Getting around to a regular car service is not something that really excites too many car owners. However, regular car servicing and car repairs as necessary, by a credible and reliable mechanic or company, are essential for protecting your asset and ensuring its safety and performance. It comes as a relief to many car owners to know that there are things that they can do and steps that they can take to minimise time and expense when it comes to car maintenance.
1) If using a professional mechanic or service, ensure that they are certified, qualified and reputable.
Successful and reliable mechanics pride themselves on cost, quality, reputation and time. Mechanics of this nature know that in order to build and protect a good reputation, they must complete car service and car repair needs with close attention to detail, provide a quality and cost-effective service and minimise the inconvenience of being without a car for their customer as much as possible.
It is also worth questioning incredibly low quotes and prices – will a quality, reliable service really be provided or will you in all likelihood end up paying twice as a result of problems still needing to be fixed?
2) A range of simple car maintenance procedures can be done by anyone! It is reassuring to know that some of these simple steps can be significant and influence whether problems can be prevented…ultimately saving you money and stress and providing a safe driving experience.
- Keep your car clean – A clean and clear windshield (inside and out) has incredible safety benefits. Maintaining your car’s body in a clean state helps to stop rust and corrosion. It is also beneficial to wash underneath your car. Salt, sand and chemicals tend to collect underneath your car and can cause rapid rust damage.
- Keep your engine clean – Oil, battery acid and a range of chemicals and contaminants frequently collect on a car’s engine. It is important to keep the engine clean so that corrosive damage is avoided and to facilitate the cool and efficient running of your car. When washing your engine, it is important that the car be allowed to idle until the engine is dry before the car is driven.
- Change or clean your air filter – It is recommended that your air filter be changed every time your engine oil filter is changed. Air filters are inexpensive to buy and easy to replace.
- Commit to checking and changing your engine oil – Far too many people never or very rarely check their engine oil. Unfortunately, gone are the days where a petrol station employee would check your oil for you while you bought fuel but this does not eliminate the need for regular checking and changing of engine oil. You should consult your owner’s manual for the recommended frequency of oil changes for your car. If you don’t feel comfortable checking and changing oil yourself, it is a wise investment to have someone else do this for you for minimum outlay. Car repairs as a result of engine problems caused by low oil and poor lubrication are commonly expensive and inconvenient.
- Check other fluids – Coolant, transmission fluid, brake and power steering fluids and the water level for your windscreen wipers should be checked regularly and kept full. Performing these checks on a regular basis will help you to identify if leaks or other mechanical issues are evident.
- Check your tyres – It is recommended that, at least weekly, the air pressure level of your tyres be checked and that they be filled to the level of inflation specified in your owner’s manual. This includes the spare tyre! Rotating your tyres every few months will also help to ensure that they wear evenly. Unless you are very experienced and skilled, tyre rotation should be done by a mechanic or specialist automotive company.
- Emergency equipment – Make sure you have the essential emergency and repair equipment and tools in your car. Of course the particular tools and equipment that you require will depend on the type and model of car that you have as well as the type of driving that you do.
There is no substitute for a quality, regular car service, but through some simple and inexpensive maintenance steps, the time and money required for car repairs can be reduced. To ensure safe and efficient functioning, all cars should be regularly serviced by qualified, skilled mechanics who will clearly communicate with the customer about the repairs required for their car.