Essential car maintenance

The five most common maintenance musts that people avoid

Despite a car usually being people’s second biggest investment aside from purchasing a house, vehicles are too often brushed to one side when it comes to maintenance. Here are the top five jobs that drivers avoid doing, and the reasons why it’s best to resolve them as soon as you can.

Checking and changing oil levels

This is potentially the most expensive issue that is avoided, especially by young drivers according to AutoMD Hafer. If there’s not enough oil in the engine, there is not enough lubrication, which means more friction between the moving parts and excess heat, eventually leading to engine failure. A car inspection helps though cars don’t use as much oil as previously, it is still necessary to check on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Ignoring the air filter

A dirty filter will raise your fuel costs by as much as 7 percent in as little as 5,000 miles, so regularly cleaning it could mean a big difference to your monthly petrol bills. Simply check your driving manual to locate your air filter, it is usually easily-accessible and will only take a few minutes to vacuum.

Worn brake pads

To avoid this problem in the first place, always ensure that you give yourself enough time to brake gently, as opposed to wearing your brake pads by repeatedly braking hard. You can tell if your brake pads are too worn when applying pressure to the brakes is met with a high-pitched squealing sound. If you ignore the problem, the brake becomes less effective and the rotor is also liable to damage.

Shock absorbers

If you live in a rural area with bumpy roads, or enjoy a bit of off-roading, always be sure to regularly check your shock absorbers, which are essential to your suspension. Not doing so could result in increased stopping times by as much as 20 percent, excess swerving on corners, irritating vibrations in the cabin and bad handling of bumps.

Extreme temperatures

Wherever possible, always put your car in a garage and out of the elements, because both scolding hot and freezing cold conditions damage your vehicle’s mechanisms. However, if you don’t have a garage, always take the time to start your vehicle up carefully and properly. For instance, simply trying to open a window to reduce condensation before a vehicle is adequately warmed through, could completely break the system. Check for the most common vehicle problems in extreme temperatures, to ensure you’re on top of dealing with whatever the weather throws at you.

Check registration plate

Easy to forget about the part of the car that is identified. Check car reg for any discoloured numbers, letters or backgrounds on the number plate itself as this is an MOT failure. Replacing a reg plate is less than £20 and all you need is your registration document and some ID to get a new plate.

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