As a motorist, you’re going to have to get your car repaired every once in a while. But if you look after your car, your car will look after you. By taking care of your motor, you can keep it running for longer yourself. To save yourself the hassle of paying out for repairs every time your car starts making a noise, follow these simple maintenance tips instead.
Replace Your Oil
This is a simple one that many motorists fail to do. Simply checking and replacing your oil on a regular basis is enough to keep your motor running smoothly. This is especially important if your car hasn’t moved in a while or you’re heading off on a long road trip. Old or low oil levels increases the friction in your car as you drive, damaging your engine. Checking and changing your oil takes five minutes, and saves you hours of stress further down the line.
Always Have Jump Leads Handy
It’s easy to forget to turn off your lights when you’ve parked up. Unfortunately, this will drain your battery, leaving you stranded. Plan ahead and always keep a set of jump leads in your car. While it’s perfectly fine to buy an affordable set, it’s worth paying a little extra for a pair that are a bit longer. This will make jump-starting your car much easier, and you’ll appreciate it when you’re stuck in a layby in the middle of nowhere.
Replace Your Brake Pads
Your brake pads are some of the most important parts of your car. Being able to stop on time is crucial for road safety, and brake pads play a vital role in this. While you should regularly replace your brake pads, keep an eye out for the early warning signs of deteriorating pads too. A screeching or grinding sound when you apply the brakes is a sure sign that your pads need replacing ASAP.
It’s easy to do this at home yourself. Simply raise the car and support it with a jack stand. Then remove the wheel and clean the brakes with a good degreaser. Next, remove the brake pads from the caliper and check the brake and disc lines for signs of damage. Place the new brake pads and affix the caliper and clips. Finally, make sure your brake fluid levels are topped up and fit the wheel back onto the car.
Here’s a handy video guide to help you replace your brake pads safely:
Upgrade Your Tech
It’s natural to experience a few scrapes and dings on the road, especially when you’re parking. But these can quickly add up, requiring extra maintenance later on. But you can save yourself this hassle by investing in the latest technology. Take parking sensors for example. They’re simple and easy to fit, but make reversing into a tight space so much easier. And for extra security, why not invest in a backup camera?
Backup cameras are a small addition that make parking much easier (TadiBrothers have a number of affordable models), and many new cars have them built-in as standard. Sat navs too are a handy piece of tech that keeps your car on the road, although it might not seem like it at first glance. But as many sat navs provide sophisticated journey data and traffic updates, you can easily plan or amend your journey to find the easiest (and quickest) route. This minimises the impact on your car in the long run, keeping you on the road and out of the mechanics.
A common mistake that many drivers make is parking in the wrong place. Yes, even finding the wrong place to park can affect your car’s performance. Try to avoid parking under trees. As well as the inevitable bird droppings which can erode your car’s paintwork, trees often leak sap. This is also bad for your paintwork, and can be a hassle to fix.
But at the same time, you should take care to avoid direct sunlight too. Prolonged exposure to UV rays gradually erodes your paintwork and damages the interior of your car. If you can’t find a nice shady spot in which to park, invest in a decent car cover instead. You could even store your car with Auto Vault. This will ensure your car is stored safely and looked after whenever it isn’t in use.
Every car needs to see a mechanic from time to time. But you can reduce these visits yourself by taking care of your motor. Check your car and replace your oil and brake pads regularly. A little effort here and there will save you time and money in the long run.