If you want to take good care of your used car, then regular maintenance is the key to keeping it running smoothly and effectively and helping to reduce the risk of problems and large repair bills. Keeping your car running effectively and having it well maintained all year round is a far better and cheaper strategy than facing costly repair bills, but it can be tricky to work out exactly what your car needs on an ongoing basis.
When it comes to car care the people behind Bigmotoringworld.co.uk are excellent resources of practical tips.
We spoke to them, and they gave us these five routine maintenance checks which your used car will thank you for:
1. Carry out your own car inspections regularly
One way to help keep your car running well is to give it the once over yourself regularly so that you can spot any potential issues before they turn into major or costly dramas and it will help to ensure your vehicle is running at its optimum. For example, you should check your tires regularly both for pressure and tread levels and make sure there are no issues.
You should aim to do this every month and remember keeping your tires at the right pressure will help to save you fuel. You should check your car’s fluid levels periodically and never ignore any signs that there might be a leak coming from your car at any time.
Having regular periodic assessments will allow you to take very swift action as soon as anything goes amiss with your car.
2. Get your car belts checked and changed regularly
Check your car’s manual to find out when your belts need replacing and make sure they are replaced as and when required – always ask your garage to inspect them during every service and MOT as well, so that you can be aware of any wear and tear issues in advance of the regular replacement requirements.
If your car suffers a failed belt, it can cause serious issues with your engine and can be a very costly issue so keeping an eye out for any problems with the belts, and changing them as required is definitely worth it.
3. Get your oil changed routinely
As well as checking your oil level yourself and keeping an eye on its color, you should also make sure you get it changed regularly. So every routine service should include an oil change, and you should also follow the guidelines in your manual.
Any change in colour in your oil could indicate a problem so if you notice anything in your routine checks make sure you raise it immediately with your garage so that action can be taken and engine issues further down the line can be avoided.
4. Replace your own wiper blades
Assess your wiper blades routinely and if you start to suffer from streaky windows make sure you replace them –they are very easy to replace yourself, and you don’t need to wait until a service to get them replaced if you are experiencing problems.
You should also keep your windscreen regularly clean, both inside and out – and always make sure your car is topped up with windscreen wash. This should be easy to check and top up yourself – check your manual to find out where the bottle is and how to check your levels.
Keeping a bottle of screen wash in the boot can make it easy to maintain on the move but always make sure the engine is cold first.
5. Change your spark plugs
Problems with your spark plugs can cause your engine to break down so make sure you get them checked regularly and changed whenever required. Check your manual for advice on when this needs to happen but also have them checked regularly for build – up and wear and tear which could have a negative impact.
It’s not too difficult a job to change them yourself but if you are not mechanically minded this might feel too daunting. However, if you think there might be a problem then make sure you raise it with your mechanic straight away, whether or not a service is due.
Looking after your car on a regular basis and making sure you are fully aware of how everything is running will put you well ahead when it comes to noticing any potential problems or issues which might occur further down the line.
If you are not confident about carrying out the actual maintenance yourself, like changing oil, or spark plugs, then make sure you keep your car regularly checked out by your mechanic and keep them updated and informed whenever you notice any issues.
Keeping your car routinely looked after is not just about preventing it from breaking down although of course, that’s a big bonus. It’s about keeping it running effectively including helping to improve your fuel efficiency and save money on your everyday vehicle costs.