All cars need a little bit of love and care to keep them working at their best. Whether that’s a full service at a manufacturer-approved garage or just keeping an eye on the condition of your engine yourself, regular maintenance is key to keeping a car on the road.
In this section, I'll look at a bunch of DIY and professional maintenance. So take a read and get ready to improve your car maintenance routine!
What does a car service cover?
If you’re new to the world of cars, though, you might be wondering what a car service actually means.
- Interim Service: An interim service is the cheapest, most basic level of car service you’ll find. It’s the first point where you get a stamp in your logbook and can reset the car service clock. Interim services are useful for high mileage drivers (over 20,000 miles per year) and are recommended every six months or 6,000 miles.
- Full Service: A full service is your comprehensive annual tune up. A full service will include everything in the interim service and a few extras. A full service is recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
How much does a car service cost? And how do I find a good garage?
Every week, I’d say at least two or three people ask me, “How much should it cost to have my car serviced?”
A car service isn't one precisely defined industry-standard product and there's a lot of variables at play. Here’s a handful of the biggest factors:
- Size of car
- Complexity of car
- Level of service
- Quality of service
For more info (and some example servicing costs), check out the full blog here.
How often should I service my car?
How often you should get your car serviced is a topic of immense debate both online and in pubs.
Everyone is sure that their particular service schedule is the best and everyone else doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Well, I’m not going to try and persuade you one way or the other. I’ll just give you the standard recommended service intervals and let you decide for yourself.
- Interim Service: Every 6 months or 6,000 miles (whichever comes first)
- Full Service: Every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
- Manufacturer Service: As your manufacturer recommends
8 Best reliable cars for young drivers available on LeaseFetcher in 2018
Being a young driver is a weird mixture of extremes. The freedom that comes with your first car is elating but the insurance costs are crippling.
With the financial reality of car ownership setting in, your dreams of cruising round town in some big SUV start to crumble. But don’t worry! We've got you covered.
Here’s a sneak peak at the list!
How to check your tyre pressures
As the four bits of your car that are actually in contact with the road, your tyres are incredibly important.
15 Basic car maintenance tips from the experts
Keeping your car running at its best isn't as simple as booking it in for a service once a year. If you want to catch small issues early and fix them before they grow into big problems, you've got to do some basic DIY car maintenance yourself.
- Richard Reina: ASE-certified Automobile Technician and product training director at CARiD.com.
- Cory Sarrett: Writer and researcher for Superior Honda.
- Alex Lauderdale: Runs EducatedDriver.org where he uses his experience and research to educate and inform.
- John Burkhauser: Director of Education at BoltOnTechnology.
16 DIY car maintenance tasks you can do (for all skill levels)
Car maintenance isn’t just for anoraks and amateur rally drivers. With a little bit of effort, every single person can do some simple car maintenance tasks and improve the life span of their car.
In this article, I’ve collected 16 simple tasks that anyone can do regardless of their technical skill level.
How much does an oil change cost?
Car engines have a bunch of moving parts that rub against each other. However, you don’t really want those parts rubbing because it creates heat and causes wear on the components.
That’s where engine oil comes in.
Engine oil lubricates the components in the engine, allowing them to slide beside each other more easily. This reduces the friction and heat, which improves the efficiency of your engine.
Unfortunately, engine oil doesn’t last forever and it needs changed regularly. Leave it too long and the oil will breakdown and leave gunk deposited around the inside of the engine.
There’s a bunch of factors that affect the price of an oil change but here are the big three:
- Engine Size
- Synthetic or Regular Oil
- Garage Location
For more information and for some example costs, check out the full article here.
What is the best oil to use in my car? Synthetic or regular oil?
There are two types of oil available in the UK — synthetic and regular — and there's fair bit of debate over which is best for your car.
- Regular (also called conventional) oil uses base oils derived from gasoline blended with chemical additives.
- Synthetic oil is fully manufactured in a laboratory using precisely controlled ingredients and if then blended with chemical additives.
As I said, there’s a bunch of debate about which is best and when you should use one or the other. In this blog, I put regular and synthetic oil to the test to answer the debate once and for all.
The definitive car maintenance schedule 2018
With so much information out there, it’s tough to know what maintenance you should actually be doing on your car and when you should be doing it.
Here's a sneak peak at out definitive car maintenance schedule.
- Weekly: Check dashboard lights, check headlights, tidy interior.
- Monthly: Check tyre pressures, check oil level, check windscreen washer fluid, check brake fluid, check coolant, check wiper blades, clean interior, clean exterior.
- Quarterly: Check power steering fluid, check engine hoses, check brake pads, check radiator, check the engine.
- Yearly: Full service, deep clean.
For a bit more detail, check out the article here. (And, if you think a downloadable PDF would be useful, let us know about it in the comments.)
10 Best car maintenance apps 2018
The vast majority of car problems can be avoided with regular and effective maintenance. The trouble is, with repairs, services, MOTs and extras, it’s difficult to keep track of what work a car needs and what work its had done.
Here’s a peak at the results!
- Best Apple Apps: AutoCare, AUTOist, Fuelly, Car Minder Plus, myCARFAX
- Best Android Apps: Drivvo, DIY Car Maintenance, aCar, Car Problems & Repairs, Car Maintenance Reminder Lite
If I’ve missed out your favourite app, give me a heads up in the comments!