Car Maintenance Tips | By Darren*

Hi everyone, it’s another guest post from me.

If you haven’t already guessed by now a lot of my posts tend to be about practical scenarios and true to form this is another of that sort.

I’ve recently changed cars so thought this would be quite a good time to mention how important it is to maintain your car and how well it served me when I changed mine.

Like quite a few people I know, I had my old car on a PCP scheme which meant I had to give it back to the finance company after my contract was up.

While they expect a bit of wear and tear, the car needs to be in a good, roadworthy condition when they take it back otherwise you will end up paying for any repair works needed.

So I thought I’d share a few tips with you all on how you can keep your car running at its best and if you are in a similar position to what I was, how you can avoid any unwanted charges at the end of your contract.

Firstly, it goes without saying that you should always make sure your car has a valid MOT and is serviced regularly. However, aside from that it is also important to regularly test things like your brakes and your lights.

Where your lights are concerned, that’s an easy one. You can either recruit a friend to look for you while you test them, or if you’re on your own then you can pull up in front of a reflective surface so that you can see them yourself.

Testing your brakes relies a little bit more on how the car ‘feels’. You should always check your brake fluid levels when you’re under the bonnet, but apart from that you should get your brakes tested as soon as possible if they start to feel ‘spongy’, less responsive, as though they’re pulling to one side, or if they start making strange noises (grinding for example can mean your brake pads are low).

Finally, tyres are another thing that should be regularly checked – especially if you travel long distances!

Checking your tyre pressure is an easy one as all you need to do is look in your manual. In a lot of cars that I’ve seen, there is a sticker on the inside of a door panel that shows what pressure your tyres should be. With a lot of newer cars now, the on board computer often tells you when you lose pressure, but I never like to rely solely on technology and checking yourself takes literally two minutes. Keeping your tyre pressures correct keeps your car responsive and also gives you the best fuel efficiency (so it can save you cash!).

It’s also really important to check your tyre tread (check the highway code for the legal requirements if you’re unsure and if you don’t have a copy then you can buy one online). If you don’t have the correct tread on your tyres, you are at risk of the car not gripping to the road properly, failing an MOT, and some defects can attract penalties from the authorities.

I’m always travelling around so for me I find it really useful to know some good places to call in if I ever need anything checking over and fife Autocentre is a good one for those in the Scotland area.

There’s plenty more that you can do to keep your vehicle in a good condition, but these are just some of the highlights. People often don’t want to check things like this in case there is something wrong and it ends up costing money that hasn’t been budgeted for, but in the long run it is worth its weight in gold and will ensure that you’re as safe as can be when driving.

*This is a collaborative post. 


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