A car is a long-term investment, requiring much more than the cost of purchase to fulfil its role in your household. Cars need regular upkeep to stay healthy, and without the right treatment can cost a significant amount of money to fix.
By creating a regular maintenance routine, you can stay on top of common problems and fix them before they cost you more in the long run. Here are four important things to include in such a routine.
Maintain Your Battery
Your car battery is of essential importance when it comes to starting your engine. As well as supplying power to your dashboard electronics, the car battery is responsible for powering your spark plugs and the engine’s starter motor – without which you will not get your engine to turn over. Whether you’ve just bought a used car online or you’ve been running your vehicle for years, testing your battery on a regular basis is an important habit to make; you never know when you might find yourself caught short with a dead battery and no one to help you jump it.
Inspect Your Tyres
Your tyres are another crucially important aspect of your vehicle. They aren’t often paid much mind by casual motorists, but they are the car’s single point of contact with the road – and as such, their health is vital for the continued smooth running of your car.
Low air pressure can result in more of the tyre touching the road, increasing wear and decreasing fuel efficiency. If the tyre’s tread wears down too much, you could lose traction; the tread must measure 1.6mm or deeper, or the tyre is illegal and must be replaced immediately.
Change the Oil
Engine oil is a lubricant, designed to keep your pistons and cams running without friction. Over time, engine oil can deplete and thicken. With less oil, and less lubricative oil, the engine has to work harder to function. Parts also run the risk of failing much quicker, due to abrading against one another.
You should regularly check the oil depth via dipstick, and top up when necessary. Complete oil changes should be undertaken by a professional mechanic every 5,000 miles or so.
Test Your Lights
Lastly, regularly checking your lights can save you a lot of time, money and effort in the long run. Between your indicators, headlamps, brake lamps and fog lights, there are a lot of bulbs and LEDs that could break or fail.
Having a malfunctioning headlight could increase your chances of an accident in the dark, or at least see you pulled over by transport police and potentially ticketed. You will also want to thoroughly check your lamps before your MOT, where a spent bulb could cost you a re-test.