For a lot of people, car maintenance can seem pretty daunting. While you might feel like putting off certain tasks because you’re unsure about how to perform them or uncomfortable undertaking them, it’s worth bearing in mind that avoiding regular checks could have costly or even dangerous consequences.

Car maintenance will help to improve road safety and fuel efficiency, and could even improve the longevity of your vehicle. If you want to keep your vehicle in the best possible condition, here are five car maintenance tips no driver should be without.

1) Check your tyres

If your tyres are the wrong pressure, you could be compromising handling, grip and braking. Tyres at the wrong pressure (over or under-inflated) could also increase fuel consumption and are at greater risk of becoming worn or damaged. Ideally, you should check your tyre pressure at least once a fortnight. Most petrol stations feature an air pressure gauge on the forecourt.

You should also check that your tyres have enough tread – it’s a legal requirement to have a minimum depth of 1.6mm of tread across the central three tyre quarters. If it’s time to replace your tyres, why not <a href=”https://www.comparetyres.com/”compare prices online today?

2) Check fluid levels

Oil, brake fluid, power steering, wiper fluid and coolant all need to be regularly checked. Even if you don’t understand how to replace these fluids yourself, it’s worthwhile knowing how to check them – as incorrect levels could cause significant engine damage.

Engine fluid level should be checked every fortnight, or before you embark on any long journeys. Most fluids come with dipsticks/gauges to highlight the optimum level of fluid. Once a fluid is reading as below the minimum, top it up as soon as you can.

When checking fluid levels, ensure the engine is cold and your vehicle is parked on flat ground to attain a more accurate reading.

3) Check your brakes

For road safety, a working braking system is crucial. While older classic cars might not feature the advanced braking systems new vehicles come with as standard, you can still check your brakes without having dashboard indicators to tell you when there’s a problem.

All you need to do is gently apply the brakes while driving on a clear stretch of road. If they feel slightly loose or don’t engage immediately, you should avail of the services of a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Vibrations or shakes could mean that the rotors need replacing. Unusual noises could be highlighting that the brake pads are too far worn. These problems should be rectified as soon as possible to avoid any dangers on the road, and to prevent more costly repairs in the near future.

Photo: cars by d3l licensed under Creative commons 4

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