Doing your own car maintenance is a great way of saving money as garages and workshops, especially main dealers, can be very expensive. There are a few different things you can do to make things easier and safer when you do need to work on your car, and these are a few handy tips:
- Get a manual – It seems obvious, but getting a good manual is invaluable when you’re working on your car. Yes, there are many general guides on the internet on how to perform a great range of tasks, but cars are different and you could easily run into difficulties if something isn’t how you expected. A dedicated manual will show you exactly how your own car works.
- Get the right tools – Maintenance jobs are so much easier when you’ve got the right tools. Using the wrong ones can be difficult, ineffective, or at worst dangerous. It may seem expensive at first, but a good set of tools will pay for themselves over and over again in the future. Sockets and wrenches are a car mechanic’s best friend, but the more tools you have, the better. Your car manual may well suggest some of the most used tools on your car.
- Get a gas strut – It’s probably something you’ve never even thought about before, but having a gas strut under your bonnet can make life much easier and much safer. Many older cars, and some newer cars, only have a manual bar to hold up the bonnet while you work on the engine bay. They can be difficult to lift up and secure safely – trapped fingers aren’t unheard of. There is also the risk that the bar could be knocked out of place, but this can’t happen with car gas springs SGS supply these for a wide range of makes and models.
- Get a proper jack – The car jack that you’ll find with your spare wheel is not suitable to work under. It is for emergencies only, and is not a reliable way of holding your car up. For this reason, it is easier and safer to get a strong and reliable jack that is designed for under-car work.
- Clean your car – Dust, dirt and deposits can all help in getting in the way of car maintenance. They can make fixtures seize up, problems difficult to identify and contribute to damage in their own way. Regular cleaning of the outside of the car can only do so much. Remember to clean the underside of the car when you can – many car washes offer this. The engine bay should also be cleaned where possible, but do not use harsh chemicals or excessive amounts of water. Avoid water altogether on electrical components and the air intake.
Follow these tips, and you’ll find that car maintenance is much easier – there’s probably a lot more that you can do to your car than you thought there was.