As your car shudders to a halt on the side of the M6, you start to question a lot of things in your life. Like, why didn’t I check the oil before I left? Did I even check my tyre pressure? Did I lock the front door?
Whatever has caused your dashboard to ping, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid those nasty maintenance fees.
Fortunately for you, we’ve put together an easy guide for you to keep your car running and money in your pocket.
Read Your Manual
Unless you’re already a mechanic, you are not expected to know how to fix your car, or what is written in your vehicle’s service plan. You can, however, read your manual!
Relying on the information given to you by your car’s creators, you will help keep your vehicle in good repair. Therefore, more likely to pass its MOT first time.
You will find out how often your car needs to be serviced; when certain parts need to be replaced and how often regular maintenance tasks need to be carried out.
Service schedules are there to be followed. Simple.
Explore the Internet
With the world at your fingertips, why don’t you sharpen up your skills? Learning how to do your own essential repairs and maintenance will A. Expand your knowledge and B. Cut down your outgoings.
Necessary vehicle repairs are not beyond you. If you can get your head around some of the essentials, like oil changes, tyre pressures and how to change your brake pads you will never look back.
Newer car on the block, you may struggle to do any repairs without specialist equipment.
Know Your Oil
Want your engine to last as long as possible?
Checking you have the manufacturer-approved oil type for your vehicle may save you an expensive time at the garage. Not only have they designed the mechanics of the car you now drive, but they have also built the engine. Listen to the manufacturer.
Regularly changing your oil is essential for keeping your engine healthy.
So, refer to your handbook to find out how best to change your oil.
Take it Easy on the Pedals
By taking care when you drive, you can avoid some body/engine damaging elements on the roads. Although the odd rock or road debris isn’t always avoidable, you can certainly drive with more care.
You can also avoid riding the clutch when you’re waiting for the lights to change. In doing so, you will ensure your clutch plates have a longer lifespan. Start braking more gently too, to make your brake pads go as far as possible.
Care for Your Tyres
Every driver needs to be safe on the road.
Avoid tyre blowouts and loss of traction by doing regular checks on your tyre pressure. Sticking to the recommended pressures in your manual will save you money, and possibly your life.
Plus, tyres have to be replaced sooner when they have too much or not enough pressure.
Keeping an eye on your car’s tracking alignment is also essential. You can learn how to do this at home; however, in this case, a garage may be your best bet.
Check Your Cambelt
Causing severe damage to your engine is easy to avoid. Keeping an eye on your cambelt, and when it needs to be replaced may save you hundreds of pounds in the long run.
Referring to your service manual, you will see all the information needed for when your cambelt needs replacing.
Find a Good Independent Garage
When all fails, and you really do need to get your car into a garage for servicing, get yourself booked into a certified independent garage.
Dealerships are always going to cost more. With high overheads and staff commission, you’re never going to get the bang out of your buck.
With the hourly rate varying across the board, an independent garage will save you about ⅓ less than your franchised dealership.
The bottom line
Reading your car’s service manual is essential to keeping your car maintenance fees down. So, don’t break the bank! What skills are you going to learn today?