and someone's coming towards you with glaring lights, annoying, right? There's nothing worse than driving in the dark with dirty lights. If you struggling to see anyway at the best of times, you'll be ten times worse in the dark.

You can't beat clean lights. You'll be able to have a good look ahead and the bonus is you'll be able to prevent any accidents. Don't forget to do both the front and the back. Your lights will thank you in the long run once they've had a good scrub, as well as other drivers on the road. You don't need to do it too often, just regularly with some soapy water will do.

4. Let some air in

Every now and then your engine needs some clean air believe it or not. It might sound daft but your engine can get hot and sweaty under there so it needs a bit of air every now and then. We all know how dirty the air is and that's why we need an air filter.

Your air filter prevents these dirty air particles from getting into the engine. If your engine does get a smell of these, then you'll know about it when it comes to your repair costs. All you need to do is change your filter regularly to avoid it from getting any hefty repair bill.

5. Top up your fluids

We all need to keep up our fluid intake, even our cars. So as well as your engine oil, you've also got your brake fluid, coolant, and many others. They all need to be kept at their recommended levels, but what are they? If you're unsure, then you might want to take a look at your manual or Google.

The ones that should be at the top of your list and that you really want to keep an eye on is your brake, transmission, and power steering fluid. No matter where you are in the old, all car fanatics will agree with this.

6. Wash on and wax off

Once you've cleaned your lights, it's a good idea to just give your car a general clean and a good wash. As well as improving the overall look of your car, you'll be sprucing it up and showing that your car is properly cared for and well maintained, which can do you some great favours later down the line in terms of resale value.

By giving your car a regular wash and a good wax, together, hand in hand your car could see a massive improvement in terms of its looks and improve your paintwork. Washing alone isn't enough, so get the wax out too. The good news is that you don't need to wax that often, every 3-6 months or so not every week.

7. Wipe that windscreen

You wouldn't want to look into a dirty mirror, would you? The same goes for your windscreen and windows too. Ok so the dirt won't ruin your glass, but it will make it harder for you to see out of that's for sure.

It's standard everyday maintenance when you're driving your car to keep it clean and clear, isn't it? For a start, you can't drive your car until your windscreen is clear and you can see out of it. Every now and then just check your wipers to make sure that they work and if you see the streaks, bin them. No one wants streaker lines when they're trying to drive. What's even better is that wipers are so cheap to replace these days so it won't cost you an arm and a leg if it comes to replacing them.

8. Electrical test

If you really want to save on your repair costs and keep your car running at its best, then an electrical test should be on your list. Although it would be easier if you could carry this out yourself, it's probably best to get a professional to work on this.

It does what it says on the tin. It's simply a test to make sure that all of your car's electrical bits and pieces are in good condition. Just one small electric technical glitch and your car could be done for, something that none of us wants. So be brave, take it to the garage and give it the tender love and care that it deserves by making sure that all the electric parts are in full working order.

There are many advantages of carrying out these preventative maintenance tips on your car, and you'll be thanking yourself in the long run. However, by ignoring problems with your car and hoping that they'll go away and undetected, you're wrong. Invest in your car when you can to prevent the repair bill from being higher than necessary.

If you've made the mistake of neglecting your car and now it's fallen to pieces and you need to get rid of, then get yourself a value for it here. You can compare values from our best buyers from within the UK just by entering your reg number. So don't waste any time, get started today.

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