We all know that keeping a car clean and looking good will aid resale, but that’s not all. The benefits of top quality car maintenance cannot be overstated and it’s something we, as motorists, should all know by now. Maintenance will keep the vehicle running at its best, enhancing efficiency It will also spot problems before they become a problem, if that makes sense. Here are a few ideas to keep your car healthy and fuel efficient:
A Tyre Gauge
The tradition of driving on to a garage forecourt to check the air pressure in tyres is all very well, but do we really want to be doing it every week? The job of checking tyre pressures takes five minutes at you own home simply by deploying a tyre pressure gauge. Undo the valve cap and take a reading; if it’s right for your car (the correct pressures can be found in the handbook or on the door shut). It’s also a good chance to inspect the tyres for wear, unusual wear and other damage, say, to the sidewall.
Better still, an electric pump with an integral gauge will save having to go out at all! Plug it into the car’s 12Volt socket; it’s as simple as that. Worn tyres, soft tyres and indeed over-inflated tyres all affect handling, grip and fuel usage. Keep those pressures accurate!
Stick To The Schedule
The good old handbook will itemise a service schedule. If missing, the information is online these days. A service schedule is not pulled out f thin air; car makers know what’s best for their products and advise us accordingly. Of course, these days that doesn’t necessarily mean an owner has to take the car to a brand dealership. Your local, trusted, independent garage will do at least as good a job and probably for a little less money.
Unless the owner is fully proficient in car servicing (cars these days are more reliable, but much more complex than days of old) changing the oil filter is best left to the professionals. That said, the air filter which routinely sits on top of the engine is relatively easy to check and replace. Just like a sweet that clears your nasal passages, a clean air filter will help your car to breathe more easily and, again, this makes for improved efficiency.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; inspection of fluid levels is not only desirable, it is essential. That is why the oil dipstick and the brake and cutch fluid reservoirs are easy to access. It is essential to check when the engine is cold and it simply requires the owner to ensure the level is between the minimum and maximum marks. Further, watch out for any leaks under the car. Dripping oil on a wet driveway is usually described as a ‘dead rainbow’. It is a tell-tale sign that something is leaking.
These light up on the dashboard upon starting and immediately extinguish, meaning all's well. If on or more stays on then you’ve got a problem that warrants checking immediately. Familiarise yourself with what each symbol means then you’ll know where to start.
Putting off problems with your car may be tempting but it could be detrimental to automotive health. If problems aren’t addressed, they will get worse and could lead to other issues and so on. Knocks, scraping sounds, loose trim, steering wheel wobbles will never get better on their own. Get it sorted by your local car servicing garage.