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Car Spring Clean: Part Three – Maintenance

In the last couple of weeks, we have looked at making the interior and exterior of your vehicle look as good as new. But beauty is only skin deep; if you are really committed to giving your car a spring clean, you need to make sure that you tackle general maintenance issues, too. In this final blog of our car spring clean series, we look at basic maintenance checks that will help to keep your vehicle running smoothly and help you to avoid costly repairs.

The cleaning process is a good opportunity to look for issues with the bodywork, such as chips, scratches, rust or leaks. If you have the skills, time and patience to fix these yourself, great! If not, pop to your local garage – the longer you put off fixing chips, scratches and rust, the more serious (and expensive) the problem can become.

  1. Tyres – check your tyres and your spare for wear and tear such as cracks, bulges and tears. Check your tyre pressure is in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation. If in doubt, head to your local tyre specialist.
  2. Oil – check your oil levels and top up as necessary.
  3. Windscreen fluid – battling grit, grime and mud through the autumn and winter means that your windscreen washer fluid is probably low. Check the levels (front and rear) and top up if needed.
  4. Wipers – old, broken or perished windscreen wipers can do more harm than good, smearing debris across your windscreen instead of clearing it. Clean your wipers using a solution of water and vinegar. If you notice that the rubber has perished at all, get replacements – they are quick, cheap and easy to replace, and make a huge difference.
  5. Air Vents – clogged air vents can cause dust to be blown into your vehicle and can reduce the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning, causing your vehicle to have to work harder. A quick blow with a pressurised air can will sort the problem in seconds.
  6. Lights – with the shorter days, your lights will have had a lot of use over the past months. As the days get longer, it can be easy to forget to check that your lights are working until you need them. Check all of your bulbs are in good working order and clean the casings. If you do notice that one or more of the bulbs are less bright than others, get replacements now and either replace immediately or keep them handy for when a bulb does go.
  7. Battery – your battery gets a real battering in the winter, with lights, heating and demisters on the go for even the shortest journey. Check your battery over and give it a clean if you spot corrosion (fizzy drinks are great for this job!). If your battery is more than 2 years old, get it checked out – you may need a new one.

If you follow our bite-sized jobs, by mid-spring your vehicle will be sparkling and ready for the sunshine ahead!

For more tips and advice on vehicle maintenance and finding a local garage that you really can trust, follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter.

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