10 simple yet essential car maintenance checks you should do regularly
Keeping your vehicle in the best condition possible is essential - it not only means your vehicle is safer to drive, but it also means that you can avoid more costly repair costs with things going wrong. With some simple regular maintenance, your vehicle can be reliable, practical, and completely dependable.
So, what do you need to do?
1. Clean number plates
Cleaning your number plates might seem like an odd thing, and indeed many don't bother. The reality is, however, it's important your vehicle is easily identifiable. Driving with your number plates obscured either through dirt or damage is actually illegal, so a simple wipe over now and then can work wonders.
2. Secure number plates
Speaking of number plates, they can become damaged over time which leads them to be insecurely mounted. If yours are, you can easily and affordably by a new set of number plates for your vehicle by visiting CarReg.co.uk. You can fit them easily in just a few minutes, but you get complete peace of mind knowing they're secure.
3. Check tyres
Your tyres are literally the only thing keeping you in contact with the road, so you need to make sure they're in good condition. Check for tyre wear to ensure you have a safe amount of tyre tread - the legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm. Also check for irregular wear patterns or any signs of cracking and damage.
4. Clean lights
Cleaning your lights thoroughly is a great way to ensure your vehicle is as safe as possible. Over time, plastic light covers can become cracked or cloudy. Not only is this unsightly, but it also prevents your lights from shining as brightly as they otherwise might. Even a simple rub over with some cleaner can improve them.
5. Check lights
While you're cleaning your lights, it's the perfect opportunity for you to check them, too. Check for any damage in the lenses, and ensure that all your lights are working correctly. If you don't have someone to help you, you can check them by backing up to a reflective surface, such as another car, to check.
6. Fluids and filters
One of the biggest maintenance tips is to regularly change your fluids and filters. Oil should be refreshed in line with manufacturer intervals, using the appropriate grade. Similarly, your oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, and pollen filters should all be replaced at regular intervals too as a part of proper servicing.
7. Windows and glass
Thoroughly check your windscreen and side windows for cracks and damage. Getting a small chip repaired is comparatively easy and affordable, but if you leave it there's a risk it could develop into a crack. Also use dedicated glass cleaner to keep them as clean and clear as possible, to improve your visibility.
8. Brake test
Regularly check your brakes by driving silently along a quiet road and listening for noises as you brake. Any grinding or metallic noises warrant further investigation by a professional immediately. Also check that your brakes don't cause your vehicle to pull to one side, and have your discs and pads checked regularly.
9. Listen for noises
Driving quietly is an excellent way for you to check the condition of your vehicle. Turn your radio down and drive both with your windows all up, and then all down. Listen for any irregular noises coming from your engine, your brakes, or your steering. A noise is often the first sign of a problem that needs rectifying.
Replacing your windscreen wiper blades is a cheap and easy fix, but can drastically improve the safety of driving your vehicle in bad weather. Also be sure that your wipers are adjusted correctly, to clear the screen properly in front of you. Check your screenwash levels, and that the jets are also properly adjusted.
These are all simple maintenance checks that you can do yourself. They don't cost any money, aside from cheap parts and consumables, but they can help keep your vehicle in reliable working order. Surprise mechanical failures are comparatively rare - many break downs and issues occur when vehicle owners have neglected basic maintenance and not taken action when minor issues have prevented themselves. Keeping your car properly serviced and ensuring you regularly check it over can allow you to rectify any minor problems before they end up disrupting your day and sending your vehicle to the garage.
Follow these top ten simple tips and your car will be dependable. You can order a new pair of perspex number plates.