Many people assume that when they get a car, all they need to do to keep it running is put petrol in it. If it breaks down, then they’ll take it to the garage.
Yet as a car owner, there are a number of things that you need to do to ensure that your car is running efficiently and safely. Sure, a lot of things require a professional mechanic to look at them, but others can be done at home.
Here are some basic car maintenance tasks you can do yourself very easily and quickly.
Change the air filter
Your air filter will need to be changed once a year or every 12,000-15,000 miles. It’s a quick and simple job that can save you money. The air filter plays an important role. It stops dirt and debris from entering the main cabin of the car through your radiator vents or air conditioning.
Many garages will replace the air filter as standard during an MOT or service, but you need to check that this is the case. Otherwise, your filter may not be working efficiently.
Install new windscreen wiper blades
Windscreen wipers are very important for clearing your windshield of snow, water, and debris. They are essential for preserving your road vision when it’s raining. So if your wipers aren’t doing a great job and more, or have been damaged, then it’s time to replace them with some new ones.
Some retailers offer free installation if you buy wiper blades, but wipers are usually very easy to remove and replace yourself. Just make sure that you’re buying the right type for your particular model of car.
Top up or change your oil
The oil in your engine serves a valuable function. It lubricates the engine, which reduces the heat produced by it and also keeps it running smoothly by reducing wear and tear.
You need to change your oil approximately every 3000-5000 miles. Changing the oil removes any debris which has built up.
Adjust tyre pressures
The tyres on your car are designed to work their best when a certain internal pressure is maintained. Not only will your tires last longer, but tire pressure is also essential to safety. If your tire pressure is too low, it can add to your braking distance considerably and you will find the car is less responsive overall. This could be disastrous in a collision or if you need to brake suddenly.
Most garages have a machine that lets you measure and adjust your tyre pressures very simply. Just ensure that you know what the ideal pressure is for your vehicle and tires.
Performing regular, simple maintenance on your car will ensure that it runs smoothly and can prevent many issues before they become serious and cost you a lot of money.
By learning the basics of car maintenance, you’ll also become more self-sufficient and can handle things yourself when there isn’t a garage or a mechanic around.