Car maintenance basics
It’s easy to think you can save a bundle by not paying for any maintenance on your car, but it doesn’t work like that.
Fail to get your car serviced and it’ll cost you more in the long run, as not only will the problems morph from small into large, but so will the bills.
So once you start hearing that annoying clicking or whining from underneath the car, do something about it. Fail to act and you could find yourself staring down the barrel of a huge bill to fix things.
Fail to get your car serviced and it’ll cost you more in the long run. Potentially a lot more.
Bodywork and paint
Any damage to your car’s paint or bodywork will only get worse if left, ultimately leading to big repair bills. The paint does a lot more than give your car a pretty colour; it also protects the metal from the elements. Once this skin gets damaged, corrosion creeps in and leads to major rot – so get damage repaired immediately.
Listen for any blowing from the exhaust, signifying that it could be about to fall apart. Once it does that, not only will things get seriously noisy, but there’s a good chance the feds will pull you over for causing a nuisance. Before it gets to the point where it’s blowing, take a quick look at the main pipe that runs the length of the underside of the car, looking for corrosion that could lead to holes.
Power steering fluid
Your car may not have power steering, but if it does, you’l notice it when the assistance disappears if the fluid drains from the system! Apart from looking for signs of fluid underneath the car, check the power steering reservoir; if the level is getting low, there’s probably a leak somewhere – and that’ll need investigating.
You have to have at least 1.6mm of tread across three-quarters of the width of your tyres and all the way round – but you should aim to have at least 2mm across the whole width. Once the wear limit approaches, you could end up slithering all over the place once the roads get wet, so check the rubber hasn’t worn down to the wear indicators built into the tread pattern.
Washers and wiperss
If you haven’t changed your wiper blades for yonks, they’re overdue for renewal; they should be replaced every couple of years because of the rubber disintegrating. The old ones should just snap out and the new ones snap in; let the rubbr fall apart and you could end up scraping your windscreen with the wiper arm, which may result in a new screen being needed. Also, don’t forget to keep your washer fluid bottle topped up; there’s often loads of spray around and you could end up draining the bottle in double-quick time if you sit in fast-moving traffic a lot.
The windscreen is now a part of the MoT, so if there are any cracks or chips in it, you could end up having to get it replaced in a hurry the next time the car is tested. If you act in time, a chip can often be repaired so a fresh screen isn’t needed; leave things and it’s just a question of time before it becomes a major job. If you do need a new screen, you should be able to claim on your car’s insurance to have the work done, without it affecting your no-claims bonus
AYour car’s cooling system is sealed, so it should never need topping up. If it does, there’s probably a leak somewhere or even worse, the gasket between the top and bottom halves of the engine has failed (the head gasket). This can be costly to fix, but don’t just keep topping up the coolant or you could end up wrecking the engine. If you do have to top up the coolant, don’t just add neat water; if there isn’t enough anti-freeze in the system, the engine could be wrecked if it’s left outside in a hard frost overnight.
Our regular maintenance services will keep your vehicle running like new while protecting vital engine parts and keeping up on normal wear.
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