Getting value from your car is not only about price. Its also about minimising your car's need for major "surgery" and, in doing so, maintaining your car regularly and sensibly. Here are a few simple tips that could save you loads!
Wheels & Tires
Clean Brake Dust Off Regularly
Break dust is a big no no when it comes to protecting your cars maintenance and your safety. If you leave it on too long the combination of road grime, moisture and heat from your breaks with make it cook onto your wheels. All it takes is a regular bit of elbow grease and a damp sponge to wipe it off your wheels.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
Every two weeks, check your tyre pressure and the condition of your tyres (including the spare). Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel economy, handling and overall driving comfort. Also be sure to look out for cuts and holes!
Check Your Tread
Tyre treads are designed to give good grip on wet roads but over time this generally decreases as a tyres tread pattern wears. In wet weather the tread grooves help to remove water from the contact between your tyres and the road surface, it acts as a grip. Without proper tread depth it can lead to your car ‘slipping’ around the road (or aquaplaning) ultimately reducing your safety.
When driving always pay attention for abnormalities to how your car is driving. Pay particular attention to vibrations in the steering which may indicate the tyres may require balancing. Also observe possible wear patterns on the tyres which indicate a wheel alignment is needed or possible suspension issues.
An engine is compiled of a large number of important moving parts such as pistons, crankshaft, valves and the camshaft. Engine oil plays a very important role in ensuring all of these functions properly work together.
The oil has several functions. Firstly it acts as a lubricant to reduce the friction and wear that may occur when parts move against each over. Secondly, it absorbs heat produced in the engine and prevents it from overheating. Thirdly it acts a as a sealant, it prevents combustion pressure and engine power from escaping. Lastly is acts as a detergent and rush inhibitor, preventing rusting, corrosion and damage to essential components.
Now that you know the detrimental importance of monitoring your oil, here’s how you do it:
- Regularly check the level of engine oil. To do this park on level ground and wait until the engine has cooled down after driving. Locate the dipstick and pull it out, then wipe it clean. Place it all the way back in and wait a moment before pulling it out again. Check the level of the oil. The high and low marks will be noticeable through the two dots (either a “H” and “L” or a shaded area on the dipstick). If it's between the high and low marks, you're fine, if its too low top it up!
- Only top up oil with correct grade as specified by manufacturer.
- When topping up oil do not exceed the maximum recommend level.
Brakes are a very vital component of your vehicle in ensure your safety. Poor conditions of brakes can result in a greater breaking distance with places you and others around you in serious danger.
- Always be vigilant when driving. Take notice of squeaking breaks and unusual vibrations, which may indicate your breaks need replacing.
- Always ensure your brake fluid is full. Always use the recommended brake fluid for your car.
Always take notice of your blinkers and the speed in which they are going. To check if your bulb has blown indicate one way and then the other. If one side is blinking quicker than the other, it means one of the bulbs has blown. Take your car immediately to the auto parts store and they should be able to tell you what bulb you need to replace it with!
Changing the bulb
When changing the bulb always ensure you are holding the metal bulb holder at the base or wearing rubber surgical gloves. This is due to the halogen in the headlight bulbs. If you pick it up with your hands you will leave oil and grease on the glass which will get hotter than the other areas, resulting in it cracking.
Remember, when you buy a car from Salient Progress, you get more than a brand new vehicle. With our on-call hotline service, we’ll answer any questions you have about maintenance, servicing and anything else on your mind. That’s why Salient Progress is the best way to buy a new car!