Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to experience car trouble will know how frustrating it can be.
Even though the problem may be no fault of your own, you still have to pull out money for an unanticipated expense, leaving you out of pocket and without a vehicle. There are ways to prevent these situations from arising however, and many of the more common car problems can be prevented by exercising quick and easy car maintenance on a regular basis.
To help keep your car on the road, and to save you money on your next MOT, we have compiled some of our best car maintenance tips, recommending some helpful products and services along the way.
Check your tyres
Image Source – By Paul Robertson
The wellbeing of your tyres is a huge element of the driving experience. Without a set of tyres that are in good condition, you run the risk of losing control of your vehicle on the road due to low traction or manoeuvrability. While many do check that their tyres are puncture-free and inflated adequately, it is also important to remember that tyre treads are the subject of strict legislation.
According to this legal factsheet from the AA, the minimum depth of tyre tread is 1.6mm. Even though it is the legal minimum, this depth of tread may still be unsafe to handle, and most car manufacturers actually recommend that you change your tyres when the treads have reached a depth of 3mm.
If your tyre tread depth isn’t within the legal limits, you could be operating a vehicle that is unsafe, leading you to a fine of £2,500 and potentially a stint in prison.
Clean your fuel tank
Image Source – By David Michalczuk
If you’ve ever tried to clean your exhaust, you’ll know how disgusting the by-products of fossil fuels can be. Not only do these stain and tarnish (and potentially oxidise) your exhaust, but they also clog your engine, making it less efficient.
Worse still, the gases emitted from your exhaust are very harmful for the environment, making a significant contribution to climate change and air pollution. With electric cars still a distance from being readily available, drivers should make use of fuel additives to lower their contribution to pollution.
Depending on the type of car you own (petrol- or diesel-powered), you can introduce an additive to your petrol tank or Diesel Particulate Filter to reduce harmful exhaust emissions.
These will effectively ‘detox’ your car, improving the long-term performance of your vehicle and creating less cause for concern when it undergoes its next MOT. You can find a selection of these additives at the car specialists Autosessive, where you can also find expert advice on this type of car care, should you need it.
Keep an eye on the battery
Image Source – By Alan Gore
One of the most common reasons for breaking down is a failed or faulty car battery. Whether you have been using too many in-car accessories or the battery has reached the end of its life cycle, most car battery problems can be prevented with regular observation and maintenance. Inspect your battery, checking for leakages, mineral build-up, or debris around the battery’s contacts.
In the winter, the chance of battery failure greatly increases. People tend to stay indoors more, meaning cars can sit unused for days on end. In addition, cold conditions both reduce the amount of energy your battery can produce and make your engine harder to turn over — these in conjunction can make starting a car impossible.
This handy guide from the RAC provides you with some more common reasons for battery failure, as well as some great advice on how to prevent it from happening.
A car is an expensive and complex piece of machinery, so it should only be expected that regular maintenance is absolutely essential. Looking after your car regularly will ensure that is safer, cheaper, and more enjoyable to run.