Once you’ve invested in a car, you’ll have a natural interest in preserving its value, and its performance. You’ll want to keep it running well, and for as long as possible, without spending too much money.

The best kind of maintenance is preventative. Preventative maintenance will stop your car from running into trouble, rather than seeking to solve the problem after it’s come about. If you allow your car to deteriorate, then you risk one component inflicting damage on the others. For example, if you fail to change your tyres regularly, then you’ll need to brake harder, which will accelerate wear on your brakes.

A car relies on dozens of components working in tandem. Each deserves care and attention. Provide that care and attention, and you’ll be rewarded with a car that functions properly, and avoid the hassle of a car that doesn’t!

Battery

Your car’s battery is designed to be replaced every few years. Check the acid levels every six months or so, and look for acid stratification, especially if you’re not driving the car, thus allowing the battery to run flat. It’s also worth treating the battery to an occasional clean, especially around the terminals.

Tyres

You are legally obliged to keep your tyres above a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. But it’s a good idea to replace them long before they reach this state. The tread depth of your tyres has a direct impact on your stopping power, and your fuel efficiency. Early replacements often make for a good investment.

Fluids

Your car relies on many different fluids to function. As the owner, you’ll want to periodically check the level of each of them, and replenish accordingly. Of particular importance are coolant and engine oil. Make sure that you know exactly what you’re shopping for when it comes to replacement fluids. Look at what’s right for your make and model.

During winter, it’s worth keeping a stock of screenwash handy, and a small funnel for filling it up. You might make one from the end of a plastic bottle.

Lights

Your lights serve several critical purposes. They let other road users know what your car is about to do, and thus they help to keep you and those around you safe. Just think about how risky it would be if you slammed the brakes on, and your rear brake lights didn’t flash red at the motorist behind you. 

If you’re not driving often at night, it might be difficult to see when your lights have failed. Thus, it’s worth checking them at regular intervals. Before you set out on a Monday morning tends to be as good a time as any!