Car Maintenance Tips
A well-kept motor will not only look after you when you need it most, but is also less likely to surprise you with huge repair bills. Here in this section car hire price comparator Carrentals.co.uk, looks at the top car maintenance tips you need to follow to keep your car running smoothly:
Check the Oil
Check the level of oil in the car’s engine at least once a week, preferably when the engine is cold and the car is on a level surface. The oil level should be above the minimum mark and below the maximum mark. If you need to top it up, make sure that you use the right type of oil, and the same type that is already in the engine – the owner’s manual should give you these details. You should also check the coolant and the brake fluid and top them up if necessary. However, the brake fluid should only be checked by a professional as one speck of dirt in the container can cause a lot of damage.
Your windscreen wipers should be checked regularly and replaced once a year. It is also important to make sure your windscreen remains clean and free from abrasions.
Check your lights regularly as they need to be properly focused, with the correct bulbs, in order to ensure the safety of yourself and those in oncoming vehicles.
For your car to run at optimum efficiency, you need to make sure that all the tyres have the required air pressure. Recommended pressures are listed in the owner’s manual but these are for cold tyres, so do not check them after a long drive. You should also make sure that the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
Insufficient water and anti-freeze in the car’s cooling system will cause serious and expensive damage to your car. Check the water level when the car is cold – if it is below maximum, top it up with a mixture of two-thirds water to one-third anti-freeze. Add a little bit of anti-freeze all year round because it prevents rusting as well as protecting the engine in winter.
Check your brakes regularly so that you can spot a problem before it is too late. If your handbrake takes more than a few clicks to hold the car on a hill, you should get it checked over by an authorised service centre. Keep your eyes peeled for signs of water marks on the pedals or carpet as this could indicate a brake fluid leak
Listen and Learn
Always listen carefully to your engine for signs of a problem. If it sounds rough or you can hear a hissing sound, the exhaust may have a leak and you will have to get it repaired.
Shock absorbers should also be checked regularly to avoid more serious damage in an accident. Simply press down on each corner of the vehicle and if the shock absorbers are working, the car will quickly settle back into position. If it bounces, the shock absorber on that corner may need replacing.
In addition to the standard kit that comes with your car (spare tyre, car jack, etc.) there are a few simple tools that are worth keeping to hand in your boot - tyre pressure gauge, screwdrivers, spanners or a basic socket set, pliers and a clean cloth.
even after all these regular checks it is still possible to break down so put together an emergency kit to prepare for the worst, especially if you are going on a long journey. The kit should include a mobile phone, warning triangle, set of spare bulbs, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, bottle of water, spare fuses, spare wheel, jump leads, emergency tyre weld, wellington boots and a high visibility jacket, tow rope, torch, travel rugs and a map.
Disclaimer: These tips are not exhaustive and are for information only. Carrentals.co.uk can not be held responsible for any losses incurred as a result of acting on any information contained herein.