The DIY-guide to preventative car maintenance
They say that prevention is better than the cure and in the case of caring for your vehicle, this couldn’t be more true.
By keeping on top of your car, you can keep on top of costly repairs that aren’t necessarily covered by your warranty. While companies like Omega Auto Care have become hugely important for vehicle owners, if you don’t have to make such a claim it is obviously much more beneficial for all concerned.
Therefore, in a bid to stay in the “no claims” group, we’ve put together this guide. We’ll now take a look at some of the best ways in which you can keep your car in check and minimize the risk of problems occurring.
Your owner’s manual contains all the answers
In truth, we could finish this guide here. There’s a reason why manufacturers provide you with such an extensive owner’s manual – it’s essential.
Within the vast majority of manuals is a maintenance schedule and unsurprisingly, this lists everything that you need to take care of.
The reason we are highlighting this part first is so that you don’t fall into the “general” trap. By this we mean following the same myths that have been donning the automobile industry for years and are either outdated, or just don’t relate to every car.
By reading this manual, you’ll find out the specific requirements for your model. It might be that you need to change oil every 7,800 miles, rather than the 3,000 which is commonly branded around for example.
Check your battery contacts
The battery is something that most of us will only touch if our vehicle needs jump-starting. Well, follow this piece of advice and the chances of this happening are reduced.
In truth, batteries don’t require maintenance. The only area which can become susceptible to damage is the contacts though, with these areas of the device sometimes incurring build-up. If you can make sure to regularly clean (with a specialized battery cleaning brush), it will keep your battery as good as new and at least allow you to maximize its lifespan.
Clean your spark plugs
This is one of those suggestions that few people carry out, despite the benefits being twofold. Firstly, by cleaning your spark plugs you will immediately make your engine more efficient and therefore save on fuel costs. Perhaps more importantly is the benefit that this will make to your engine though; if your spark plugs become covered in excessive build-up there’s an increased chance of a breakdown.
Keep on top of your oil
We’ll end the guide with a hugely obvious suggestion; make sure you keep on top of your oil. In simple terms, if you do run out of oil you have most probably just incurred a hefty engine repair bill.
Making sure the above doesn’t happen is fairly straightforward and something that is taught in driving lessons. Regularly check to see if you have sufficient oil in your vehicle via the dipstick, whilst also making sure that it’s not muddy at the same time. If it does fall into the latter category, it could be giving you an early sign that your engine needs repair work.
As well as this, don’t assume that you regularly need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. This is old advice – read the owner’s manual to find out the exact time for your vehicle.