Recently, my friend’s boyfriend had a near miss with his car and totally spooked her while she was up in Scotland for work. He was unharmed but his car had really suffered because he hadn’t changed his oil or oil filter in a while and he broke down at rush hour. His lax car maintenance ended up costing him loads in repairs, purely because he hadn’t bothered to so much as check his oil.
My friend, having just done the long drive to Scotland and trying to wrack her brains to see if she’d ever even checked the oil, started to panic that something similar would happen to her, leaving her stranded in Scotland and raiding her savings.
Luckily, what he lacked in car maintenance skills, he made up for in boyfriending and spoke to his uncle who used to work up that way to get a recommendation of where to go for a quick oil service.
Thankfully, he got it all sorted from his armchair (the wonders of modern technology!) and managed to book an oil service at Fife Autocentre to put her mind at ease and ensue her drive home was safe.
As someone who has never really taken good care of their car, when she told me all of this, I got a bit worried for myself and my kids (who don’t even choose to be my passengers!) and started looking into how I could look after my car better. I think it’s really easy to overlook the basic maintenance if you’re not that interested in cars.
Here’s the tips that seems to be pretty universal for keeping your car in good shape and making it last longer.
Since we’re on the subject, an oil service is a great place to start. The reason you need one is because the engine needs lubricating, but over time the oil breaks down and becomes less effective in doing its job. That’s when it needs changing. If the oil runs out, it can cause the engine all sorts of expensive problems. If you have a Halford’s Auto Centre near you, they’ll probably be able to help.
Check Your Tyres
Checking your tyre tread and pressure is a really important because it can have an effect on how well your tyres grip the road and enable you to conduct an emergency stop safely.
When your car engine is cold, you should check the coolant in your engine and top it up if necessary. You might find it depletes much quicker in the winter when you have your heaters on.
I once saw a tip on a morning TV show about cleaning your wipers with vinegar. It honestly changed my life, it’s made my wipers last so much longer and it stops them leaving a smeary residue. If they still don’t do the job after that, then definitely change them.
The Final Once Over
Every so often (especially before a big journey) have a walk around your car and check that everything looks normal. Check your lights are working and that your wheel trims are secured. It always pays to give your car a once over because you can often spot niggles before they become problems.
Those are my tips, I’d love for you to share your own in the comments!