Whether you’ve bought your car brand new from a dealership, or you’ve picked up a used car for a bargain in one of our online car auctions, it will always need looking after. Recent research published by Honest John suggests that drivers mostly like to trust trained professionals to take care of the issues for them, and that seems to work quite well. The typical UK driver spends an average of just £185 a year on car maintenance, which isn’t exactly a staggering amount.
However, you save yourself a sizeable chunk of that three-figure sum by working out how to do some of the most simple and common car repairs yourself, even if you’ve got next to no mechanical knowledge. Here are our six top suggestions!
1. Check the fluid levels
These are five fluids you’ll need to be aware of, and it’s recommended that you check their levels regularly to ensure that there are no leaks or problems. If you run out of any of the liquids in your car, it could affect whether the car can run properly, for example being able to stop when you press the brake pedal.
2. Brake fluid
4. Power steering
5. Washer fluid
2. Check the tyre pressure
Checking your tyre pressure can either be done at home or at a petrol station, and there are two systems to measure your tyre pressure: bar or PSI. You should check all four tyres, including the spare, as pressure can vary significantly, with the recommended pressure located in the vehicle handbook. This will not only help with the performance of your car but could also improve your mileage per tank.
3. How to change a flat tyre for a spare
It’s estimated that 60% of drivers don’t know how to change a flat tyre, with most having to Google it when the problem arises. From locating the spare to replacing the flat, it is an important skill to have, and will also stop you looking like a lost puppy at the side of the road. This is also why checking the tyre pressure of your spare will come in handy, otherwise you’ll need to contact your breakdown provider.
4. Replacing light bulbs and windscreen wiper blades
Imagine you’re driving during the night, it’s just started raining, and your headlights have gone out and wiper blades have stopped working. OK, so admittedly it’s not hugely likely that both will happen at once, but even one of them is enough to seriously obscure your visibility, control and safety when driving out on the roads, so it’s worth regularly inspecting both your lights and your windscreen wipers to see how they’re doing, especially before a long journey in the dark. Just a quick replacement could do more than make the drive easier – it could literally save your life.
Use your car regularly
Now, this one isn’t exactly a repair or skill as such, more just a good habit to get into. If you don’t use your car for a while, you may find that the battery has gone flat, as so many drivers did after the first lockdown last year. This is because your car battery is charged every time you go out driving, as the alternator that charges your battery only works when the car is in motion. So if you know you won’t be using your car for a few weeks or even months at a time, it’s always best to start and run your car for 15 minutes every two weeks or so, as this will keep the battery charged.
Service and MOT
Making sure your car has a service and MOT will make sure that there is nothing wrong with how it operates, with mechanics more likely to spot a problem that you may not have noticed. Service intervals should either be carried out every 10,000 miles, or at least once a year, with an MOT being carried out yearly. Generally a service will carry out all the maintenance checks that you should be doing, with an MOT checking for any safety and performance issues.
Of course, there may come a point when your car fails that MOT test one too many times, which might prompt you to decide it’s uneconomical to continue running any longer. But if you’re looking for a replacement at a fantastic price, we’ve got good news for you – you’re in exactly the right place. We’ve got plenty of vehicles to choose from in our online car auctions right here at RAW2K, and our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always new deals to be had from a range of leading manufacturers like Volkswagen, Citroen and Vauxhall. Why not look around our site, and see what you can find?