What is vehicle maintenance?
Car maintenance refers to ensuring that your vehicle is in working order, and is meeting the relevant safety requirements set out by the vehicle manufacturer. Vehicle maintenance consists of ensuring you have regular car services throughout the year, or booking in for your annual MOT, as well as home vehicle maintenance to ensure everything is ticking over in the meantime.
How to maintenance a car yourself
Outside of regular services and your vehicle’s MOT, it’s important to stay on top of your vehicle maintenance yourself. Here are a number of car maintenance tips to follow to ensure your vehicle maintenance is up to scratch:
- Tyre pressure - checking the condition and pressure of your tyres is essential whether you drive regularly, or if you haven't driven your vehicle for a while. Make sure to watch out for any cuts or bulges, or any uneven tyre wear, while ensuring the tyre pressure is correct. If you’re not sure how to find out what your tyre pressure is, it’s usually on the inside panel of the driver’s side door, or you can consult your vehicle handbook.
- Battery - not using your vehicle frequently, in many cases, can cause the car's battery to go flat. In order to help keep it charged, we suggest starting your engine for 15 minutes once a week. This will prevent any potential flooding with the fuel on petrol cars. It's important to perform this maintenance check outside rather than in a garage, and never leave the car unattended with the engine running.
- Fluids (oil and water) - topping up your oil and water levels in your vehicle regularly will ensure that your vehicle is always ready for the roads. Take a look at your wiper fluid and oil to ensure that they are both topped up to a substantial level.
- Air conditioning - ensuring your air conditioning is working properly is an essential element of vehicle maintenance. To ensure your air conditioning is working effectively all year round, we offer air conditioning recharge at any of our Merityre branches, and recommend this is conducted every two years.
- Wiper blades- ensuring that your windscreen wipers clear both the front and back windscreens effectively is vital for vehicle maintenance. This is an element that is checked in your MOT test - but if the wipers have not been used frequently, it's worth testing this yourself. Turn on the engine and switch on the wipers, letting them run for a couple of minutes.
- Bulbs - check that all your lights are working correctly. The best time to check this is at dusk - so you can see the lights illuminated on your vehicle.
- Brakes - when a vehicle has been parked up for a long time, the brakes may seize. To prevent this, start the engine and move the car a short distance back and forth a few times. If you do not use your car often, you may want to ensure you do this at least once a week to keep the brakes healthy.
Why is vehicle maintenance important?
Ensuring you keep on top of your car maintenance can be important for not only health and safety, but also for prolonging the lifespan of your vehicle. By avoiding minor issues becoming major ones through regular car maintenance, this keeps the vehicle healthier for longer, and can save you significant costs later down the line. In short, staying on top of your car maintenance ensures your vehicle abides by the guidelines set out by the vehicle manufacturer, keeping you, and your passengers, safe on the roads.
To ensure your vehicle is road ready, have it checked over by one of our experts. Locate your nearest branch now, or get in touch with us to see what car maintenance needs to be done.