Car Maintenance and Repair Tips For Novices
In these times of tight financial restriction brought on by the state of the economy it is perhaps a wise decision to try and learn some basic car maintenance skills. If you manage this and are able to keep your car in running condition for longer, then the money you would have spent in your local garage on small issues could be redirected elsewhere.
Checking Your Engine Oil:
This is quick, easy and something that every motorist should be able to do. If the level of oil is too high and too low then this can cause serious trouble for your engine. In order to check the oil levels accurately, you need to first park your car on an area of even ground and then wait for the engine to cool down.
Once the engine is cool, locate the dipstick wipe it with a cloth and place back into the dip tube. Wait for a moment and then pull it out slowly. Have a look at the levels on the dipstick. If it is between the high and low marks then the car is fine. If the oil level is too low top it up accordingly. Unfortunately if the oil level is too high, you will have to drain the excess oil from the vehicle yourself, or take it to a garage.
Checking Your Coolant Level:
This is another easy task that any person can carry out. Every engine is different in regards as to where the coolant is stored. If you are unsure about yours, check the manufacturer’s handbook. Once you locate the coolant holder – wait for the engine to cool down before checking – you should see markings on the outside that say “high” and “low”. Ensure that the coolant is between these two markings.
Clean brake dust off regularly:
Make sure to regularly clean off any dirt that gathers on the brakes. If left this concoction of grime, water and the heat that comes from the brakes will become hard and stuck to your wheels. For the best results, use a damp sponge to remove the “brake dust”.
Check Tyre Pressure:
If this is done regularly then you could save yourself a lot of money in petrol bills. A car tyre with low air pressure adds increased rolling resistance to the vehicle when it is moving, meaning that the engine has to work harder – using more fuel – to counteract this low pressure effect. Also, a tyre with incorrect air pressure can have negative effects on the overall handling of the vehicle.
The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across 75% of the centre of the tyre. It is widely acknowledged by many experts in the field however that once a tyre tread depth gets below 3mm it is time for a change as the amount of grip is greatly reduced. Keep a regular eye on the tread depth of your tyres. You can do this by placing a ten pence piece between the tread and if it is over the perforated dot pattern along the circumference of the coin then your tyres are ok.
Although buying tyres may not seem like a cost cutting idea, paying for a fine or for repairs caused by an accident could end up costing you a lot more!