Make sure you get the best out of your vehicle


Drivingpic - Make sure you get the best out of your vehicle

Car breakdowns and repairs can be expensive and Murphy’s Law says that they’ll usually happen at the worst possible time when it comes to your personal finances. In this article we look at the car maintenance issues that you should be keeping on top of to minimise the chances of something going wrong, or to at least flag any issues before they become expensive headaches.

Tyres

Keep your tyres regularly pumped up to keep them working at their best. You should also regularly check for excessive wear and for any lumps or tread distortion. Tyres rolling along the road generate heat, especially on hot summer days which can increase the chances of a blow out if the pressure is low. Keep an eye on your tyres to make sure you stay safe this summer.

Wheels

Remove the wheels so that the brake condition can be checked.

Cooling systems

Make sure you change the coolant water at least every two years. Drain, flush and refill with clean water and the correct coolant additive to keep the cooling system working at its best.

In addition, regularly check the cooling system for leaks and make sure the hoses are secure and in good condition. Replace any that are not hard or that are cracked and starting to bulge. Radiator cone fins should also be regularly checked.

Air and fuel filters

Fuel filters tend to be in sealed units making it tricky to check for blockages and so we recommend that you replace them regularly.

Air filters should also be checked and replaced if necessary.

Cambelts and fan belts

Cambelt and fan belt failure is very common and so they should inspected regularly. In fact, it’s recommended that most Japanese vehicles have their cambelts replaced every 100,000km or every five years and for European car models change times are between 40,000 and 60,000km.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check other drive belts for damage.

Spark plugs

Checking and replacing worn spark plugs will guard against an engine misfiring and the subsequent breakdown of high tension leads.

Exhaust

As well as increasing fuel consumption, exhaust leaks can create deadly carbon monoxide fumes to accumulate in the vehicle and a loss of engine power. Avoid these problems by keeping an eye on the condition of the exhaust.

Engine and transmission oil

Change the engine oil and oil filter every 12 months and check the engine and transmission for oil leakage.

It’s important to remember that this checklist is not a substitute for professional inspection and car servicing. What the checklist will do is help to ensure your car is operating at its optimum. It will also help you to quickly identify any potential problems.

Maintaining a road-worthy car will mean you stay safe and hopefully avoid expensive and unexpected repair costs.