Aside from buying a house, it’s likely that a car will be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. They don’t last forever so it’s more or less a certainty that you’ll own several over the course of your driving life but one things for sure, if you look after the car that you have, it’ll run for far longer and do many more miles than if you don’t take care of it.
You don’t have to be a car fanatic in order to adequately maintain a car; it’s all about keeping it safe, serviced and clean. I drive a BMW 1 Series Sport and love the freedom that it gives me to be able to go wherever I want to but as with any car, its an expense and I like to make sure that it is as well looked after as possible so that it lasts me as long as possible. In todays post, I’m going to share with you how I maintain my car with everything from a MOT and service to valeting and clearing it out.
A car service is essential to the maintenance and safety of your vehicle. Taking your car for a service will usually involve the mechanic checking things over such as the oil and oil filter, brake fluid, antifreeze coolant, screen wash, power steering fluid, full break check, lights, steering check, shock absorbers check and more. Essentially, all of the things that you need for a car to run smoothly and safely.
A full car service should be conducted once a year and if you’ve done a lot of miles then an interim service is often required. For example, if you live in the city of Wakefield but travel to Leeds for work then you’ll be doing a lot more miles than if you simply live on one side of Wakefield and travelled to the other as part of your daily commute. My car will alert me on the dashboard when its needed and a lot of cars are like this now; it is so useful as it means you don’t have to worry about remembering when the service is needed.
An MOT is required by law yearly on all cars once they are over three years old to ensure that it is safe for you and your passengers as well as other road users and pedestrians. Whenever you own or are in control of a vehicle, it is important to make sure that it is safe because a number of peoples lives could be at risk if the vehicle isn’t roadworthy.
The MOT checks to see if you car meets safety and environmental checks to show that the car is roadworthy. Once a car passes its MOT it is given a pass certificate showing that it can legally be driven on the roads and can be insured to do so. A valid MOT test certificate must be held in order to insure and drive a vehicle in the UK.
An MOT does cover some aspects that are similar to a service but it actually involves dozens of car checks from the brakes and fuel to the seatbelts, windscreen wipers, exhaust, lights and mirrors which will all show how safe the car is to drive. If, for example, a seatbelt were not safe and the driver or passenger were to become involved in a road traffic accident, the result could be far more tragic than if the people involved were wearing safe seat belts.
MOT tests are available at over 21,000 approved test centres across the country so there’ll always be one locally to you. You can get professional MOT service in Wakefield from Ossett Tyre House. I tend to book my annual service in at the same time as my MOT. The MOT takes around 45 minutes to an hour, whereas the service can be longer but having them on the same day means that I’m not having to make additional trips to the garage. Either way, if you book your MOT in advance and before your deadline date, you can assure that you’ll be able to get a time slot that’s convenient for you.
VALETING & CLEARING IT OUT
Aside from making sure that your car is safe with an MOT and service, regular cleaning is important too. Keeping your car clear from dirt, bird poo and dust on the outside can prevent scratches and damage to the paintwork and keeping the inside clean will not only maintain the appearence of your vehicle but it’ll also greatly reduce the risk of things inside the car becoming a safety risk. For example, if you were going on day out to the fabulous Nostell Priory and Parkland, near Wakefield and travelling by car, you may have a picnic or a can of fizzy pop in the car on the way. It’s easy to leave that empty can hanging around on the floor of the car but if that rubbish gets stuck underneath your break pedal then it could cause a serious accident, endangering your life and others.
The best way is to keep on top of your car by having a small rubbish bin inside to collect all of your empty wrappers, car parking tickets, cans and other rubbish. Then give your car a dust and vacuum out from time to time. I always use the Shark handheld vacuum cleaner that I reviewed in this post and I’ll use glass cleaner with a cloth to tackle the windows inside so that I can see out of them clearly.
For a deeper clean, I’ll use a valet service but this is a much more costly option so I reserve it only for when necessary and maintain it myself in between.
A car really is an investment in your lifestyle because if you have one that runs efficiently and safely then it can be there for many, many years to take you on amazing adventures.
I hope my tips have helped you! Let me know how you maintain your car in the comments!
Oh my gosh this post is so helpful. I know nothing about cars or MOT and so it’s no surprise my car has just failed it’s MOT. I totally planned to book it in a month in advance and do a service halfway through the year but unfortunately life got in the way! I’m now looking to invest in a better car (instead of the cheapest car I can find) that’ll last longer – and you bet I’ll be making sure I service it regularly! I’m bookmarking this post for future reference x
Some great tips here. I regularly clear the car of rubbish but we get it professionally valeted quite often too – they do a far better job than I do.
I have a service plan on my car so I know it will get serviced every year which would be pretty pricey without it. Plus I’d much rather pat someone else to clean my car x
We’ve just had our car MOT and had a service done at the same time. I’m sure the car could do with some more tlc so really should get a valet done on it.
Cars can be expensive to keep, but the more you look after then the less they will cost in the long run. Hopefully. It’s really good to know all this info before committing to a car, there are a lot of extra costs asides buying it.
It seems weird for me this year as normally I have my car MOT’d in October but I have a new car so not anymore! I definitely need to do some checks though ready for winter!
These tips are so useful for those who drive! I don’t myself, but my brother does and he’s always worried about the MOT!
I love these tips, I have 2 more years before my car needs to start getting MOT, but I don’t have to wait that long to clear it out.
I am definitely going to start keeping a little rubbish bin in the car from now on. We are rubbish at keeping the inside of ours clean!!