Top tips on looking out for your automobile’s health
Our cars are, for many people in the UK, one of the most expensive – and prized – possessions available to own. Not only do they require a lot of money to be purchased in the first place, they also require attention and presence of mind afterwards.
Whilst car maintenance is not half the struggle it used to be – when oiling, lubing and tuning up was an almost constant cycle of events to keep your motor on the road – it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have half an eye on the health of your car.
There is no doubt that you can get by with fewer trips to the garage – but there remain a few key helpers which can ensure your car doesn’t wear down or burn out too soon. If you have specific concerns – or activities – which you undertake with your car, you might be interested in taking out a tailored insurance policy, such as the policies offered by Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) – this allows you to add specific clauses of extra cover for items such as valuables, foreign travel or a roofbox or trailer.
But on to maintenance. The majority of problems arising from today’s high-performance cars stem from a lack of attention paid to the guidelines and tips in the manual. It is there for a reason. A close read of most manuals will let you know when you should check essentials like oil and wipers – and you’ll feel ridiculous when your mechanic points all this out to you after a costly trip to the garage.
1. Overlooking tire pressure and brake pads
An obvious one to start with – many of us neglect to keep half an eye on the tire pressure of our vehicles, meaning that by the time it comes for a service, we have to fork out for fresh tires as ours are overused. Follow your manual for advice on when and how to check them: the same goes for your brake pads.
2. Not checking oil
This is the classic- with today’s low-maintenance cars, too many of us are happily driving along and only doing something once the warning lights come up. Different vehicle manufacturers recommend different optimum times to change your oil – some as frequent as every 10,000 miles – so make sure you find out from the manual and note it down somewhere prominent.
3. Not changing fuel and oil filters
Blocked filters are one of the main causes of the engine light coming on – and if not seen too, can lead to further problems such as the engine misfiring or catalytic converter failing.
4. Unnecessary tune-up
Like we said, given the triumph of modern technology in today’s cars, many of us are carrying anachronisms from yesteryear into our contemporary maintenance routines. ‘Tune-ups’, once a regular fixture for old models, are now a thing of the past – but just save all your changes (spark plugs etc.) for your 60,000 mile service.
5. Not checking gas-cap
Easy to overlook and therefore a real source of headaches if not looked after properly. Many of us pay little or no attention to the gas or petrol gap in our cars. But leaving it loose can cause fuel leakage – or simply annoyance, as it regularly sets the check engine light on. To avoid embarrassment at the garage – check it now!