With the New Year approaching, it’s sensible to give your car some TLC whilst you’ve got the time before you return to work. Here are our top tips to maintain and keep your car running in the New Year!
Check your car lights are all working and replace if not
It goes without saying but you’d be surprised how many people forget to check their car lights are all working. The fine if you’re pulled up with a light out on your car in the UK can cost anything from £30 with a fixed penalty notice, especially if you don’t have a spare bulb in the vehicle to show willing that you can replace it there and then. Some car lights can only be changed by a garage as they are quite tricky to access and the bulbs are non-standard, especially on newer vehicles. To check your lights, ask someone to stand at the back of the car whilst you test the brake lights and reversing lights. All other lights can be checked yourself by turning them on; hazard warning lights, side lights, headlights and full beams. If a bulb has failed, note the type of light and the side of the vehicle it is on, then either visit a car maintenance shop for a replacement if you can do it yourself, or visit your local garage to get it fixed a.s.a.p.
Check your engine oil levels
Checking your car engine oil levels is one of the most simplest of car maintenance tasks which may be a little dirty to carry out but can save you a fortune if you discover low oil levels. Don’t rely on your warning light on your dashboard either as these aren’t always foolproof and could be faulty. Simply refer to your manufacturer’s manual and locate the dipstick under your car’s bonnet. Pull out the stick and you should see two notches. If the engine oil is clearly between the two notches then you’re ok. Sometimes a quick wipe of the dipstick with a rag and repeating the process can give more accurate results (avoid checking levels on a hill too, the car needs to be level). If you’re engine oil levels are low then it’s time to top-up or replace the oil. If the oil is over a year old and looks quite dirty then it may be best to get all of the oil replaced anyway to ensure engine longevity.
Prepare your car for snow and ice
It may not feel like winter with the warmer weather we’ve been having in the UK but if you’re not prepared for ice and snow then you could find yourself in trouble should the frost and snow arrive. Think about your antifreeze levels in your radiator and ensure your screenwash has adequate antifreeze properties which will go down to at least -5 degrees celcius before freezing. Don’t forget to buy some ice scrapers to keep inside the car and in the home, as well as antifreeze de-icer spray to melt the stubborn ice from your car door keyholes – even central locking can freeze in cold temperatures! Consider your car tyres as well, ensuring that you have enough tread to grip the road and avoid any nasty accidents in the ice and snow.
Get your car serviced, don’t put it off
Don’t ignore those strange car noises any longer, it’s time your car got it’s annual health check and book in a car service. If you’ve not kept to your car’s annual service schedule then you’re likely to lose your warranty period and future resale value if the car’s not been professional maintained, so it makes monetary sense to get it done. Half-services are also great for regular car users who want to maintain their car in it’s best condition, or sometimes if you’re going on a long journey you may want to get a half-service partway through the normal schedule to give you peace of mind. Either way, getting your car serviced at least annually is vital to help prevent breakdowns and keep the car’s value high.
Car servicing in Bath, Midsomer Norton and Radstock
We hope you’ve enjoyed all of these car maintenance tips for the year. Remember, if you need a car health check or service, please contact us to book your car in for a service in Bath. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016 from all the team at MCM Garage. We look forward to