To help keep your car running well between your servicing intervals there are a few things that you can do and a few things that it's good to be aware of to help you to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition.
Checking Your Oil Levels.
By checking your vehicle's dipstick under the bonnet (you'll see how in your vehicle handbook), you can check how much oil is left in your engine. Too low and there's a real danger your engine will seize up.
However, there's one thing a dipstick can't test for you and that's the thickness of the oil. If it's too thin your engine will run less efficiently and the extra friction will cause engine parts to wear. Not good news.
As with all things, prevention is better than cure. So have your oil changed every 12 months, more frequently if you do a lot of miles.
You may wonder what there is to filter in the oil? Well, as oil lubricates the metal surfaces in your car's engine, oil carries away any dirt and metal particles. These contaminants are then removed from the oil by the oil filter. Over time it gets clogged with debris which is why it's so important to have your filter replaced regularly.
Your oil filter will be changed as part of your regular oil change service.
Checking Other Fluid Levels.
When you're checking your oil it's also a great opportunity to check the windscreen washer fluid levels to see if it needs topping up.
Other essential fluids such as brake fluid or power steering fluid should be checked as part of your regular service intervals but if you have any concerns drop in and see one of our HiQ car care experts for help and advice.
Brakes. Spotting Problems Early.
You use the brakes every time you drive so, as you might imagine, it's very important they're in tip-top working order. Brakes are made up of pads that squeeze against the brake discs to slow the car down. Over time they will wear away and will need replacing. It's such a gradual process that you might not notice it. But there are some simple things to look out for.
Some Tell-Tale Signs of Brake Problems.
Can you hear a grinding noise when you apply the brakes? This could mean your brake pads are excessively worn and need replacing, along with any potentially damaged discs.
Is your car pulling to one side when braking?
This usually means a sticking or seized mechanical or hydraulic component.
Does the pedal feel spongy?
There could be air in the hydraulic system due to a brake fluid leak.
When you press the pedal, does it pulsate?
This could be a distorted brake disc or drum. Unfortunately this will need to be replaced.
Brake light glowing on your dashboard?
It's surprising how many people ignore this warning light. But if you see it, it's time to take action.
If you have any doubts, problems, concerns or worries, please don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our HiQ car care experts, we'll even give you a free, no obligation brake assessment.