Are your car maintenance costs getting out of control? There is no doubting that car servicing and maintenance can get expensive, but there are some simple, preventative maintenance tasks that you can regularly undertake that will result in cheaper maintenance in the long term.
What is Preventative Maintenance?
Everyone will have a different opinion as to what preventative maintenance is, however, essentially it is the basics that will keep you on the road. If you are handy with car maintenance, you can undertake most of these yourself, however if you aren’t, ensure you book in with your local trusted mechanic. Preventative maintenance will save you money in the long term. Think of it as going to the GP – preventative maintenance is the regular check ups that pick up anything that may be an issue long term.
Whether you are handy with car maintenance or not, there are some very easy things you can do without the need of a mechanic. Before you start, have a read through the owner’s manual that came with your car. Inside you’ll find suggested times for oil changes, filter changes, timing belts and anything else that will need replacing down the line.
7 Cheap and Easy Tips for Car Maintenance
- Conduct a regular inspection
This must be the easiest preventative maintenance option you can possibly do. Simply take a walk around your car on a regular basis and check for anything that doesn’t look quite right – flat tyres, leaks, scratches, dents, headlights and windscreen washers not working etc. This is a really easy way to pick up those small issues that could easily become big and inconvenient if not dealt with.
- Learn to check fluid levels
The fluid levels you need to check will be different in each car, but there are four or five main fluid levels you should be checking – the engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and windscreen washer fluid. Before you check the fluid levels, make sure your car is on flat ground and has a cold engine. If your car is parked on a hill the fluid levels may be off, while a hot engine is just a recipe for burnt hands.
Checking the engine oil is as easy as checking the dipstick (which will have a normal range indicator) while the windscreen washer fluid should be kept full so that you can clean the windscreen as needed when driving. If you aren’t sure where or how to check the other fluid levels in your car, ask a mechanically minded family member or friend, or have your mechanic show you next time your car is in for a service.
- Check and change your oil regularly
Unless you’re handy under the car, it might be best left to a mechanic to change the oil in your car, however getting into the habit of checking the oil level is essential. In most cars it is relatively easy to check and top up the oil, but if you are uncertain, take a read through of your owner’s manual so you know where everything is.
It’s great to get into the habit of checking your oil level before you head away on a holiday and should also be regularly checked when checking the fluid levels in the car.
- Check for battery leaks
Checking your car battery for any leaks is simple. It isn’t often that a car battery will leak, but it is good to get into the habit of checking it anyway. Simply look for the signs of leaking which include:
- cracks in the battery casing
- liquid bubbling on top of the battery
- the battery appears warped or distorted
If you notice any of these issues, get yourself off to your nearest mechanic or call your roadside service out to remove and replace your car battery.
- Replace your windscreen wipers
Are you noticing streaks on your windscreen when your wipers are on? Your windscreen wipers may need replacing. Before replacing, try giving your windscreen wipers a good clean down – if you haven’t washed your car for a while, there could be dust stuck under the wipers. If you are still getting streaks, pop along to your closest auto store. Pick up the right windscreen wipers for your car (the staff should be able to help) and it’s an easy and quick job to change them over.
- Get your tyres checked
Checking your tyres yourself is as easy as walking around the car and checking for any that look flat. You can take your car to most service stations and top them up with extra air if needed. It is certainly recommended to have a wheel alignment done at least once a year. This is an easy maintenance task that should take no longer than a couple of minutes every few months.
- Clean your car
Cleaning your car regularly can help stop the build up of dirt and dust that can get into your air conditioner and air vents as well as stopping some scratches from forming. Giving your car a regular wash and vacuum, can help maintain the inside, and outside, of your car.
Some repairs do require a professional touch. If you have a chip or crack in your windscreen, call the team at Autoscreens. We can repair chips or replace windscreens either in our workshop or at your home or business in the Perth metro area. With a free quote and a team that services the Perth area, we’re able to assist with all your windscreen repair and replacement needs.