You’re on your way to work, running late and battling traffic, when you hear strange noises coming from your car. That’s when the dread sets in – the mechanic is going to cost you a bomb!
With the rising cost of living causing financial strain, it’s more important than ever to save where you can. So, whether your car is a runabout that gets you from A to B or your pride and joy, having the skills to look after it will protect your pocket.
Chamberlain has found the top four maintenance tips to keep your engine purring and save you from paying a hefty repair bill.
Checking your oil, coolant and air pressure levels
Your car needs to be, quite literally, a well-oiled machine.
Maintaining the right level of oil and coolant in your car is essential for keeping your engine clean, cool, and well-lubricated, which in turn prevent the engine from seizing up, overheating, and breaking down.
When you’re next at the service station, check your oil and coolant levels – and top up if necessary. We recommend you do this once a month, and before all long trips. If you’re unsure how to do this, the owner’s manual (or a trusty YouTube video) will be able to show you.
While you’re at the petrol station, take a look at your tyre pressure too. Low air pressure not only results in less traction on the road, impacting your safety, but increases wear on the tyre. To reduce the frequency of costly tyre replacement, maintain the air pressure recommended for your vehicle type.
Listen to the music
Don’t ignore the check engine lights, and be aware of new sounds, smells, leaks, or creaks – if anything seems concerning, it’s time to get it checked!
Catching car issues early will help limit damage to your car and the cost of repair jobs. To ensure you notice any changes in functionality, get familiar with how your car usually drives.
It’s also important to check your car when you’re not driving it. When your car has been parked in the garage overnight, or for longer periods, look underneath for leaks.
Oil, coolant, and other liquids tend to leave a mark (think puddles and stains) on the ground. These spots can be an early indicator of potential problems.
Check the lights and wipers
Issues with your brake lights, headlights, and windscreen wipers are not only inconvenient, but could also lead to a costly fine!
Keeping an eye on the condition of your lights and wipers is easy. Every two weeks, test all external lights and swish your wipers. If you notice your lights are dim, flickering or making strange noises, or your wipers are scraping or off track, they need some attention.
Fixing lights and wipers yourself is easier than you think, and can be done in your own garage! After a quick trip to the local car shop to buy the right part, and perhaps an online tutorial, you’ll be on your way.
Don’t wait too long between services
Make sure you are following your car manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. Most cars need to be serviced every six months, or every 10,000kms – whichever comes first.
It’s important to not skip over these services as nasty substances can build up in the car’s systems, impacting the car’s fuel longevity.
If you’re doing regular off-road or four-wheel driving, dirt and dust can put a strain on the gears and filters, meaning your car may need servicing more regularly.
Remember: a service is more than just an oil change. Occasionally, parts like timing belts, brake pads and filters will need to be changed, too. Replacing these bigger items at the right time will prevent costly damage – and potential accidents – in the future.
If you follow these four simple tips and tricks, you’ll not only keep your car in good working order but could end up saving thousands. So, what are you waiting for? Get into your garage!
For more information about Chamberlain’s range of garage door openers and accessories, visit our website or call 0800 653 667.