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Car maintenance tips everyone should know

Everyone who owns a vehicle will know how important it is to ensure that the engine, bodywork and general running of the car or van are in perfect running order. The car should always be maintained in order to pass its annual MoT.

Buy a good tool kit

Even if you aren’t a mechanic it is always advisable to carry a good quality tool kit in your car. You never know when you’ll need to adjust a light or replace a fuse. It is also wise to carry some protective gloves, which can be found on the website.

These will not only prevent you from getting dirty, but will also stop you getting dangerous or toxic chemicals on your hands. The Automobile Association (AA) always recommends that you make sure you carry the correct key or removal tool for locking wheel nuts in your toolbox.

Check your engines fluids

There are some people who have never looked under the bonnet of their car and always take it to a local garage just to fill the water in the radiator. That’s great if you can afford it, but not everyone has that luxury. If you refer to your car’s handbook you’ll be surprised how easy it can be to top up the washer fluid for your windscreen wipers or even keep an eye on the engines oil levels, as well as keeping your water levels filled.

Monitor your tyres

The Money Advice Service website explains how and why you should keep your tyres properly pressurised and that you make sure that the tread has not gone below the legal limit. Your tyres keep you safe if they are kept in good condition; they are one of the most important parts of your car. If they are worn or bald they will not grip the road and the chances of you skidding will be much more likely. New tyres can cost from 70 upward, so getting the tracking checked on a regular basis will save you money in the long run.

Check your lights

Before you take your car on the road you should always check your lights, it’s not only illegal to drive without working lights, it can also be deadly. You must test your brake lights - ask someone to stand behind the vehicle while you press the brake pedal a few times. If any of your other lights are flickering then it’s probably a sign that you have a loose wire or the bulb is nearing the end of its life.

Looking after your battery

If your battery isn’t happy then your car won’t run efficiently. Contemporary cars use a ‘12 volt negative ground electrical system.’ It is recommended that you check the battery contacts are always clean so that the current can flow around the system. Use a wire brush to produce a clean contact surface. If you are going to clean your car’s battery contacts you should make sure that you disconnect the negative first. You don’t want an electric shock or to damage the car’s electrical circuits.

If you are at all unsure about car maintenance procedures always get in touch with a professional mechanic.



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