Take the right steps to maintain your car

7 Jan


Owning a car comes with a lot of responsibilities, from getting it correctly taxed and insured for the roads, to driving safely and ensuring it is roadworthy.

This means it is vital to keep your vehicle well maintained and running smoothly throughout the year. It may seem like there is a lot to do and a large number of things to keep a check out.

However, it is not necessary to do it all in one go, or even check every element each time you come to give your vehicle the once over. Split the maintenance tasks up into small, manageable chunks and carry them out for short periods of time, more often.

tips to maintain your car in winter
Image Credit :Thinkstock

So what are the things you should be checking for and keeping on top of on a regular basis?

Tyres

Your tyres are the only contact your vehicle haves with the road and are therefore absolutely crucial to ensure your car stops in good time, helping you avoid the pain and hassle of a collision on the roads.

They should be checked regularly to make sure your car is roadworthy, from a safety and financial point of view, as a failure to do so could result in penalty points and a fine as well as a crash.

Monitoring the tread depth is crucial and each tyre should have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across three-quarters of the tyre’s surface.

You should also check the tyre pressure to ensure they are correct. Consulting your manufacturer’s guidebook will help you find the correct pressure your tyres should be. Checking for damage is also imperative.

Refill your oil

The oil in a vehicle is often overlooked when it comes to maintenance, as it does not need to be replaced or topped up as often as other fluids in your vehicle. When it comes to refilling your oil, you need to make sure not to overdo it, as this can cause damage.

Its a pretty simple job and shouldn’t take too long. Just unscrew the oil fill cap and insert a funnel. Consult your manual to find out how much oil your engine holds and pour it in.

Use your dipstick to check that it is within the limits required and you’re done and dusted.

Winter checks

Ahead of winter you should carry out some specific maintenance and checks to ensure you are not caught out by an unexpected cold snap. This includes making sure you have enough screenwash in your water bottle to keep your windscreen and back window clear of streaks and residue for road salt and grit. Failing to do this could lead to reduced visibility while on the roads.

One part of a vehicle that gets overlooked heading into the winter is the air conditioning, but it is important this is running smoothly, as it can help remove moisture from inside a vehicle and demist windows.

If your air conditioning system is not running how you would like it to its well worth booking a car air conditioning service at ATS Euromaster where a trained professional can take a look at the unit and make repairs or recharge it where necessary.

You should also check your battery as the increased usage of lights, wipers and heaters can put an increased strain on it and it may be time to think about a replacement. Doing this before a major problem occurs can save a lot of time and effort, or even being stuck at the side of the road.

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Date posted: January 7, 2014