Most people soon realise that owning a car isn’t just as simple as buying and driving it. A vehicle isn’t a buy-and-forget purchase. It is something that takes constant care. You always have to fill it up, change the oil, check the tyres, and handle other routine maintenance. Otherwise, it’s not going to perform at its best and may develop premature problems.
Many people opt to go to their trusted mechanic or auto repair garage to have servicing, MOTs, Repairs and just about everything done on the car, but if you choose the wrong garage, that can cost a lot of money. It also takes time, fuel, and energy to go somewhere to have the work done. In some cases, you can do the maintenance yourself, but be careful.
It’s important to know what you can (and should) do on your own and when you should go to a trusted mechanic or local car repair garage near you.
In short, your owner’s manual should be your best friend. It’s the first place you should be looking to learn about your vehicle. It can tell you how much tyre pressure you need, when to change the oil, and when to have the tyres rotated.
Learn It and Do It Yourself
There are many things you can do yourself if you have the desire to learn how and perform these checks.
Tyre care should be done once a month, and you should check the tread depth and pressure. When the tyres are inflated properly, they last longer, you get better fuel economy, and you can avoid dangerous situations. An inexpensive tyre pressure gauge is all you need; sometimes, you can even find them at dollar stores.
It’s also important to check all the fluid levels of your vehicle. Your car runs on many fluids, some of which are more important than others. For example, windshield-washer fluid may not be essential, but it can be, especially if you can’t see sufficiently to drive safely. You should also check the coolant levels, brake fluid, and oil. Transmission fluid should also be checked periodically. You should review the owner’s manual before topping off the fluids to ensure that you’re using the right product.
You also need to check the battery periodically. The terminals can become corroded with time. If you catch it early enough, you might be able to clean it off with a baking-soda-water mixture. Heavy corrosion means that you need to go to a mechanic to have the battery cleaned thoroughly.
The wiper blades are also important; you can’t clear away rain, snow, and debris without them. If they are worn or broken, it could cause blind spots and other issues. Most of the time, you can change the blades yourself, but many auto part stores offer to do it for you for free if you buy the product there.
Go to a Professional
While there are many things you can do yourself, some things are best left to the professionals. For example, you used to save money by changing the oil yourself, but it takes a lot of time and requires special tools. Along with such, you have to dispose of the oil properly, which also costs money.
It might also be best to go to a mechanic to replace the light bulbs. If your back taillight is out (or a headlight), it might seem easy to do it yourself, but it often becomes a difficult chore. Many modern cars require unique bulbs and special tools to remove/insert them. Your owner’s manual might give an indication as to whether or not you can do it yourself, but you may want to avoid the hassle and go to a trusted professional car repair garage.
Some people might be able to change their air filter by themselves, but it is often hard to find it or reach it, especially in modern cars. You may want to go to a mechanic and have them change the air filter when they perform the oil change.
Surprisingly, there are many things you can do yourself in regards to car maintenance, but some things should be left to the mechanic.
If you need your car taken car of by a professional mechanic, remember for car servicing in Barry to speak to us at IJP Automotive. We handle all types of servicing, repairs and general car and vehicle maintenance.