General Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Vehicle Maintenance

Taking care of your vehicle by carrying out the following regular checks and vehicle maintenance will ensure that it is less likely to let you down in the future.

Before any long journey

  • Check tyre pressures and check for any signs of tyre damage.
  • Check all fluid levels and top up as necessary.

Weekly

  • Check your vehicles tyre pressures, not forgetting the spare.
  • Check and top up the windscreen washer bottle and include a screen wash additive – water alone won’t clear oily road grime and freezes more readily in winter.
  • Check for any blown bulbs. Don’t forget indicators, brake and fog lights.
  • Clean your windscreen, windows and wipe all the lights to keep them at maximum efficiency.

Monthly

  • Check the level of oil in the engine, and ensure it is between the maximum and minimum marks on the dipstick.
  • Check for sufficient liquid in the cooling system. Top up as necessary, and include antifreeze in the mixture, in winter and summer it helps protect against overheating, as well as frost damage.
  • Watch for the first signs of rust forming and deal promptly with any damage to bodywork to prevent rust setting in.
  • Check tyre tread depths, look for signs of uneven wear and for cuts on sidewalls.

Diesel particulate filters (DPF)

  • If you’re planning on buying a car to be used mainly for short journeys or town driving, it may be wise to avoid buying a diesel model fitted with a DPF. To find out more, check out what our advice line has to say here. The AA also has some useful advice on its website.

Tips

  • Don’t know the first thing about cars? Anyone can learn the basics. Read your vehicle’s handbook, its designed to be easily accessible to non-technical owners and will help you identify how to check you oil, top up your washer bottle etc.
  • Get the car serviced regularly (according to the manufacturer’s schedule) to maintain engine efficiency. Efficient engines consume less fuel.
  • Under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance and so use more fuel. Getting tyre pressures right is important for safety as well.
  • Carry a spare bulb kit for your car. In fact if you’re going to mainland Europe it’s compulsory to carry an emergency bulb kit. Just put them in your car and make sure your owner’s manual is handy so you know how to fit them.

9 thoughts on “General Vehicle Maintenance Tips”

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  1. I appreciate all the information that you shared here on how to take care and maintain your vehicles. My mother taught me when I was little that it is important to have a professional take a look at your car before you go on an extended journey, just like you said. I never knew that you need to pay attention to any signs of rust on your car. Thanks again!

  2. There is so much wonderful information. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Check your tire pressure regularly when it’s cold because cold air reduces tire pressure, so fill your tires up with more air whenever they need it.

  3. I’m so grateful for your advice about maintaining a vehicle. From my point of view, it is really a must that we regularly check our vehicle before and after our trips. I can only drive but all with only limited knowledge in the vehicle parts and basic troubleshooting.

  4. I appreciate your suggestion to conduct a quick inspection of different components of the vehicle prior to the leaving for a long road trip. Driving with a damaged or faulty components in the vehicle could be very dangerous. So, by conducting a quick inspection, we could identify damaged components and could replace or repair such components in time. Tire pressure fluctuates with the surrounding temperature. So, tire pressure should be inspected properly and if necessary should be properly inflated.

  5. Really nice article. Prior to leaving for a long road trip, a quick inspection of different components of the vehicle is really necessary to identify and replace abnormal components to ensure smoother performance of the vehicle. The condition of different types of fluids used for various purpose needs to be inspected properly at a regular interval and if necessary should be replaced with suitable substitutes. Measurement of tire pressure and tread depth is also necessary.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. Some people underestimates the importance of regular maintenance of the vehicle. The condition of different components of the vehicle needs to be inspected at a regular interval to identify and repair mechanical errors in the vehicle. Use of abnormal components are problematic in nature. Prior to leaving for a long road trip, a quick inspection of different components of the vehicle could be very useful to identify abnormal components and replace such components with suitable substitutes. Apart from this, properly inflated tires with better tread depth could produce better traction on the road surface. So, tires should be properly inflated and tires with lesser tread depth should be replaced with suitable substitutes.

  7. Vehicle maintenance is necessary for any car. I am having a car and I prefer to do its maintenance my own and hence I was looking Do it yourself car maintenance tips.. I got many new tips from your article which I can easily implement now.

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