When it comes to the servicing of your car, assumedly you think it’s part and parcel of the the whole operation to get lumbered with a hefty bill at the end of it. And it’s something I completely empathise with. Owning a car comes with so many hidden costs, and time I take the car in for its service, I think I’ve done all I can do this time, and there won’t be anything that needs doing to it, and it happens again. Another bill for yet something new I’ve never heard of. So it got me thinking about what I could do to keep ahead of the game. Surely there are things I can do that doesn’t take a rocket scientist? After some research I found a few things that were surprisingly simple. It’s all about maintenance (well, for the most part anyway).
Do you change the oil? The engine will last a lot longer if you check the oil and change it on a regular basis. If you do, top marks!
While you no doubt keep your car clean, it’s surprising what gets stuck to the underside of the car. If you tend to drive in a lot of muddy areas, it’s prime for all sorts of things to get stuck under there. Use a hose on a regular basis to remove culprits like road salt or grime.
Change the transmission and differential oils. While these fluids do not require servicing frequently, it must be done according to service intervals. Research what transmission fluid you need or find out the viscosity.
Change the coolant and the cooling system annually. Make sure to get the right balance of coolant to distilled water, a 50/50 balance should be perfect. This will keep the system in good condition and will prevent the build up of deposits in the system.
Keep a steady supply of grease handy. Lubricate your ball joints or anything that has a moving part.
On the topic of lubrication, you need to do this to your U-joints. This may require removing the driveline, but you can source performance car parts or an expert to help with this.
Park your car out of the sun. Having it in the shade will help protect the plastic on the interior. Also, if you use UV protection on the car as well as a window deflector screen, this will go some way to stop the plastic and vinyl drying out.
For the wheels, make sure that you are using wheel bearing grease. While it is not cheap, it’s a lot cheaper than the spindles and hubs you will need to replace!
Bleed the system and replace the brake fluid once a year. Moisture is something you need to reduce a lot, and moist fluid can cause a lot of corrosion.
Get waxy! If you wax your car once every six months this will help to keep the paint nicely protected and will give your car a nice sheen. Simple, yet effective.