Here are six simple DIY car maintenance service checks to ensure that your car is kept in top running order. Don’t leave it until your next garage service, follow this simple check-list for a stress free and safe motoring experience.
- Check your Engine Oil
Every fortnight and especially before any long car journey, check your engine oil level. To get an accurate reading: remove the dipstick, wipe clean with a lint-free cloth and reinsert. Check the level shown against the marking on the dipstick and top up the oil if necessary. Check your vehicle handbook to ensure that you use the right engine oil for your vehicle as each engine requires a different grade of oil.
- Check your Water & Coolant Levels
Regularly check and fill up the water found in the plastic reservoir, the level is usually marked with a high and low level on the side of the reservoir. When topping up the water, try and maintain a consistent ratio of antifreeze to water at the concentration recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Ask your mechanic to double check the antifreeze/coolant concentration prior to each winter.
- Check your Screenwash
Although not integral to the running of your vehicle, it’s important to check and top-up your screenwash on a regularly basis. This will ensure you can effectively clean off whatever gunk and grime splatters itself against your windscreen whilst driving. When using a concentrated screenwash, reduce the dilution ratio during the winter months to avoid the fluid freezing up on those frosty winter mornings.
- Check your Tyres
Check your tyre pressures on a regular basic. You can either use a basic pencil type tyre pressure gauge, digital tyre inflator or visit your local petrol station and check each tyre in turn. Try and ensure your tyres are cold (or as close as possible) to get an accurate reading. Your car’s required tyre pressure is usually marked on a placard either inside your glove box, next to the fuel cap or often on the edge of the driver side door. Top up any under inflated tyres to the pressure required. Check the condition of each tyre along with the tread depth and replace any excessively worn or damaged tyres at the earliest opportunity.
- Check your Wiper Blades
When cleaning your car it’s always sensible to check the condition of each wiper blade. If your wipers are smudging or making noise during use, they are signs they could be due for a change. Run your finger down the blade to check for splits or tears and replace any damaged to perishing blades.
- Check your Headlights and Bulbs
Not always the easiest check to carry out, especially when checking your brake lights. Ask someone to assist you to check that your brake and reversing lights illuminate when the brake pedal is pressed. Check you fog lights, headlights, side lights and indicators are working and replace any faulty or burnt out bulbs.
Following these simple car maintenance steps will help keep your car running safely and smoothly in between each garage service.