Teen Car Maintenance:
Be Smart with Your Car
It’s great buying your first Car. The thrill of the search, the excitement of the purchase and the imminent feeling of freedom when you get behind the wheel. But it’s expensive, isn’t it! By the time you add in the insurance, road fund license and maintenance you may as well have bought another car! But these things can’t be ignored – they are a legal requirement! In any case, a well maintained car keeps you safe and is cheaper than waiting for a costly repair bill! Here are 10 basic rules that will help your maintenance money go further:
- Know the correct tyre pressures for your car and check them at least every two weeks. Be aware of slow punctures.
- Check tyre tread and condition– look for cuts on sidewalls and ensure the tread is at least at the legal minimum across the whole tyre (3mm). Use a 20p and ensure you can’t see the outer edge.
- Know where your toolkit is check that all the tools are present.
- Get to know where the jacking points are. You need to know where they are should you have to use your spare wheel
- Your locking wheel nut is important to be able to remove your wheel – make sure you don’t lose these!
- Look under your bonnet and check the dipstick at least every fortnight and before any long journey. This gives you a direct reading as to how much oil you have for your engine. Without oil to lubricate the components, they will cease and cause engine failure, so it is vital for the life of your engine.
- Check the coolant level when your car is cold and top up as necessary with the right mix of antifreeze. It helps prevent the build-up of corrosion, so it is important all year round.
- Coolant runs through the cars radiator which takes heat away from essential components. If you allow a car to overheat, you can be at risk of needing a new head gasket or cylinder. These are both labour intensive jobs and, dependent on the value of your car, it may be deemed a non-viable repair ie, it would cost less to replace the vehicle.
- Wiper blades wear down over time and smear the windscreen if they become worn. Check them and replace as necessary to ensure your visibility is good in all weather conditions.
- Check and top up regularly and use a good additive.
- You need the additive to clean the deposits that ends up on our screens from the oily road surface and you don’t want it freezing in the winter. It is also legal requirement that the system works.
- Ensure that the fluid reservoir is at the correct level once a month. Check your handbook to ensure you are using the correct hydraulic fluid.
- Check regularly for stone damage. It is vital that there are no distractions whilst you are driving or risk of breaking glass.
- Chips can grow quickly into a crack in the glass that will need replacing. Catch them early and they can be repaired at low cost.
- Check all lights weekly and keep them clean. Including indicators, brake and fog lights.
- These are imperative to help you see what you are doing and let other drivers know where you are and what you are doing therefore preventing a collision.
- Check your bodywork for signs of damage and deal with them quickly to prevent rust from setting in.
Keep vigilant. If a warning light comes up on the dashboard, something isn’t functioning properly and can cause damage. Stop the car and call a rescue service or your local garage for advice.
The main components that need checking are tested during an annual service. The older the car, the more wear and tear is likely, so it is imperative to keep you safe to get it checked out. Some garages also conduct free safety checks.
If you are in any doubt, get it checked over by a qualified Technician.
At Redbourn Auto Solutions we welcome young drivers in to orientate you around your car and give you good sound advice. Call us 01582 679300 to book a session with a qualified Technician.