10 Car Maintenance Secrets to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly
Looking after your car can be one man’s pride and another’s fear – especially when expensive repair bills land on your doormat!
Car maintenance doesn’t have to be expensive though, and there are a range of car maintenance secrets to keep your car running smoothly. Here we’re going to have a look at my ten most important:
1. Check your brakes
We’ll start somewhere simple, and obvious. Regularly checking your brakes is essential if you want to avoid running up expensive repair bills come the ‘dreaded’ annual service. Brake pads can be inexpensive to repair, but if you let things get too bad, you could be looking at a more costly repair job.
2. Battery test
You should regularly check your car battery terminals to see if they have corroded at all (particularly after cold weather). This handy secret can help you save serious amounts of money in the long run. If you see corroded terminals on the battery, this could be leading to a low charge rate, dim headlights and trouble starting your car. Changing your battery now (before things can get worse) will help to protect other areas of your car.
3. Oil check and replacement
How many of us regularly check our oil levels? Surprisingly, not many of us check them as often as we should. Try to get into the habit of checking your car oil level at least once a month. If it’s low, refill to the line. It’s also important to change your oil every quarter as old oil can cause a lot more harm than good.
4. Riding the clutch
If you drive a manual car, try to avoid resting your foot on the clutch pedal while the car is in motion. Doing this can add extra weight to the transmission and create some serious problems in the long-run. This handy secret could save you hundreds!
5. Resting on the gears
As with the previous point, if you drive a manual car, avoid leaving your hand resting on the gear stick while you’re not using it. Again, this adds extra weight to the transmission and can cause some expensive problems.
6. Tyre pressure
Checking your tyre pressure at least once a month is essential maintenance for your car and really is no secret. The secret comes in rotating your tyres every quarter, to ensure even wear on all of them. This can take some time, so you might want to set one day per quarter aside for ‘car maintenance’, but it can save you some serious money in the long-run.
7. Look after your windscreen
Keeping your windscreen clean is a lot more important than you may think. If your windscreen is dirty, you may not be able to see any chips or cracks that appear while you’re driving. Not only this, but a dirty windscreen can cause some unnecessary damage to your windscreen wipers. Simply wiping your windscreen with a damp static cloth, then a chamois leather cloth can help keep it pristine.
8. Coolant check
Another area people forget to focus on when maintaining their car is the cooling system. Failing to maintain the coolant levels can lead to serious overheating in your engine, which as we’re sure you can guess, will cost a lot to rectify if it leads to serious damage. If you ever discover a leak in your coolant system, get it seen to right away.
9. Keep the air clean
If your car’s air filters get clogged up, this can lead to a loss of power and a serious reduction in your car’s efficiency (something none of us want to hear amidst times of rising fuel costs!). You should check your air filters regularly to ensure they are in good working order. See your owner’s manual for more information on how to replace these.
10. The etiquette of ‘filling up’
We all like to get as much as we can at the pumps, but over-filling your car with fuel could actually be causing damage to your car. When you feel the first click of the fuel handle, indicating that your tank is full, you should stop filling then – even if you know you can get a little bit more in until the next click. Overfilling your tank can cause issues with the venting system as the cold fuel from the storage tank will warm up and expand in your car’s tank.
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