If you have recently passed your driving test, we congratulate you on reaching such a milestone and no doubt, buying your first car will be something that is on your mind. This is an exciting time in every person’s life and vehicle maintenance is part and parcel of car ownership, which we outline in this short article.

Vehicle servicing

Every motor vehicle requires regular servicing and the details can be found in the car owner’s manual; this would include the mileage intervals, along with tasks that need to be completed on every service interval. The typical service interval is between 5,000 and 8,000km (see owner’s manual) and the following tasks would be included.

  • Engine oil & oil filter replacement – This should be done at every service and make sure that you use the correct grade of oil when replacing. The owner’s manual tells you the correct oil grade and always replace the oil filter when changing engine lubricant. If you are looking to acquire your first car, there is bad credit car finance from a leading UK company and they offer the lowest interest rates.
  • Check all belts for correct tension – An internal combustion engine typically has a few belts that drive various components and they should be inspected for general wear and tear, as well as checked for correct tension. If you are in any doubt, change the belt; the owner’s manual offers technical information to ensure you buy the correct belt.
  • Engine coolant – The engine coolant levels should be checked and topped up when necessary. Never take the cap off the radiator when the engine is hot, as the pressure will cause the fluid to gush out and you could be seriously burnt.
  • Check hydraulic fluid levels – The brakes, clutch and power steering fluid levels should be checked and topped up where required.
  • Brake pads – Brake pads have a typical life of around 50,000km and they should be inspected during every service interval and replaced when they near the end of their life.
  • Tyres – The tyres on your car are what keeps the vehicle in contact with the road; inspect the tyres to check that there is adequate tread and that they are inflated to the correct pressure. You should also be looking for tears or bulges; never replace a single tyre, rather replace them in either pairs or all 4 at the same time.

Unless you know what you are doing, you should leave car maintenance to a qualified mechanic, who will ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. He would also enter the service details in the relevant section of the owner’s manual.