No one likes taking their car to the mechanic, a simple service can end up costing hundreds or thousands of pounds for issues you didn’t even notice. With an older car, many of these costs are unavoidable, the cambelt will always need changing, bearings are bound to suffer from wear and tear and the tyres will need replacing. These examples are inevitable, they’re part of car ownership. However, many issues can be prevented or slowed by performing your own level of maintenance, even in its most basic form.
Checking the fluid levels in your car really isn’t hard, it takes 5 minutes to take a look under your bonnet and refill the washer fluid, check your brake fluid and antifreeze levels. Checking your oil level and condition is imperative, a lack of oil in the engine can wear seals and valves quicker and old oil won’t do its job as effectively. Be careful when refilling and check you’re using the right oil for your engine and ensure you don’t overfill as this can cause many issues, even as extreme as exploding!
Completing your own inspection
Despite whatever image comes to your head, we don’t mean dig out your overalls and pull out your tool kit. A general once over to see if anything looks out of place or sounds off can save you thousands in repair bills if you spot it early. A pressure gauge for your tyres can be picked up for a few pounds, a small price to pay compared to the hundreds you’d have to fork out for prematurely worn tyres. Correct tyre pressure also provides better handling, braking and fuel economy.
Despite how scary it all sounds general engine maintenance isn’t something to fear. Periodically changing your spark plugs and replacing your air filter will reduce the chance of your car not starting and even improve performance. Your battery is often overlooked in the engine bay or even covered by the manufacturer, but checking this every now and again for mineral build up or loose connections can prevent an embarrassing wait for a recovery vehicle. To clean the terminals, you can pick up a battery cleaning brush relatively cheaply online or in an auto parts store, just brush off the terminals to give your battery the care it deserves.
Although we don’t recommend performing any of these unless you are 100% sure what you are doing and understand the consequences that can ensue. We highly recommend taking your vehicle to a specialist, we recommend Ashington Autos, to ensure the best care for your car.