As most parents like to point out to their children upon passing their driving tests: driving is a privilege and not a right. While owning a car is incredibly important to a lot of people in that it helps to provide them with the independence that they crave, taking care of the car is paramount to ensuring that it runs properly and, more importantly, that it is safe to drive. Failing to look after your car’s maintenance needs is obviously going to be detrimental to the vehicle. We take a look at some care safety tips for beginners and highlight the importance of carrying out vehicle maintenance.
Checking Your Car Over
There are different ways that you can have your car checked over. Firstly, there are a few different checks that you can carry out yourself without the need for a mechanic. You should be regularly assessing your tyre pressure. A lot of newer cars tend to have warning lights which will come on if your tyre pressure is getting low; however, this often only happens after a significant amount of pressure has been lost. Every other week or so you should be checking your tyre pressure, most petrol stations have the facilities for this. You will also need to keep an eye on the tread depth too, especially during the winter months.
Regardless of your level of knowledge surrounding car engines and vehicle maintenance, one of the most important requirements is knowing where all of your fluid containers are within your engine. In fact, you are often tested on this during your driving test. In order to ensure that your car is running properly, it needs to be kept topped up with the relevant liquids. This is why you should also be opening the bonnet to check your fluid levels regularly. You can also give your engine a cursory glance, although you likely won’t be able to spot anything amiss if you aren’t knowledgeable about cars. Obviously, you should also be mindful of warning lights appearing on your dashboard or any changes in the feel or handling of the vehicle.
Having Your Car Checked Over
In addition to conducting regular checks yourself, you will also need to have your car checked. Most cars tend to need both a yearly service and a yearly MOT. Having an MOT done every year is a legal requirement. Your car is not considered road legal without a valid MOT certificate. Services, on the other hand, are optional. However, they are also recommended. During its service and MOT, your car is checked over by a professional.
An MOT tends to be more thorough than a service, but both tests are designed to see whether or not your vehicle is safe to drive. Diagnostic tools are used to check the engine and its operation. The tyres are also checked, as are the doors and essentially the whole vehicle. If it is an MOT, then you will receive some feedback about issues that need fixing, or if there are none, then you will simply receive a pass, and your car is considered road legal until the next MOT. A service, on the other hand, tends to suggest solutions for issues found or problems – especially in their infancy; this allows you to fix them before they worsen or become more expensive.
The Benefits Of Maintaining Your Car Properly
There are a number of benefits to ensuring that you are performing maintenance checks regularly on your vehicle. Firstly, it ensures that your car is safe to drive. Carrying out the checks and spending time maintaining your vehicle is paramount to the safety of said vehicle. It keeps all of the parts running properly, helping to prevent breakdowns. Checking out the tyres also means that you are going to have enough traction on the road even in a lot of adverse weather conditions. Simply put, a properly maintained vehicle is far less likely to let you down and leave you in hazardous or unsafe conditions or situations.
A car that has been maintained properly is going to perform better. You have checked over the tyre treads and pressure, which means more traction on the roads. All the fluid levels remain topped up to where they should be, and therefore the engine is working to maximum efficiency, and the steering feels more stable. In essence, a well-maintained car is going to be working optimally and driving well. It also helps to ensure that the vehicle is going to live as long as possible, which realistically should be a huge motivating factor in wanting to keep your car properly looked after. It will drive well and last for years, which means that you won’t have to spend your money on a new car.
Maintaining your car might seem like a time-consuming process, but it can actually save you time. Obviously, performing the maintenance checks and organising a service and MOT for your car does take some time out of your schedule. However, a breakdown would be far more likely to be disruptive to your schedule, as would having to take your car to the garage for repairs. Therefore, taking a little time each week or month, depending on your maintenance schedule, makes much more sense.
Ensuring that your car is running properly and maintained well also helps to make sure that you discover problems as soon as possible, which means that you can have them fixed immediately. This often then means that the repairs are cheaper than they would be otherwise. In addition to saving money on repairs, the car working efficiently will also help to make sure that it is more fuel efficient and therefore save you money on your fuel costs.
Finally, a well-maintained vehicle is also likely to sell for the best possible price. A lot of people tend to think that the aesthetics of a vehicle are what matters the most, and, of course, they do matter, but they aren’t the biggest determining factor in terms of value. This is because you can have the bodywork of a car fixed up relatively cheaply, as well as find other ways to customise the vehicle to your tastes, like a private plate from Regtransfers or any number of car accessories. By making the effort to look after your car, when it comes to selling it, you can prove its service history to potential buyers. Obviously, there are a number of other factors that will affect the value of your car, but a well-looked-after vehicle is going to be able to sell for more than the same make and model would if it hadn’t been as looked after.
In The End
The importance of carrying out the necessary vehicle maintenance tasks should be clear by now for all of the reasons listed above. However, if you are still reluctant to carve out the time needed to take care of your vehicle, then you should rethink because they can be manageable tasks. The checks that you can carry out yourself can, realistically, be done in just a few short minutes every other week or so. You obviously will need to carve out a little more time for an MOT and service, but these should only happen once a year each which isn’t too much of a commitment.