If you’re a new car owner, you’re going to have to get used to maintaining your car correctly. It might seem like an afterthought now, but neglecting good practice will cause you problems down the road (literally!). Those problems could eventually cause huge bills or even write your car off completely. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to car maintenance, so we’re not going to discuss everything today. Instead, these are five essential tips that you must obey as soon as you become a car owner for the first time.
Check Your Tyre Pressures
You must check your tyres on a regular basis. This is because they’ll start to lose air over time, and if you let it get too bad, you’ll get a flat tyre. While a flat tyre is an annoying nuisance in some cases, it could be potentially lethal if you’re going at high speeds down the motorway. So, what do you need to do? Grab yourself an air pump and make sure you know what pressure you need for your tyres. For example, Vauxhall tyres and Mercedes tyres will need different amounts of air. Consult your handbook before doing anything.
Check Your Tyre Treads
Now that your tyre pressures are up to scratch, it’s time to check the tread depth. Do some research about what to look for when you’re doing this. You’ll want to see some images of what bad and good tread looks like. It’s not always easy to identify when you’re a new car owner, so ask friends and family to help you if you’re struggling. Don’t stick with those old tyres if the tread is bad. It’s illegal to drive with a tread depth of less than 1.66mm in the UK, and it’s dangerous too.
Check Your Oil
If your oil levels aren’t correct, you could be damaging your engine. This is particularly true if there’s not enough oil, but it could even be the case if there’s too much. To check the oil, you’ll need to open up the bonnet. You’ll have to pull out the long dipstick, wipe it clean, and put it back in the oil. When you pull it back out, look at where the oil level fits in between the two markers. If it’s in the middle, you’re fine. If it’s too low, you need to add some more oil. Check in your owners manual about which type of oil to use. Picking the wrong brand could be fatal for your car’s engine.
Check Your Coolant Level
Another critical thing you’ll need for a healthy engine is coolant. This is also located under the bonnet underneath a cap. Don’t open this cap when the engine is hot or you might have a nasty surprise on your hands. Again, it’s simply a case of checking whether the coolant level is of a good standard. You’ll see markings inside to help you gauge this. It’s important to keep a track of any inconsistencies you might notice. The coolant shouldn’t go down rapidly, so if it does, you might have a problem on your hands. If you need some more coolant, you’ll have to get some specific coolant solution, and again, consult your owner’s manual if you’re in any doubt.
Have A Routine
Once you’ve done all of these things, it’s easy to forget to do them again. You’ll need to carry out these checks on a regular basis, so have a set routine. Along the way, you’ll probably find other things that go wrong. Indicators and headlights often fail, and mysterious scratches will somehow appear on your paintwork. Having a routine will help to identify any issues before they become potentially serious. Of course, if you start noticing issues along the way, do some research about the problem. Oil levels shouldn’t drop quickly and neither should your tyre pressures. If things don’t seem right, get your car looked at immediately.
It might be a good idea to take a basic car maintenance course at your local college. You’ll often find these running at certain times of the year, and they’re a great way to learn. Not only will you understand some of the basics, but you’ll also understand why potential problems might occur. That way, you’ll be best placed to spot any inconsistencies in the future. For the majority of the time, you don’t need to worry about maintaining your car. Just make sure you do the basics and consult the professionals if things get too overwhelming.