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!