Car Care – Caring for Your Vehicle in 2020
Caring for your car is of the utmost importance so the new year is a great time to get started and really take control of caring for your car. As your car is a highly valuable asset as well as vital in getting you around – keeping on top of car maintenance should be one of your top priorities as a motorist. Not only does maintaining your car keep you and your loved ones safe when you are on the road – it can also lead to savings on bills such as fuel and help you to avoid or prepare for unexpected bills at the garage.
When looking to maintain your vehicle – there are many steps that you can take to make sure that you are safe on the road and prepared should anything go wrong. We have compiled an extensive list of everything that you can do today to keep on top of car maintenance in 2020. This guide includes a beginners section for those who are completely new to maintaining cars and will then discuss some more advanced tips and tricks. If you do have any doubts – it’s always best to visit a car garage. As they are the experts – they can take a good look at your car and can carry out extensive diagnostics should an issue occur.
Making a Start on Car Maintenance – Where Do I Begin?
If you have purchased your first car in 2020 or are looking to start and don’t know where to begin – there are several key principles of car maintenance that you can adopt. For the basics – you will want to get an understanding of several key components of your car:
- Understanding your tyres and carrying out regular visual inspections is really important. Clear indicators that there is an issue with your tyres such as rapid loss of pressure or obvious damage to the tyre wall such as bulges and cuts can sometimes be detected before they become more serious.
- Listen to your car – some sounds and noises that are not usual may indicate an issue and this means that you will need to take your car to the garage. A rattling noise for example could indicate that you have an issue with your exhaust but you will not be able to diagnose an issue without visiting a garage.
- Check oil levels of your engine and learn more about your engine. Ensure washer fluid is topped up and that you are familiar with testing oil levels with your dipstick.
- Make a habit of carrying out inspections of your headlights (especially when light conditions mean that you aren’t using them very often.) Testing them at night is a great time to have a good look at your lights in action
- Ensure that you have all of your emergency equipment and that everything is in good order. Ensure that you have a high-visibility jacket, torch & fire extinguisher where relevant. If you have a spare tyre – make sure to carry out checks on the tyre and check for damage / punctures.
Keeping Your Tyres Safe on the Road
Arguably – tyre safety is one of the most important things to master. Your tyres are the only thing keeping you on the road – so it makes sense to put the most effort into maintaining your tyres if you are looking to increase the amount of time you spend on maintenance to your car. Your tyres are arguably the easiest part of your car to observe yourself and to detect when an issue may occur. Carry out tyre checks by checking the following:
- Check the tread depth of your tyres for wear. The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. Failure to do this may result in penalty points on your license as well as a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre.
- As mentioned – check the tyres for visible damage. Also check for foriegn objects that may have been embedded into the tyre wall or exterior of the tyre such as glass and nails.
- Always ensure that your tyres are inflated to the correct levels. There will usually be instructions in your car manual / handbook which tells you the relevant tyre pressures for different loading capacities and passengers when on-board. This information is sometimes also displayed near the fuel cap of your car.
- If you need to replace your tyre or you feel that you want to make a switch – replace both tyres on the axle. If you replace one of your tyres – you will experience uneven wear and it can be difficult to keep track of the level of wear of both tyres.
Maintaining a Car Maintenance Schedule
Maintaining a schedule for car maintenance is a great way to approach the care of your car. Carrying out other tasks such as arranging for regular car servicing is a great way to get a professional inspection and opinion on your car but it can also save you money on bills and protects you from having an unexpected issue.
If you are unsure about any issue with your car that you can’t diagnose or has become a bigger problem than you anticipated – it’s always recommended to visit a car garage. This is because of the fact that the team at the garage are experts and will be able to give a solid and accurate diagnosis of any issues that you may be facing. Once they have diagnosed this – they will be able to arrange for the repair of your car and the parts that are required should this be needed.
Have you been inspired by this article? Have you learned any tips on maintaining your car or do you have any go-to tips that have helped you maintain your car? Let us know today. You can also find out more by speaking to our expert car specialists – who can help repair your car.
Alexander works for Autocentres and specialises in marketing & market-trend analysis.