What are the easy steps to maintain a car?

By Julia Freeman

As a car owner, unless you are a mechanic yourself, you'll know that you cannot keep your car fully maintained without relying on the expertise of professionals. At Protyre, years of experience tell us that mechanics are often seen as an unofficial emergency service. A service plan is the ideal way to ensure that any unforeseen maintenance issues won't damage your wallet.

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That doesn't mean you can't carry out a lot of important routine maintenance yourself. In our experience, owners too often doubt their own abilities so we've put together a brief car service checklist including some of the things you can do to ensure the health of your car between services.

Flat battery

Flat batteries are a frequent cause of trouble. Regular use will keep your battery healthy but if your car is going to sit unused for long periods of time, for example during lockdown, the battery will degrade and lose its charge. Jump starting is a last resort as it can put extra strain on the already depleted battery. Using a trickle charger to keep it topped up is a far better option.
 
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Filters

Oil and air filters clog up and they are routinely changed at your garage during every scheduled service, but it's not a complex job and with a bit of research it's something you could easily tackle yourself.

Tyre tread and condition

Check your tyres once a week; they are your car's most important safety feature and they could save your life. You should make sure the correct tyre pressure is maintained and check the level of tread regularly. The legal minimum is 1.6mm but once it drops below 3mm you should consider changing them.
 
Our tyre professionals can advise you on suitable replacements. We stock a range to suit every budget from high end names like Pirelli to mid-range and value brands like Bridgestone, Falken and Sumitomo.
 
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Fluids

Top up the engine fluids regularly. That's not just the oil, but also the brake fluid, power steering fluid, screenwash and coolant. Letting them run low can cause serious damage.

Driving style

By driving with what we call 'mechanical sympathy' you will reduce the wear on your car's components and prolong the life of items such as brake pads. Using the steering wheel, gearbox and pedals smoothly will help to keep your fuel and repair bills down. Try to read the road ahead so you can avoid sharp braking and deceleration. Also, although this may seem obvious, watch where you're driving; avoid potholes and damaged surfaces because they can seriously compromise your suspension, tyres and exhaust.

Fuel levels

It's not a good idea to run your car close to empty on fuel, once this runs too low the fuel pump may start to draw in sediment from the bottom of the tank which could clog the system and lead to corrosion.

Clean bodywork

Keep it clean. Grit can damage the moving parts, salt and bird lime can damage the paintwork and a clean car is less prone to rust.

The local garage you can trust

With over 150 centres in our nationwide network, and each one run as though it’s a local garage, if you need help or advice the experts at Protyre are always available. We offer a range of free vehicle checks to help give you peace of mind motoring, so contact your local Protyre centre today or click the button below to book your car in at a time to suit you.
 
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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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