There's nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of winter - generally, it's one of the most important times of the year to keep your car in good condition due to the poor driving conditions that you will experience. Because of this, it's important to carry out your own preventative maintenance throughout the mid-year period - in this blog, we'll go over some of the things that you should be doing to maintain your car throughout winter.
Do your own inspection
The first step in any preventative maintenance is to give your car an inspection of your own to check for noticeable issues or problems. Switching all your lights on and off to make sure they're working, and checking your tyre air pressure and tread, are good first steps in inspecting your own car and identifying possible problem areas.
Checking all your car's fluids - from brake and transmission to power steering and windshield washer - and making sure to note any leaks, is another thing you can do on your own to reduce the chance of issues down the line. If you're confident about your knowledge, you can inspect the engine belt for cracks or any missing segments, and the air filter for blockages or clogging. Reading the owner's manual is the best way to clear up any questions you have about doing these checks, so be sure to have it on-hand while you inspect your own car.
What will I need to change and replace?
There's no universal rule about when to change your oil, but your manual should have some indication: if you can learn to recognise the difference between clean and muddy oil over time, you'll be able to save money on unnecessary oil changes - but make sure you're disposing of the used oil correctly!
Though some things such as windshield wiper blades will be easy to replace yourself, with clear signs that something needs to be done (if you are having trouble seeing through your window, that's a hint), other components like engine air filters and spark plugs that may require changing are more complicated and might need an expert to carry out the work.
At the garage
Getting a qualified mechanic to carry out car maintenance on your vehicle is the best way to ensure that it's as roadworthy as possible. Getting an expert to cast their eye over areas such as your battery, engine air filter, tyres and spark plugs will make sure that no problems are missed for these important areas. You'll also be able to learn from them how to carry out checks on these components in the future.
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