A guide to maintaining your car

Maintaining your car is more important than you think. It shouldn’t be done just in the winter and when you have a long car journey either, you should look to maintain your set of wheels throughout the year. It may seem like a lot of effort, but it will ensure the longevity of your car and keep its health in prime condition. Here are some of our top tips.

Wash it regularly, inside and out

No matter whether you’re commuting to work, school or just popping to the shops, every day our cars are subjected to sun, salt, grease, smog, tree sap, dead bugs and bird mess. All of these things tear away at your car’s paintwork, and once that’s gone, they’ll eat away at the metal bodywork of your car too.

But how often should you be washing it and is there such a thing as too much? How regularly will all depend on where you live and the climate. If you live somewhere where there is a high level of pollution and sea salt in the air, you’re looking at two or three times a month. However, if you live inland and somewhere where there isn’t a lot of pollution, once a month will be plenty.

Keep your battery healthy

Battery problems are among the top causes of breakdowns in the UK. Now, more so than ever, it’s important to make sure your battery is in tip top condition, especially if it’s been sat on the drive during lockdown.

It’s relatively straightforward to check the health of your battery. You may have a built-in battery monitor or you can buy a manual monitor to check yourself. You could also keep your battery topped up with a battery maintainer. The last thing you want to be doing is paying out for an expensive battery replacement if it’s not taken care of properly. If you have to, you could explore the different financial options to settle the bill.

Be mindful of your tyre condition

Your car tyres can have a bigger impact than you think on the overall health of your car. Check your tyres regularly for wear and tear, cracking, bulging, pressure or even objects caught in the tread. Tyres that aren’t in good condition are not only dangerous but could also set you back a hefty fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points on your licence.

Most cars nowadays have tread wear indicators that should pop up on your dashboard. If they don’t, it’s easy to check the tread by taking a look at the tyre itself. Feel around the tyre with your fingers to find the six small ribs across the bottom of the main tread grooves. When the tread surface becomes level with these ribs, the tyre needs changing.

You should also check the tyre pressure once a week, as low pressure can increase your car’s fuel consumption and shorten the life of your tyre.

Check your brakes

Don’t panic when it comes to checking the brakes of your car. They should be checked by a professional around every 10,000 miles or at least once a year. You can also check them yourself. When you’re driving, be mindful of how the brakes feel. If the brake pedal almost goes to the floor before your car begins to slow, head to the nearest garage to get them checked.

The sound of grinding is also something to listen for, as this could mean your rotors and brake pads need replacing.