This year has been quite the year for me and my car. After having my old car written off at the start of the year and managing to get quite a nice replacement, I have been keen to look after it as best I can.
It was tricky trying to find a replacement car in the short space of time that I had. Cars.com was a really useful site that helped me see what was out there and discover what kind of car I could get for my money. After I got my new car, it was important to me to keep it looking new, and keep on top of the maintenance. Cars are an investment and so it’s important to look after them. Not only because it will keep them running better, but it will, with any luck, help with them retaining some value down the line.
I thought I would share with you today, tips for maintaining your car.
- Keep an eye on the tyres. They should always be sure properly inflated to the manufacturer’s specified pressure. Check your tires regularly for pressure and for wear or damage. Have them replaced when they become worn beyond acceptable limits. Also, keep an eye on the tracking, it only takes a bump of the curb to disturb this. If the car feels like it’s pulling in one direction, get it checked.
- Keep an eye on the oil. Don’t be a dipstick – use the dipstick! Running out could be catastrophic and end up costing you far more than a new bottle of oil. Oil should also be changed regularly as well. Whilst this is usually done during the annual service, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done sooner to keep your car running smoothly.
- Get any cracks or chips repaired on your windscreen as soon as possible. Don’t be like me and leave it to the last minute to get a chip repaired so that it will go through the MOT. Most insurance policies will cover chip repairs and they shouldn’t cost you anything (best to check your policy). And even if you need to replace it, so long as you have windscreen cover, you should only have to pay your excess, which should be much cheaper than a new windscreen. Chips shouldn’t be left at this time of year, the regular frosts could turn chips into cracks which could turn something very cheap to repair into something expensive and inconvenient.
- The same goes for the wipers. If they aren’t keeping your windscreen clear, these too can fail an MOT. Keep the windscreen wash topped up too.
- Always keep an eye on your brakes and check them regularly, especially if you have driven through a lot of water. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how important brakes are. The minute you suspect something doesn’t feel right, take them to a garage and get them checked.
- Fluids are important. Coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and other fluids need to be checked regularly.
- Park up opposite a glass window somewhere and check your lights. Make sure all beams are working along with indicators and reverse lights. Make sure you adjust the beam if you are carrying a heavier weight or you could risk blinding oncoming drivers. Obviously, it goes without saying that you should replace any bulbs the minute they fail.
- Keep a regular check of the battery for corrosion and clean it or have it cleaned as needed. Avoid running your battery down, if possible.
- Keep it clean. This goes for both inside and outside. This will really help the car retain its value. Tyres and such can be replaced when selling a car, the interior, however, is a different story. If the car looks and smells nice inside, this is a big selling point. Clean it regularly and it’s not such a big job.
- Always get an annual service. It may cost you but it’s worth it in the long run. Many companies these days offer service plans where you can pay in monthly and then when the time comes, the balance pays for the service. This can really help keep on top of the costs of running and maintaining a car.
Do you have any other tips for maintaining your car? Let us know in the comments.