As a car owner, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that your car doesn’t fall apart at the worst moment. Not only can a bit of regular car maintenance keep your journeys safer and happier, it can also save you a bit of cash in the long run as well. The key is preventative car maintenance rather than responsive. By staying one step ahead, you can make sure that you don’t end up wasting money unnecessarily, or even worse, ending up on the side of the motorway with your thumb out and smoke pouring from your bonnet. Here’s what you should check on to make sure you don’t end up stranded.
Oil and your car
Oil is such a critical element when it comes to your driving time, but it can be very easy to forget about until that annoying light comes on. Oil not only cleans your engine, it also cools and lubricates it as well, and if you wait unduly then you may be shortening the lifespan of your engine. It doesn’t even take much to ensure that your oil levels are fine. Make sure that you check your owner’s manual so that you get the right kind of oil, and then do checks on your engine roughly every 10,000 miles. If you’re preparing for an especially long journey, then you should always take the time to check your oil levels so that you’re not caught out.
Brake fluid essentials
When was the last time that you checked your brake fluid? Probably a while ago, because it’s one of those things that’s just far too easy to put off until it becomes a necessity. When it comes to brakes, don’t be stupid, and make sure that you check your brake fluid on a regular basis. Mechanics suggest checking it every time you check your oil, and that’s pretty good advice. Without checking, you might be missing something important like a leak in the brake lines or some worn out brake pads that will not just affect your safety, but also end up costing you a lot of money to replace if left unaddressed.
Trailer safety checks
When you attach a trailer to your car, you’re making your road presence much bigger. Plenty of drivers take the time to check their car and then hitch old and worn trailers to it without a care in the world. This can obviously be very dangerous, especially if you’re not used to the challenges of driving with that extra length and weight. A good rule of thumb for trailer safety checks is that everything that you’d do to your car should be done to your trailer as well. So your lights, brakes, and tires are your first checks. Replace any broken or worn trailer parts to make sure that your drive is as safe as possible. Finally, take the time to check under the trailer as well, as axle problems can and do happen, and a broken trailer mid-journey can be a nightmare.
Every vehicle needs to be checked on a regular basis, and the good news is that the majority of car maintenance essentials can be quick and easy to do yourself. Check your owner’s manual so that you have a better idea of what to look for and you’ll stand a much better chance of not just being safer on the road. By catching issues before they become problems, your wallet is safer as well.