If you want your car to last longer, get you where you need to be and keep you safe then you need to return the favour and give your car the care it needs.

As little as 10-20 minutes of car maintenance a month could save you time and money when it comes to your car. Simple checks on your car’s basic running systems that you can do yourself will reduce the risk of breakdowns and damage to your vehicle.

Here are some useful tips to get you started:

Tyres – your car’s tyres are what keep you on the road. It’s best to check the pressure of your tyres every month. The right pressure can be found in your vehicle manual, if you are unsure ask an expert. Check for wear and tear and check that the tread is not too worn down. Tread should be no less than 1.5mm across your tyres. Look for any damage that may have been done to your tyres and if you are unsure about safety issues, check with your mechanic.

Oil – This is a good indicator of the internal health of your car and should be checked every month. If the car is churning through oil at a rapid rate this is a sign that things are not functioning well. Oil levels should be on or close to the high mark on your dipstick. The oil should be clean and clear – if it’s dirty it needs changing. You might also need to get your oil filter changed. A lack of oil in an engine leads to unnecessary wear and tear.

Cleaning – cleaning your car on a regular basis will help with its long term sustainability. Washing and polishing the exterior of your car helps prevent rust and general wear and tear, while cleaning the interior also helps to maintain the fabric and panels. Always use the right cleaning products on your interior.

Brake fluid – checking on the levels and colour of your brake fluid can help you to catch problems with your brake system before they get serious. Brake fluid should be clean and at an appropriate level. If you need to top up ensure you use the correct fluid for you car. If your fluid looks dirty contact a mechanic to get a professional assessment.

Drive with care – the way you handle your car does have an effect on its condition. Take care with your steering, brakes and handbrake, all of these can be costly to repair. Take it easy when driving on uneven surfaces and going over speed bumps. Stay alert when you are driving so you can pick up irregular sounds and notice changes in the way the car runs. If you can catch things early you can prevent costly damage.

Always follow the maintenance and service recommendations found in your vehicles manual.
Spend a little time each month checking on the health of your car and you will save time and money in the long run.

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