A big part of frugality is maintaining what you have. Our car is a big asset to us, one we can not readily replace, so we try to maintain it as much as possible. While I recommend a garage for all mechanical maintenance, there are some we can all keep on top of at home.
The end of the summer is a great time to clean and maintain your car. Long journeys and over stuffed boots can take its toll. I have a list of the steps I do for an end of summer car clean and maintenance project:
Washing your car might not seem like a necessity, but did you know sea salt, certain tree saps, and even bird poop can damage the paint work on your car if not cleaned off. It also allows you to clear debris and mud from mud guards and alloys.
Hoover and Dust
I do believe that general cleanliness inside the car is important for maintaining good habits such as removing rubbish, and helps you keep a sense of pride about your vehicle.
You may not find many frugal benefits to cleaning the inside, but I enjoy the way it makes me feel knowing my car is looked after, and it is a good idea to check under the driver’s seat for any stray, potentially dangerous, objects (especially if you have kids).
Extra weight in the boot means the car uses more fuel. It also puts added pressure on your suspension.
Not only that, emptying your boot of summer items is a great way to keep track of what you may need to buy next summer and frees up some space.
This is a biggie. If you run out of oil, you can wreck your engine. This is costly and so easily avoided. Check your oil level and top up if needed. If you are unsure how to do this, here is a link to the RAC.co.uk.
Check Tyre Tread and Pressure
We all know that legally tyres should have at least 1.6mm of tread, but experts recommend 3mm. This is to keep you and other drivers safe. You may want to assess your tyre tread depending on what weather you get in your area during the winter, but anything close to or below 1.6mm needs replacing.
Keeping to the correct tyre pressure affects how your car drives, improves fuel usage, and extends the life of your tyres. With the weather changing with the season, your tyres need to be at the correct pressure for safety in bad road conditions.
Most fuel stations offer air pump facilities, usually for no more than £1. Here is a link to a step by step guide to using these machines over at autoprotect.co.uk.
It is so simple to check your lights. Get someone to stand outside the car whilst you switch on the various lights. Remember to check your brake lights, indicators, and hazard lights too.
A broken bulb could lead to a fine if you get pulled over; a fine that is a lot more money than the cost of buying a new bulb.
Refill Screen Wash
If something lands on your screen and obscures your vision you need to be able to clear it quickly, otherwise you find yourself in an extremely dangerous situation.
If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow and freezing temperatures, you might want to consider investing in screen wash that doesn’t freeze. TETROSYL LTD Carplan Swa025 All Seasons Screenwash
Prep for Autumn and Winter
Do you have the necessary supplies to see you through winter? If not, I suggest packing a bag to go in the boot of your car. *These are winter specific items
Now is a good time to check the condition of your spare tyre. If you don’t have one, get one. Space saver tyres are common, especially in smaller cars. We have a space saver tyre or ‘a get you home’ tyre as they are known.
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