Car maintenance is crucial to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently. A well-maintained car is not only safer to drive but can also save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance helps prevent breakdowns and extends the life of your car. In this blog, we will provide you with some basic maintenance tips that every car owner should know, as well as some season-specific tips for winter and summer, and new car maintenance tips to keep your car in excellent condition.
Basic Maintenance for a Car
Here are some basic maintenance tasks that every car owner should know how to do, whatever time of year.
Engine Oil Change
Regular oil changes are essential for keeping your car’s engine running smoothly. Check your car owner’s manual for the recommended oil change interval and the type of oil you should use but your oil should be changed every two years as an absolute minimum. It is essential to change the oil on time because it lubricates your engine’s moving parts, reduces friction, and helps your car perform better. Dirty oil can damage the engine, causing problems that are expensive to fix.
Proper tyre pressure is crucial to optimise your car’s fuel economy (incorrect tyre pressure can significantly increase fuel consumption), for good handling as well as tyre life, preventing early and uneven wear. Use a tyre pressure gauge to check the pressure regularly adding air as needed. Air pressure requirements can be found in the vehicle handbook and vary based the load of your vehicle.
Additionally, it is recommended that you rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles to ensure even wear and prolong their lifespan. Learn more about how to check the tyres on your car in our previous blog. Don’t forget to also check your spare tyre if you have one, although some modern cars have run flats or temporary repair kits instead of a spare wheel taking up space.
Battery health check
A weak or dead battery is one of the most common reasons for a car not starting – every motorists worst nightmare. Check your battery terminals and cables for signs of corrosion or damage, and ensure that the battery is securely mounted. Also, have your battery checked by a mechanic to ensure it is in good condition.
Brakes are crucial for your car’s safety. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations when braking, and have your brakes inspected regularly. Ensure that your brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid are in good condition.
Many modern cars are fitted with sensors that help us to park as well as helping to avoid accidents, these are know as advanced driver assistance systems. You should ensure your ADAS is regularly calibrated to enable them to do their job. We offer comprehensive ADAS calibration here at Peverell Garage, contact us to book in.
Other basic maintenance tasks
A few other key things can really help maintain your car is great condition all year round. Regular washing and waxing can help to protect the paint and prevent rust, as will using a touch up paint on any small dents and scrapes. Furthermore, pay attention to any unusual noises or vibrations, and have them checked out by a mechanic. Early detection of problems can prevent more serious issues down the road.
Sticking to the recommended service schedule means you will be less likely to encounter any major issues. Our previous blog can help you to decide which type of servicing your car needs but a full service will mean your spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter and other key component will be checked and your engine oil and oil filter replaced. A major service may also include a cabin air filter change. Find out more on our car servicing page.
Winter Car Maintenance Tips
Winter can be harsh on your car, especially in areas with extreme weather conditions of snow, ice and, in the UK, plenty of rain. Here are some winter car maintenance tips to help keep your car running smoothly, even through the coldest of months.
Check your car’s battery – Cold temperatures can reduce battery capacity and making it less reliable.
Check and replace your windscreen wiper blades – Visibility is crucial in winter weather. Replace your windshield wipers if they’re worn or not clearing the windscreen properly.
Use winter tyres – Winter tyres are designed to give better traction in snow and ice, something to consider if you live in an area with heavy snowfall.
Check your antifreeze: Antifreeze is important for preventing engine damage from freezing temperatures. Check your antifreeze level and make sure it’s at the recommended level. You can also have your antifreeze tested to ensure that it’s still effective.
Keep your fuel tank topped up – A full fuel tank can help prevent condensation from forming in the fuel lines which can cause problems in cold weather.
Our previous blog on preparing your car for winter will give you more information on all of these maintenance tasks and provide you with even more winter car care advice.
Summer Car Care Tips
It’s not just winter, summer can be tough on your car, too. Here are some summer car care tips to keep your car running smoothly.
Check Your Tyres
Hot temperatures can cause the air inside your tyres to expand and the rubber to disintegrate, so be sure to check the tyre pressures regularly and inspect your tires for any signs of wear or damage. Do not overinflate your tyres as this could lead them to burst.
Check Your Cooling System
Your car’s cooling system is essential for preventing your engine from overheating, particularly in the summer traffic here beside the sea. Make sure your coolant level is at the recommended level and have your cooling system inspected by a mechanic if necessary if you suspect a leak or other problem.
Keep Your Car Cool
Park your car in a shaded area where possible and use a windscreen sunshade to keep the interior cool. This can help prevent your car’s interior from getting too hot and damaging the upholstery and dashboard, as well as making your steering wheel, gearstick and seatbelt buckle too hot to touch!
Check Your car Battery
Hot temperatures can accelerate corrosion and cause water to evaporate your battery to fail. Have your battery checked by a mechanic before the summer heat sets in.
Get road trip ready
Give your car a once over before undertaking any long journeys. Check tyres (including the spare), engine oil level and coolant levels to ensure you remain on the road instead of at the side waiting for a tow truck to recover your vehicle. In case of any emergencies you may want to make sure you have plenty of water, snacks and a warm layer.
New Car Maintenance Tips
If you’ve just purchased a new car, here are some maintenance tips to keep it in excellent condition.
Follow the break-in period – Most new cars have a break-in period, during which you should avoid harsh acceleration, heavy loads, and high speeds. Following this can help prevent premature wear and tear on your engine.
Change your oil on time – Your owner’s manual will provide a recommended oil change interval for your new car. It’s essential to change your oil on time to keep your engine running smoothly.
Protect your paint – Consider applying a paint protection film or ceramic coating to your car to protect the paint from scratches, chips and UV damage.
Use the correct fuel – Check your owner’s manual for the recommended fuel type for your new car. Using the wrong fuel can damage your engine and reduce performance.
Regular car maintenance is essential for keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently. Follow the basic maintenance tasks, additional car maintenance tips, and season-specific tips we’ve provided to ensure your car stays in top condition all year round. By doing so, you’ll not only save money in the long run but also ensure your car’s safety and prolong its lifespan.
Here at Peverell Garage, we can help you with all your car maintenance, car servicing, car repairs and MOT testing. Whether you have a diesel, petrol, electric or hybrid car – our expert technicians are fully qualified to work with them all. Contact us to get booked today.