A happy, healthy car needs a bit more than a weekly visit to the petrol station and a monthly wash and polish. But armed with our tips on running a car you’ll be able to carry out basic and preventative maintenance yourself, saving you money at the garage.
Cars are complex, but by following basic maintenance advice you can keep it on the road, keep it safe and reduce your spend at the local garage.
- When you notice a problem and you can’t fix it yourself, take it to a workshop.
- Follow the manufacturer’s service schedule.
- An MOT test only confirms that a car is safe on the day of the test. Deal with problems as soon as they arise.
- Test your lights against a wall regularly to confirm they’re in full working order.
- At least once a month, check the pressure of all your tyres (spare included) according to the handbook recommendations.
- Keep the various liquids you car needs (screen wash, oil, water, coolant, power steering, clutch and brake fluid levels) topped up.
- Check oil levels while parked on level ground.
- If your windscreen wipers are smearing, replace them, otherwise you’ll find it difficult driving in the rain.
- Your screen wash should spray onto your windscreen, not over the top of the car. Use a pin to adjust the direction of spray.
- Make sure you carry out all the recommended steps for preparing your car for winter (refer to your manual for guidance).