Cost and technique tips for young drivers - Car Maintenance
One of the first problems a young driver faces is the upfront cost. From soaring insurance premiums to actually buying a vehicle, you’ll most likely need plenty of savings or some generous relatives to get in the driver’s seat.
However, there are ways to reduce the costs. One of which is to cut down on maintenance fees that you accrue from visiting garages.
Get to know your car
Whether it’s your own brand new motor or a borrowed car from your parents, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the vehicle. It’ll be different to the car you learned in, so ensure you know where all the essential functions are. You should know where the hazard lights are, other light switches, windscreen wipers, fog lights and even the radio functions so as not to distract you mid-drive.
You need to know how to refuel your car too, so make sure you are taught how to do so before heading to the petrol station. Don’t get caught out whilst being unable to remove the petrol cap.
You should also learn how to perform basic maintenance on your vehicle. This ranges from refilling the screen wash to topping up your motor oil.
Maintaining your tyres is relatively simple, so follow the tips below and keep them in tip-top condition.
- Replace your tyres with new ones every 5,000 miles. You can buy budget tyres to keep costs down but ensure they’re in good condition.
- Check your tyre pressures at least once a week. Low pressure can affect fuel economy, costing you more in the long run.
- Check your tyre tread and clean away brake dust with a damp sponge.
Checking the engine can be pretty complicated for beginners. However, there are a few essential steps you’ll need to be able to perform.
- Learn how to lift your car’s bonnet. This can be tricky in some vehicles so get the dealer or owner to show you.
- Know how to check your oil via the dipstick and replenish it.
- Have an expert check your engine belt every 25,000 miles to keep it in good condition.
Lights are an easy fix for most vehicles and will save you heading to a garage. Properly working lights are also a legal requirement. You should familiarise yourself with the process for changing bulbs, which will vary according to your make and model.
Don’t touch the glass when changing your headlight bulbs – these can be prone to cracking. Hold them at the base instead.
If you want to keep your car’s resale value high, you’ll need to keep the paint and finish in good condition. Use wax and polish on your car to help make it spick and span. Wipe off any bird poo as soon as you can too, as the compounds in it can damage paint.