Keeping You On the Road This Summer! The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist

Article was originally published at SelectCarLeasing.

SIMPLE STEPS TO KEEP YOUR CAR IN GREAT SHAPE

Conducting regular car maintenance is essential to the smooth running of your vehicle and helps to minimise disruption to your journey and avoid a potentially large bill too. Follow our simple steps to keep your car in great shape.

potentially large bill too. Follow our simple steps to keep your car in great shape.

AIR FILTER

Ensuring your air filter is clean and clear prevents harmful debris and dirt from entering the engine. If this maintenance isn’t carried out every 12 months or 12,000 miles, you may have to repower the engine due to it being clogged up.

Signs of Distress: Service Light, Black Smoke, Misfiring Engine, Petrol Smell

Tools: None

Frequency: 12,000 miles / 12 months

Steps

  1. Locate the filter under the bonnet of your car.
  2. Remove the old air filter.
  3. Secure the clips holding the filter in place.

Time: 10 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £10

Potential Repair: Repowering of engine

Potential Repair Cost: £3,000

Difficulty Gauge: 3/5

WINDSCREEN WIPERS

It’s important that your windscreen wipers are working efficiently, as they perform an essential role in keeping your visibility clear and allowing you to drive safely. If they become worn, they can also scratch your windscreen.

Signs of Distress: Bent Frames, Bad Contact, Windshield Streaks

Tools: None

Frequency: 12 months

Steps

  1. Make a note of how the old blades are attached.
  2. Press the release button to remove the existing blades
  3. Attach the new blades and ensure they are secured correctly.

Time: 15 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £15

Potential Repair Cost: Scratches on Windscreen

Cost: £80

Difficulty Gauge: 1/5

SPARK PLUGS

Spark plugs create the ignition for your car to start. It’s recommended that modern cars have their spark plugs replaced every 80,000 miles, to keep them functioning at optimum levels. Improper functioning spark plugs can affect many elements of your car; including the catalytic converter, which can be damaged as a result of high temperatures.

Signs of Distress: Misfiring Engine, Engine Hesitation, High Fuel Consumption

Tools: Ratchet, Spark Plug, Gap Gauge

Frequency: 80,000 miles

Steps

  1. The number of spark plugs will match the number of cylinders your car has.
  2. Remove the first spark plug doing each on in order separately.
  3. Screw the replacement spark plug in and reattach the spark plug wire.

Time: 40 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £10

Potential Repair: Catalytic Converter

Cost: £700

Difficulty Gauge: 5/5

ENGINE OIL & ENGINE FILTER

The engine oil and oil filter ensure that the moving parts within the engine are properly lubricated so that they can efficiently carry out their functions. Failure to properly maintain engine oil levels can lead to the engine getting damaged or even ruined.

Signs of Distress: Oil Smell, Exhaust Smoke, Engine Noise, Oil Change Light

Tools: Oil Filter Wrench, Oil Drain Plan, Funnel

Frequency: Check your manual

Steps

  1. Located the drain plug, remove it and begin draining the oil.
  2. Replace the drain plug and replace the old oil filter with the new one.
  3. Lubricate and fill the new oil filter. Ensure the engine is receiving the oil.

Time: 45 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £20

Potential Repair: Damaged Engine

Cost: £1500

Difficulty Gauge: 3/5

BATTERY MAINTENANCE

The car’s battery provides the surge of electricity that’s required for every vehicle’s electrical components to work. An underpowered or inefficient battery can lead to the corruption of the vehicle’s immobiliser data, preventing the engine from starting and damaging the cars sensitive electronics.

Signs of Distress: Slow Engine Crank, Bloated Battery Case, Inefficient Electronics

Tools: Wire Brush, Wrenches, Corrosion Removal Brush

Frequency: 24 months

Steps

  1. Remove the battery’s terminals and clean the posts.
  2. Make sure all the cleaning fluid has been removed and dried.
  3. Safely replace the battery terminals.

Time: 20 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £5

Potential Repair: Damaged Electronics

Cost: £200

Difficulty Gauge: 2/5

 

RADIATOR FLUSH

The radiator is essential in keeping your engine cool, by circulating liquid around the engine block. Poor maintenance leads to a build-up of sediment that can clog up the water pump, resulting in the engine running hotter than normal which in turn causes it to overheat.

Signs of Distress: Antifreeze Smell, Car Fails to Start, Leakage

Tools: Philips Head Screwdriver or Wrench, Funnel, Coolant, Radiator Flush Solution

Frequency: 30,000 miles

Steps

  1. Find the radiator’s drain plug, unscrew the drain plug and drain the old coolant.
  2. Add the cleaning solution and water and let the car run for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off the car, drain the radiator and refill the radiator with new coolant.

Time: 30 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £20

Potential Repair: Replacement Radiator

Cost: £200

Difficulty Gauge: 2/5

BRAKE PADS

Brake pads apply the pressure and friction needed to the brake rotors, which in turn slows the wheels. Brake pads that are worn, or in poor condition can lead to them becoming grooved and cause damage to the rotors and brake callipers, which will reduce the performance of your brakes. Maintaining the responsiveness of your brakes is crucial to ensuring the safety of your car.

Signs of Distress: Brake Pedal Vibration, Screeching Noise, Grinding Sound, Thin Appearance

Tools: Lug Wrench, C-clamp, Open-end or Adjustable Wrench, Hammer

Frequency: 40,000 miles

Steps

  1. Remove your car wheel and calliper, sliding the brake pads out from the top.
  2. Unscrew the bolts and replace the old pads with new ones. Secure them with retaining clips.
  3. Compress the brake piston and tighten the C-clamp so that you can place the calliper assembly over the pads
  4. Reinstall the brake calliper and re-attach your wheel.

Time: 45 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £50

Potential Repair: Damaged Rotors & Brake Callipers

Cost: £400

Difficulty Gauge: 5/5

FUEL FILTER

The fuel pump is an integral part of any vehicle, as it’s responsible for pumping the cars fuel from the tank to the engine. The pump can suffer damage if it’s not properly maintained, as a clogged fuel filter will put too much pressure on the pump leading to your engine failing to start.

Signs of Distress: Engine Idles, Engine Hesitates, Engine Fails to Start

Tools: New Fuel Filter, Fuel Line Washers, Open End Wrenches

Frequency: 30,000 miles / 2 years

Steps

  1. Relive the fuel system pressure and disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel filter.
  2. Slide the fuel line off the bolts and remove the old fuel filter while replacing the washers.
  3. Install the new fuel filter and return the fuel pump fuse.

Time: 30 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £20

Potential Repair: Replacement Fuel Pump

Cost: £250

Difficulty Gauge: 3/5

LIGHTS

Headlights and taillights should be checked regularly to ensure that other cars can see you on the road in the event of poor visibility and is a crucial factor in avoiding accidents. It’s important to check all lights on the car, as even if just one of your lights isn’t working, your car can appear smaller to other motorists.

Signs of Distress: Broken or Flickering Blurbs, Decoupled Wiring

Tools: None

Frequency: 6 months

Steps

  1. Ask a family member to observe when using your vehicle’s various lights on your driveway.
  2. If a light isn’t functioning, remove the headlight holder and the connecting power cables.
  3. Clean and install the new bulb and ensure it is in full working order.

Time: 5 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £0

Potential Repair: Replacement Bulb

Cost: £15

Difficulty Gauge: 1/5

TYRES

Tyres are one of the most important components of your car as they give the driver grip and stability in difficult conditions. It’s essential that your tyres are in good condition before your journey, to prevent you from falling into difficulty once faced with rugged terrain on your trip.

Signs of Distress: Tread Wear, Poor Grip, Cracks in Sidewall, Blisters

Tools: Pressure Gauge, Car Jack

Frequency: 4 months

Steps

  1. Ensure there are no cuts, tears or bulges that have appeared on your tires.
  2. Unscrew the valve cap and use the pressure gauge to get a measurement. Check your user manual for the recommend tyre pressure of for your vehicle.
  3. Determine your tread depth using the “20p test”. Take the coin and place it between the tread. If you rim of the coin with “Twenty Pence” written on it disappears, your tires are fine.

Time: 20 minutes

Maintenance Cost: £50

Potential Repair: Replacement Tyre

Cost: £150

Difficulty Gauge: 2/5

Keeping your car at peak efficiency!

Our guide and maintenance timelines demonstrate just how important it is to maintain all the essential parts of your vehicle, and how vital it is to keep your car at peak efficiency. Not only does it give you the peace of mind of a safe, reliable car, it ensures you avoid any unforeseen bills and costly servicing charges in the future.

To avoid these potentially costly problems arising for motorists, leasing is becoming an increasing popular option for people who value piece of mind when driving on Britain’s busy roads.

Mark Tongue, Director of Select Car Leasing said:

“The ongoing maintenance and servicing of a car, for many motorists, is a continuing struggle and excessive drain on finances. Just ensuring that your car is safe and roadworthy can be an expensive and complicated hassle. We see the growth of leasing as a huge indicator that many people want to do away with costly and time-consuming maintenance of their cars.

With all our cars new and fresh off the production line it gives drivers an incredible peace of mind on the road, knowing their cars benefit from the latest technology and infrastructure to run efficiently and without issue. The additional support offered by our optional maintenance packages gives extra peace of mind, reduces unexpected bills and lowers overall running costs associated with your vehicle.”

Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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