Car maintenance is important if you want your car to last as long and to avoid expensive repairs and inconveniences that can come with a breakdown. A well-maintained car is more efficient and thus less costly to operate than one that has been neglected.
Keep reading to learn how to maintain your car in top condition.
How to maintain a petrol vehicle
Here are some tips to keep your car safe and running smoothly.
Over time, oil and air filters can get clogged on cars. It is therefore important to keep them clean. They can be replaced at your next service, or you can save money by changing them yourself. Use genuine filters. Inadequate parts can cause serious damage to your vehicle.
Driving smoothly is the best option. Accelerating and decelerating too fast can lead to higher fuel and repair costs. Driving smoothly is better for your car and the environment. To avoid carbon deposits from building up, it is important that engines are allowed to rev to the redline after every few hundred kilometers. This will prevent engine inefficiency and other damage.
Air conditioning systems can become depleted if they are not used regularly. You should use your AC in winter as well, as it can cost you up to PS50 to refill your system.
When necessary, replace your spark plugs and leads. Cracks or signs of excessive wear should be addressed by a professional garage. If you are a mechanical DIY enthusiast, you can also handle the repair yourself.
Make sure your car’s fluids are always fresh and well topped up. Regular inspections of your engine oil should be done every two weeks. This involves lifting the bonnet and checking for any dipsticks. The oil level should be between the minimum and maximum markers. In a petrol-powered car, it should be a light yellow-brown colour. Oil that is dark or dirty should be changed.
Your antifreeze or windscreen washer container should also be checked every fortnight.
You can use the screenwash purchased in the store to wash your windscreen. Normal washing up soap can cause damage to your car’s paintwork.
Your vehicle’s safety is dependent on your tyres. It is recommended that you check your tyres at least once per week for signs of wear. Low-pressure tyres can lead to increased fuel costs and higher fuel consumption. Make sure they are at the recommended pressure setting.
You can maintain your car’s battery by driving it at minimum once per week. To top up your car’s battery, you can use a “trickle” charging device.
If you don’t have a garage to use, a quality tarp can be used to cover your car while it’s out for extended periods to keep it safe from corrosion and the elements.
Make sure your car is clean. It’s more than just about the exterior. Dirt and grime can cause damage to your vehicle’s internal workings. Regular cleaning will keep your vehicle running smoothly.
When possible, reduce the vehicle’s weight. Unneeded weight in your vehicle can cause strain on your suspension, brakes and tyres. Your fuel consumption will increase if you have too much weight. Avoid over-loading at all cost.
For your safety and the longevity of your car’s health, it is important to maintain a routine service schedule that includes a minor service every year. The major service should be performed at intervals of two to three years. It is possible to identify many potential car problems early and have them addressed before they become dangerous for your life or others.
How to maintain a diesel vehicle
Diesel car owners should be aware that diesel cars can have different engines than the ones mentioned above.
Diesel is less expensive than petrol and has been praised for being a more economical choice for car buyers. This will enable you to get the most from your diesel engine and take care of it.
Always choose a premium fuel option, and make sure you buy large quantities of it. Make sure your fuel tank never runs dry and fill it up completely in winter.
Oil changes: Replace your oil every year or after 15,000 km. High-quality oil is essential for your engine. Check your manual to find the best type for your vehicle.
To ensure maximum engine efficiency, it is important to replace your diesel car’s filters regularly. This includes oil, fuel, and air filters.
Start your diesel car slowly and not rush. Keep your revs per hour in the middle of your engine, and do not go too high or low. Allow your diesel car to cool down before you stop. If your drive was more difficult or longer, leave around 20 seconds before you turn off the engine.
How to change the oil in your car
To keep your car in tip-top shape, oil changes are an important maintenance task. Your engine’s oil acts as a lubricant, which helps to prolong its lifespan and improve performance. Modern cars will tell you when oil needs to be changed, but if in doubt, you should know that oil can’t be changed too often.
A lot of people will have their oil changed as part a routine service. Others may prefer to drop by a garage and let registered mechanics do the job. You can change your oil yourself if you are more hands-on and like the DIY aspect. However, you will need to have some knowledge and equipment.
It can be messy to change oil. We recommend that you wear overalls and protection for your eyes, as well as disposable rubber gloves for when you are working under the car.
Safe access to your vehicle’s underside should be possible, but you shouldn’t rely solely on a jack. You can use jack stands or axle supports to access the underside of your vehicle. Refer to your manual for details. Finally, you can chock the car to stop it from moving while you are working. You can add additional illumination to the area you are working on by opening your bonnet and fixing them in place.
Now you can drain the old oil. Find the sump plug, and place the vessel to collect the oil underneath it. Use a sump-plug removal tool that is attached to a wrench to loosen the plug. Turn it counterclockwise. If necessary, use force but move slowly.
The engine oil that is not needed will start to seep into the vessel as the plug comes apart. Let the sump plug be removed completely. The engine oil will begin to drip after a while. Now you can replace the filter.
You can remove the oil filter by simply unscrewing it from your car’s engine. However, an oil filter tool might be required. Remove the oil filter completely, allowing any excess oil to escape into your vessel. Apply a little oil to the thread of your new filter and seal it with your finger. You can screw it in place by hand.
After lubricating the sump plug with some oil, you can install it (or a new one if necessary) using a torque wrench. Once it clicks, adjust it to the manufacturer’s settings.
Locate the oil cap on your engine and remove it clockwise. The amount of oil that your engine can hold is 5.5 litres. Slowly pour the oil, adding little at a while. Do not overfill your dipstick. This can lead to mechanical failure.
Continue to check the oil level until it reads between max and min. Then, replace the dipstick and the oil cap. After letting the engine run for a while, turn off the engine. You may notice a drop in oil level, but it is possible to top it back up with any oil left.
The oil change is now complete. However, be sure to check for leaks and dispose of any oil waste responsibly.
What is the best place to put antifreeze into a car?
Antifreeze is an essential fluid that keeps your car running in cold conditions. It stops the water from freezing and prevents it from freezing.
Under your bonnet you will find the coolant reservoir which holds your car’s antifreeze. The user manual will give you the exact location of your vehicle’s coolant reservoir. However, you can usually find it by looking at the warning stickers on the lid. Antifreeze can heat up so make sure the engine is cool down before you refill it. You can remove the cap from the coolant reservoir and fill it with equal amounts of antifreeze and distilled waters to the maximum limit.
How should I adjust my car’s tyre pressure?
The optimal tyre pressure of any car will depend on its make and model. You can usually find the sticker inside your driver’s side door if you own a newer vehicle model. If you are unable to find the details, you can refer to your user manual online. Most passenger cars recommend between 32 and 35 PSI when the tyres have been cold.
What is the cost of a car service?
On average, the cost for taking your car to the UK for routine maintenance is about PS125. Keep in mind that the cost of a routine service to your car will increase if there are any problems, such as damaged or missing parts.
The location of the garage can affect the cost of services. Higher-rent garages may charge more for overheads. Shopping around can often lead to cheaper options.
You can get the most out of your investment by following a proper maintenance schedule for your vehicle. This will allow you to keep your car safe and in good condition.