If you’re here, you probably own a car, and most people who own a vehicle aren’t professional mechanics. Fortunately, we have a team of trained technicians who are always excited to help keep our customers safe and happy. We asked them what advice they give when it comes to car maintenance, and are now passing it onto you!
Keep your MOT and Servicing up to date.
Most people know that you should get your car serviced annually, and that you have to have an MOT test once a year to ensure it’s roadworthy. Not so many realise that you can have the test carried out up to 30 days before its expiry and still keep the same date on the certificate.
By having your vehicle checked and looked after regularly, you can prevent minor problems from getting worse. Not only will that save you money on expensive repairs, but your car will run more efficiently, saving you even more. Need to book yours in? You can do it online in just a few minutes here.
(With the recent lockdown, MOTs got extended for some vehicles – you can read a little more about it here).
Get any warning lights checked out promptly
It can be easy to ignore the multitude of warnings that your car can put out. If the vehicle is still moving, what could go wrong? The answer is a lot.
Your car won’t alert you unless something is going to go wrong soon. Whether this is low tyre pressure affecting your grip on the road, or that the battery is low, sooner or later it’s going to affect your driving experience. Getting it investigated by one of our trained technicians will make your life just a little bit easier, but it could also be the difference between life and death.
(Don’t know what some of the symbols mean? We wrote a little about the most common signals from your car here.)
Regularly check the little things.
Bulbs. Fluids. Tyres. These are all simple parts of your cars that you can and should inspect on a regular basis. Spotting some worn rubber or a low wiper fluid level early should prevent a major problem surprising you.
(Not sure what some of the symbols under the bonnet mean? Maybe this will help.)
Keep your locking wheel nut safely in the vehicle.
You never know when something might go wrong despite all the precautions you take. When they do, it helps to have the right tools on hand. From our fifteen years’ experience, the most commonly misplaced thing is your wheels’ locking wheel nut. This little object stops your wheels from being removed by anyone without it, but is important for our mechanics when it comes time to change out a worn or flat tyre. We suggest keeping it in your glovebox.
Don’t be afraid of using performance fuels
We’ve all seen them at the pumps, ‘supreme,’ ‘performance,’ and ‘high octane’ versions of diesel and unleaded. Most of us ignore them due to the higher price tag, but they can make a difference in how your vehicle performs. You might notice it more if you drive a sports car, but some will benefit from it with better fuel economy or performance.
Unless you have a bottomless wallet, doing this every time can make a noticeable dent on your finances. Have no fear! Just doing it occasionally (one of our mechanics recently suggested one in every three full tanks for my Ford Focus) can help protect your engine.
(At the time of writing, in the middle of the CV-19 pandemic, fuel prices have dropped significantly, and performance fuels in our area are roughly the same price as normal fuels beforehand. Because of this, the cost might not be as painful as usual!)
Keep a first aid kit and other essentials in the car at all times.
It’s not just your locking wheel nut you should keep with the car. None of us like to think much about it, but things go wrong. When they do, most are prepared for calling insurance companies and roadside assistance. It might not have occurred them that there’s a decent chance you’ll be sat on the roadside for a time, waiting.
Because of this, we’d advise keeping a few essentials with your vehicle at all times. Depending on your precise needs, this might include a first-aid kit, nappies, water, or an extra layer of clothes.
(Last winter we suggested a few more specific things you should consider leaving in the boot – you can read about them here!).
If you think something’s wrong, get a professional to do the work.
We’ve saved the most important point for last. If you’ve read this far, you know that sooner or later things will go wrong. Some fixes you can probably do yourself safely and effectively, like topping up wiper fluid or putting some air into a tyre, but others can be much more complicated. Maybe you’ve got a background in car maintenance yourself, but most of us haven’t, and by having a go at home you might just make things worse, less safe, and more expensive.
This is so important that I’m not even going to suggest you bring your car specifically to us. Any reputable professional is a good choice… that said, if you decide that you want to use us (and why wouldn’t you?), you can book your car in here!
Hopefully we’ve helped make the roads a little safer today, but let us know if you think we’ve missed anything!
Drive safe, folks.