The importance of car servicing cannot be overstated. With proper, regular maintenance our vehicles will, mostly, perform properly in all conditions and won’t let us down when the darker days descend. So that’s okay then; but what about our day to day motoring? What should we be doing every week?
Well avoiding mistakes, for one: Being a better driver in other words and just to get going, here’s a tip that seasoned drivers might know but those only just behind the wheel may not. Most drivers still have to use the services of the petrol station and become used to quickly assessing the right pump lane to get on. Some motorists though, especially new drivers, can sometimes pull into a petrol station only to find their filler is on the far side of the vehicle!
It’s still possible to fill up; the hoses are long enough, but it is annoying and awkward! Did you know that car makers have long been aware of this driver error and have made allowances. Somewhere on the fuel gauge, possibly next to the pump symbol is a little arrow that points to the filler side. How many of us have been blissfully unaware of this?
Windscreen wipers are a rather neglected automotive component that can lose effectiveness over time, smearing the glass and impeding the driver’s view. Ideally, they should be changed regularly, perhaps at every service interval. It is a simple task but if in doubt your local professional car servicing centre can sort it out.
It is however possible to get a longer useful life from those thin, flapping strips of rubber. Wet a cloth with water, or better still white vinegar or glass cleaner and wipe along the blades until no more dirt comes off. A simple hack that keeps grit off the wipers helping them to do a good job for longer.
Dry Inside On A Damp Day
On chillier mornings, the inside of the car can be prone to moisture, steaming up the windows, because we breathe moisture and our clothes might be damp. It’s often inconvenient, especially when in a hurry. Further, the insides of our vehicles can become damp through other means too: That steaming cup of takeaway coffee, wet clothes and dogs, or, worse still, tiny rainwater leaks in the sunroof or window rubbers because they can promote unhealthy mould to grow on upholstery.
You know when you buy an electrical item there’s always a little sachet of silica gel in the box? This is to absorb moisture until the buyer opens up. Did you know that it is possible to buy big bags of silica gel which, when strategically placed in a car’s cabin, will draw moisture from the air? A cost-effective way to help drive out damp. It is also possible to microwave the gel pack to dry it out and re-use.
Keep It Tidy
Under the recent difficult conditions many more people resorted to entertaining in their cars with take-out meals and the like. Because we always take our litter home (don’t we) the rear seat foot-well is a favourite tip. Be a better driver and put a small plastic tub or refuse bin in a convenient spot.
A tidy car is a clean car and as an extra benefit, your local garage technician will appreciate a clean and tidy car to work on when doing the service. Keep a roll of paper towels in a door pocket too to avoid a greasy build-up on the steering wheel and door handles. With the way things are at the moment, consider adding a couple of fresh face masks and some hand gel; you know how things are.
Make Use Of Your Smartphone
Sometimes, when in previously unvisited locations, seaside resorts come to mind, we can forget where we left the car. Well, fear not because there is an app for that. It seems these days we can’t do without a smartphone. Usefully, there is a selection of apps for iPhone and Android available into which a parking location can be added. Later the app can be consulted and it will guide the disorientated driver to the right spot.
Above then are some handy hacks to make life a little more pleasant in the car. Don’t forget the other tips though and you know what they are: Check tyre pressures and tread every week, dip the oil and check the brake fluid. Check the coolant level and if required top up the washer bottle.
Finally, as we are slowly but surely getting back to normal life, whatever ‘normal’ is, then there’s going to be more cars on the road, particularly those that have seen little use. There may then, this Autumn, be a rush to book servicing and MOT tests: make sure to book early.