Basic car repair and maintenance

by admin

If you drive a car or van, it is important to know some very basic car repair and maintenance. Having this knowledge could prevent you having an expensive maintenance bill, or could help you if you are stranded on the side of the road!

Battery

The battery should be checked on a regular basis. If you are finding that your car is reluctant to start, especially in colder weather, it could be due to a number of different reasons. A reluctant to start car usually indicates a potential issue with the car’s charging system, which consists of the battery and alternator. The starter motor could also be at fault, but this is less likely.

When checking the battery, you should check the age of the battery. Most manufacturers suggest that your battery is changed every 2-4 years for optimum efficiency. Check your battery regularly to ensure all connections are secure; take note of any mineral build ups around the connections and brush away with a battery brush.

It is always worth carry jump leads in your car, as part of your car’s first aid kit, should you car battery fail.

Alternator and Alternator belt

The Alternator is part of the car’s charging system. Ways to tell that your Alternator is potentially failing, is when your car is not turning over or starting easily. A quick test to see if it is your Alternator or Battery, is to line up your car headlights to a wall. If on starting the car headlights dim, then it is your Alternator.

Always routinely check the condition and tension of your Alternator belt. If your Alternator Belt snaps, it has not been unknown for items such as ladies tights and a piece of rope to be used in lieu of the Alternator belt, to get you home.

Fluid levels

It is strongly advised that you check your engine oil, brake fluid, water, coolant and power steering fluid levels at least once per week, or before every long journey. An engine and steering system running without the correct fluid levels, can cause damage to the car and could risk a breakdown.

Tyres

Routinely check your tyres, at least once per week to ensure your tyre depth is legal and there are no cuts or splits to the tyre.