As with any kind of mechanical systems, cars need regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure their longevity. Sometimes, even leaving cars standing for long periods of time can be detrimental to their efficiency and smooth running.
Some people simply believe that modern cars don’t need much in the way of regular maintenance, but nothing could be further from the truth! A number of complex electronic systems help to refine how well a car drives and operates, but these systems are designed to complement existing maintenance schedules, not replace them.
If you don’t know a lot about maintaining cars, it will be beneficial for you to learn how to do so as not only will this ensure that your motor spends more time on the road than off it, but it will ultimately lead to reduce motoring costs – from a maintenance and legal perspective!
Your car’s manufacturer will have explained in your owner’s manual how often your car needs to be serviced, and which components should be replaced during those services. For example, to ensure engine longevity the car’s manufacturer will have specified a recommended oil change interval of 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever happens sooner.
And although an oil change is something that happens during all services, some things like spark plugs and engine filters may need to be replaced at every second service. If in doubt, contact your local main dealer for assistance or speak to a reliable car repair and maintenance firm such as Whitepost Garage.
In addition to regular servicing, you should personally perform a number of weekly checks on your car. The main points to cover are as follows:
- Oil – check levels and top up when necessary. The need to top up regularly might indicate a problem with your engine, so be sure to have it checked over by a garage to be on the safe side in such an event;
- Brake fluid – check these levels every week. If you need to top up more than once a year, you might have a leak in your brake lines;
- Power steering fluid – older cars use mechanical power steering systems that are lubricated with what is essentially automatic transmission fluid;
- Transmission fluid – any regular requirement to top up transmission fluid usually means you have a leaking gearbox;
- Screen wash – this is something you will almost certainly need to top up on a weekly basis. Use more concentrated screen wash mixtures during winter to prevent the screen wash from freezing at night.
You will also need to do an external inspection of your car too. Your tyres should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm and must not have any bulges or cuts; if they do, get your tyres replaced as soon as possible.
Whilst you are looking at your wheels, your brake pads and discs should have plenty of wear, and you should check for any leaks from your shock absorbers behind the wheels.
All lighting systems such as headlights, tail lights and indicators should be clean and in full working order, and windows (especially your windscreen) should also be clean. Check that there are no cracks in them, and that your wipers are in good working order.
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