We always recommend you have a yearly Car Service Milton Keynes check by a registered garage. However, there are checks you can undertake on your car to ensure it is safe at all times. The last thing you want is for your oil to run low and blow your engine out. While this extremely dangerous, you can also find that something small could be so costly. So we have come up with a few checks that you can make and how to service your car at home.
How to service your car to keep it safe
There are many benefits to servicing your car at home; you will feel much safer during the winter months knowing that your vehicle is in good condition. Not to mention the cost of fixing cars is extremely expensive and you want to minimise this as much as possible.
One of the first things you are going to want to check is what tools you have. There is no point in starting a home service to find out you can’t carry it out. We suggest that before you start you obviously grab yourself a cup of tea.
The oil in your car is one of the critical components that you must keep on top of and maintain regularly. It is there to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly and you will find without sufficient oil your car performance will be affected. You can check this by simply pulling out the dip stick, get yourself some kitchen towel, wipe the dipstick and put it back into the oil. Enter the dipstick back into the oil, remove, the oil should be within the minimum and maximum line. If it is below this, we strongly recommend you purchase some oil and top it up as soon as possible.
By checking your oil regularly, you will also be able to indicate whether your oil tank has a leak. We recommend that when you do have your yearly service you ask for the garage to do a full oil change, this will also be indicated in your vehicle manual. You can purchase a number of car oils from Halfords.
Tyre pressure and tread
You can a purchase tyre pressure gauge from many hardware stores, and they are relatively inexpensive. Screw Fix have digital pressure gauges for as little as £5.00. It’s not just the tyre pressure you need to check; you will also need to look at the tyre tread, the preferred tread tyre is 3mm in the winter, anything under this will also take you two car lengths longer to stop over 50 miles per hour. However, the legal limit for your tyre tread is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band. Tyre’s that are not maintained regularly can cause a number of problems, such as slipping when the roads are wet. Additionally, if your tyres are not correctly inflated, you may find that they easily blow out and can cause a significant accident. Your vehicle handbook will advise you of what tyre pressures your tyres should be. It’s important to keep on top of this as it could also affect your fuel efficiency.
Antifreeze and coolant
Now that winter is in full swing, and British weather is so unpredictable, you will want to ensure your antifreeze is topped up and at an efficient level. Cold temperatures are harsh on your car and can affect the overall running; you will want your antifreeze to ensure your vehicle can run properly. Antifreeze and coolant will also help prevent your car from internal corrosion.
As a car service garage, one thing we find with young drivers, in particular, is that you leave your brake pads to run really low. It’s essential you don’t wait for the screeching sound, this will indicate that your brake pads have worn down so low you are now scratching the brake discs. You will want to prevent this from happening, as this can be a costly repair.
You depend on your brakes to stop you in incidents; you can also check your brake fluid, which is underneath the bonnet. If this is running low, we recommend you source the right brake fluid for your car brand and style; this will be shown in your vehicle manual.
As the dark nights draw in sooner in the day, you will be more at risk if you find your lights are not working correctly. The most important lights are your indicators, brake lights, reverse and of course your headlights. It will be a lot easier for you to figure out if your headlights are not working but your break or reverse lights, for instance, you may be unaware of. If you have a garage or wall you can test your lights we recommend reversing your car close enough for you to see if they are on. Test the brake light by slowly applying pressure; you may also want to ask someone else for assistance and ask him or her to walk around the car to check your lights.
Power steering fluid
Most cars nowadays have power steering, so its vital that you check your power steering fluid. Many of us don’t, and this could cause your car to steer away with ease, power steering is put in place to make it easier for you to drive the car.
Much like your oil, checking power steering fluid is easy to monitor and maintain. Have a look under the bonnet it should indicate within the minimum and maximum line if low just simply top up until required level.
It’s important that all year round you take good care of your car, you want to keep it in good running condition. All of the listed checks are vital to maintaining a safe car, as previously stated we still recommend that you have your vehicle checked by a registered garage so they can ensure nothing is missed. All listed are important to a functioning safe vehicle and will also help in saving you a few pennies on things such as fuel, and repairs to your car that could have been prevented.