Maintaining your car can seem like a laborious task, but it’s something that needs doing to ensure it has a long and healthy life. Whether you’re well-versed in the world of car mechanics or you not, there are a handful of basics that you’re able to check, as well as more in-depth things you’ll want to look out for.
Getting your hands dirty under the bonnet doesn’t have to be something that’s left to the professionals. With a little bit of practice and know-how, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain some things by yourself.
Checking the basics
Let’s take a look at some of the basics that you can check at home or even at work.
Tyre tread depth
Do you know the minimum tread depth that your tyres can have legally? Do you know how to check this? Don’t panic – you don’t need to purchase an expensive piece of kit. All you need to do is place a 20p coin into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit.
It’s recommended that you check your tyre pressure regularly, before long journeys and when the load in your car has increased. The pressure of your tyre can be found in your vehicle’s handbook, stamped in the sill of the driver’s door and sometimes inside your fuel cap.
You may also find that if you have a more modern vehicle, you’ll get a dashboard notification if your tyres need pumping up. It’s worth investing in a 12v tyre pump so you can do this on the regular.
Windscreen wash level and wipers
You’ll know when your wash level is low as you’ll either get a notification on your dashboard or the solution will simply stop coming out. It’s quick and easy to fill this back up under your bonnet. Checking your wipers is easy too – simply lift the arms of the wiper and run your finger along the rubber blade.
Engine oil level
Having low oil levels can cause breakdowns and engine damage. Check your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick and top up if necessary.
If you’re wanting to take extra precautions and be safe on the road, it’s also recommended that you have an emergency tool kit and spare wheel in your car in case of a breakdown.
More in-depth checks
Once you’ve mastered the basic checks, you may want to look into how you can check the more in-depth elements too. Alternatively, many garages offer quick checks on things like your engine coolant and air filters.
You may also want to rotate your tyres too depending on your vehicle alignment. This will help you extend the overall life of your tyres and save you money! If you are looking to do more in depth levels of maintenance on your own vehicle, it’s important to not only have the correct level of skill but also equipment.
Removing the vehicles wheels may seem simple enough but when it comes to loosening and tightening of wheel nuts, overtightening can lead to less effective stopping and premature brake wear. Investing in a torque wrench will enable you to tighten to the required level.
With so much to think about when it comes to the maintenance of your car, we understand it can be a little overwhelming. But, with the right equipment and a little practice, you’ll have these new skills nailed in no time.