Following a great number of positive reviews through Which? Local, we were approached by Which? magazine to contribute to an article on DIY car care tips. The coverage in full can be read in the September 2011 edition of Which? magazine.

 

Top tips from our traders

We asked expert Ade King of Which? Local – recommended garage S & K Autos in Corsham, for some tips on DIY car maintenance that should save you money and keep you safer.

In this guide

  • maintenance checks all vehicle owners should make regularly
  • checks to make before an MOT

Regular car maintenance checks

Performing regular checks on your vehicle will help you spot minor issues before they become big expensive, or dangerous problems.

Do these checks fortnightly or at least monthly. Make the 1st of every month ‘car check day’ to help you remember. Also run these checks before any long journeys.

Tyre pressure

  • Use a pressure gauge when tyres are cold. Adjust the level if you need to. Maintaining the right tyre pressure is safer, better for the environment and saves you money.

Ade King S&KTyre tread

  • Look for excessive or uneven wear. This could indicate incorrect tyre pressure or wheel misalignment.
  • Check the tread wear indicators on your tyres. These are in the bottom of the tread grooves around the whole wheel. When the tyre has worn to the level of the indicator you know it is at 2mm. Any less than this and performance significantly worsens and it’s time to start thinking about replacements. The minimum legal depth for car tyres is 1.6mm. The deeper the tread, the more grip you have.
  • Remove stones and other objects stuck in the tread.

Sides of tyres

  • Check the sides of tyres for cracks, cuts or bulges. If you find any, ask your local garage for advice.

Fluids

Check and top up fluid levels such as engine oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, screen wash.

You’ll then notice if the level is either low or suddenly drops more than usual, possibly indicating a leak. Either of these things might damage your engine or be a safety risk.

Handbook

Check the manual that came with your vehicle for advice on additional checks recommended for your vehicle and more about how to perform these checks.