Putting your car through the regular servicing it needs can be one of the biggest expenses of owning a vehicle, but it is something that can be managed effectively through proper budgeting. Understanding and carrying out the necessary services and inspections for your car can help you save money by avoiding costly repairs or breakdowns in the future. In this article, we'll explore some of the UK car maintenance tips to ensure you are budgeting effectively for your vehicle upkeep.
Get Regular Services
Your car will need at least one service each year, but if it is being driven more often, more frequent servicing is beneficial in keeping your car running reliably and ensuring it meets safety regulations. You should always check the manufacturer's servicing schedule for your car, as different makes and models will require different services. Depending on how much your car is used, it may need an interim service in addition to the annual service.
Change the Oil Regularly
It's important to get your car's oil changed regularly, as this will help keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently. Although the manufacturer's recommendation is usually to get the oil changed every 10,000 miles, this may vary depending on the particular make and model of your vehicle. Additionally, modern cars usually come with a device which accurately measures vehicle performance and can advise you when oil needs to be changed.
Check your Tyres Regularly
Checking the air pressure and tread depth of your tyres is important to ensure the safety of yourself and other road users. As a general rule, you should check the pressure and tread depth at least once a month and adjust accordingly. If the tread depth is becoming too low it is important to replace the tyres as soon as possible, as this can be a major factor in stopping distance and general control of the car when driving in wet or icy conditions.
Check Lights and Wipers
Making sure that all car lights and wipers are working correctly is essential. Having a faulty light or wiper can be a legal offence, as well as a potential safety hazard. If driving in bad weather it is especially important to check these features, as a faulty wiper can drastically reduce visibility on the road. To ensure that you are up to date with any maintenance, it is important to have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic at least once a year.
Use OEM Parts
When replacing components, it is important to use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts are built specifically for the car you are driving and are designed to last longer than generic parts. Additionally, OEM parts are usually easier to find, as they are the parts most mechanics will use for servicing.
Regularly check Fluids
In addition to changing the oil on a regular basis, it is important to check the levels of other fluids in the car. This includes brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and transmission fluid. Checking these regularly will help to ensure your car is running as efficiently as possible.
Keep on Top of Rust Prevention
Rust can be one of the most damaging things to a car body, and it can be expensive to repair. To ensure rust does not become a problem, it is important to keep the body of the car clean and clear of dirt and grime and touch up any scratches or dents as soon as possible. If you live in an area close to the sea or near other sources of saltwater, it is especially important to check for signs of rust.
Carry out Minor Repairs Quickly
It is important to stay on top of any small repairs that need to be done on your car, such as replacing a broken light bulb or a worn window seal. Small repairs can be done quite easily on a budget - for instance, for lights it is possible to buy and fit new bulbs without professional help. However, for more complex repairs it is always best to use a qualified mechanic.
Get a Service Plan
If you are planning to use your car a lot or plan to keep it for a long period of time, it is worth considering investing in a service plan. This type of plan is like an insurance policy for your car, covering the costs of servicing and repairs and offering peace of mind to the owner. Although a service plan can be expensive, in the long-run it can save you money by helping to reduce the cost of unexpected repairs.
By understanding these UK car maintenance tips, you can budget effectively for the costs of keeping your car running and roadworthy. It's important to stay on top of the regular services and inspections and to carry out minor repairs as soon as they arise. Having a service plan can also help to reduce the cost of keeping your car in good condition. With a little planning and budgeting, you can keep your car in peak condition without breaking the bank.