Most modern cars will need a professional service at least once a year – even if it’s only before your MOT. That said, there are plenty of maintenance tips and tricks you can do yourself between trips to your local garage, to help your car run more smoothly, reduce your service bills and keep your car road safe. Keep reading as we run through some of our best tips and tricks for DIY car servicing, from topping up fluids to checking your tyres.
Change Your Filters
There are two key filters in your car – the air filter and the oil filter – and these tend to become clogged and ineffective over time. While both of these are generally replaced during a full car service, they’re pretty simple to swap out yourself, and you could even save some money on labour in the process.
Check Your Tyres
This is a super easy check that can save you a lot of trouble. You should be able to find the recommended tyre pressure for your front and back tyres either in your car’s manual, or on a sticker by the driver’s door. There’ll be a different recommended pressure for your car when it’s loaded, as it’s bearing more weight.
You can check your tyres with a tyre pressure sensor – these often come with foot pumps too, so you can top up the pressure if it’s a little low.
Maintain Your Battery
Haven’t used your car in a while? Most drivers know that leaving their car on the drive for extended periods of time can have a detrimental effect on the battery, and might even cause it to go flat. There are a few different ways to combat this. To maintain your battery you could:
– Take it for a regular drive, at a reasonable speed (60mph).
– Invest in a trickle charger, so you can top up your car battery if needs be.
Use Your Aircon
While rolling the windows down instead of switching on the aircon can help to save fuel, your aircon is more likely to leak or become faulty if it’s left unused for a long period of time. We’d recommend using your aircon regularly – even occasionally in the winter – in an effort to stop the components of the cooling system in your car from wasting away.
Test Your Brakes
Before you get your car serviced, it’s good practice to test both your foot brakes and your handbrake to make sure they’re both working as they should be. To test your brakes, drive yourself somewhere remote, where you can safely stop and start without causing an obstruction. Practice coming to a halt using your foot brake, both by gradually applying your brakes, and trying an emergency stop.
You can check your handbrake by parking, applying the footbrake, then the handbrake. Next, release your footbrake – if your car stays put, your handbrake should be up to scratch.
Top Up Your Fluids
Lastly – regularly checking your car’s fluid levels can help to prolong the life of your vehicle, improve its performance, and keep your service bills down. Before you take your car into the garage, pop the bonnet and take a look at the dipstick, making sure that the engine oil level is sitting somewhere between the maximum and minimum markers.
You might also want to top up your coolant reservoir if it looks like it’s running low, and check the levels on your screenwash tank too.
You can get all the equipment we’ve mentioned above right here at Euro Car Parts. We’re proud to stock over 130,000 different parts from industry-leading brands, including components and fluids for every make and model. So whether it’s jump leads, an air filter or just a bottle of screen wash you need, you’ll find it at your local Euro Car Parts store.