The Essential Car Maintenance You Should Be Doing Yourself

Many car owners are scared to get under the hood and make changes. Lots of us worry that we’ll just make everything worse! With a little confidence, it’s actually very easy and there’s very little you can break. In fact, it’s crucial that you do get stuck in and do the regular maintenance and small repairs. It will keep your engine working efficiently and reduce the risk of breakdowns.

Engine compartment

Replace headlamps – A nice easy one to start with. Just like any other light bulb, the headlamp can go out at any time. It’s worth replacing this immediately, as police will pull you over if they see that one has gone out. It’s a simple change, just pick up the correct bulb and replace. If you’ve got LED bulbs, this is more difficult and you’re best off taking it to the garage.

Clean and replace air filters – Engines work by combining fuel with oxygen in the air. The oxygen enters through the intake and is filtered through – you guessed it – the air filter. Naturally, this gets thick with dirt and dust. Clean it regularly and replace when necessary.

Replace oil – Oil is necessary for the smooth running of the engine. It allows all moving parts to glide seamlessly over each other. When the oil runs out, the parts will crunch and wear down causing big engine problems. Check the level every other time you fuel up. Then replace it every 2 months or 3,000 miles – whichever comes first.

Test the battery voltage – Dead batteries are the most common cause of breakdown. Don’t get caught out with this one. Get into the habit of testing the battery’s voltage regularly. When it’s running low, pick up a new one from Autospark or have them install it.

Replace brake pads – Over time, the brake pads will wear down with excessive usage. Check them regularly and monitor their thickness. When they begin to wear down, it’s time to change them. Take the wheel off and you’ll get easy access to the pad. When it’s worn right down there will be metal on metal which you really want to avoid!

Check tyres – The pressure and tread of your tyres is one of the most important things to monitor. Find the correct pressure in your car manual and make sure you stick to it. When the pressure is too low or too high it puts extra strain on the engine. It’s also more dangerous to drive. Eliminate the risk of accidents and breakdowns by checking the pressure and the tread depth often.

Replace fan belts – You’ll know when the fan belt is wearing down or cracking. You’ll hear a piercing squeal coming from under the hood. Don’t ignore it! The fan belts help pump water and air towards the engine, keeping it cool. Overheating is a big problem, so check the fan belts regularly.

Of course, if you don’t feel confident making these repairs, always visit a garage. However, with a little research and confidence, you’ll save yourself some cash by getting under the hood. Good luck!

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