What car maintenance can I do myself?

As the seasons change and the weather takes a turn for the worse, people's thoughts often turn to ensuring that their car is working in optimum condition.

 
In order to keep costs to a minimum, there are a range of tasks that you can undertake yourself. There are, however, some elements of car maintenance that require expert attention.
 
In our experience, biting off more than you can chew with car maintenance can be an expensive and sometimes dangerous mistake to rectify. Here we take a brief look at some of the areas in which you can undertake car repair at home.
 

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Windscreen wipers when coming to the end of their useful life can leave streaks and marks on the windscreen. This can, in turn, reduce visibility and is an MOT failure. Luckily, it is very straightforward to replace these, with wiper blades for most makes and models readily available in any large automotive spares store.
 
Engine oil and coolant levels should be checked regularly and topped up when necessary. A full oil change should be carried out every 5,000 miles, and whilst this is a somewhat more involved job, it is something that an enthusiastic home mechanic can manage, with reference to the owner's manual to ensure the correct oil type and filter are used.

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Changing a wheel is a vital skill in an emergency. A flat tyre can occur at any time and anywhere. If you end up with a flat in the middle of nowhere, it can take quite a while for roadside assistance services to reach you and get you on the road again. Ensuring that you have the knowledge needed to jack up the car, remove the wheel and replace with the spare can help you on your way.
 
Of course, many modern vehicles have space-saving spares which are designed for temporary use and rated for lower speeds than your other tyres, so it is important to get the punctured tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Here at Protyre, we stock a wide range of tyres from leading manufacturers including; Pirelli and Bridgestone, together with mid range and budget options, all at highly competitive prices.
 
Tyre pressure can be checked at almost any garage, as most have air available on their forecourts. It is really important that the tyre pressure is kept at optimum levels as this can help to improve handling, which is even more critical in wintry conditions. Check your manufacturer's handbook for guidance as to the recommended tyre pressures for your vehicle under different loads.
 
Spark plugs can also be changed in most vehicles without too much of an issue although changing them tends to be part of routine servicing. The condition of the spark plugs can also provide an indication as to a number of potential issues with the engine, from an overly rich fuel mixture through to ignition timing or head gasket issues.

This requires expert interpretation, so if you do change your plugs, why not keep them and have one of the experts at Protyre take a look at them for you, or book a free vehicle check online.

About the author

David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

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