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A Guide to Basic Car Maintenance

June 12, 2019

basic car maintenance

A Guide to Basic Car Maintenance

Keeping your car in good health is important for your safety and can save you from having to delve deep into your pockets, but regular servicing and MOT checks can be lengthy and expensive. That’s why it is important to understand basic car maintenance and develop some good habits for keeping your car in good condition yourself and practice basic car maintenance.

Follow our simple guide on how to carry out regular checks on your vehicle that can make your car safer and more reliable to drive, as well as saving the garage a task and saving you some money in the long run.

Owner’s Manual

Think of your owner’s manual as a bible for all of your car’s needs. This is tailored to your vehicle and stores all of the technical information that no one could ever remember alone. By studying the manual and getting to grips with your car’s basic needs and functions, it will help you understand any questions you may have. This manual will always be there if you should ever need it or you are ever unsure.

Car Fluids

Car fluids are much like the blood of a car that keeps everything running smoothly. An easy way of carrying out basic car maintenance is to keep close tabs on these fluids. This includes your car’s motor oil, power steering fluid coolant, and engine oil. Making sure that they are all topped up will help your car’s performance. Always refer to your owner’s manual to see how to check your fluid levels and where to add more, if necessary.

Lights and Warning Lights

You should be regularly checking the lights of your car by turning each of them on individually to see if they are all working properly. This is important not only for you but for other drivers on the road to warn them when you are indicating, reversing and manoeuvering on the road. If you identify that a bulb has blown, Halfords will be able to direct you to the correct replacement and even fit it for you (at a small cost) if you don’t feel confident enough to do so yourself. This is a crucial step in basic car maintenance that must be followed to ensure that you are safe on the roads.

Warning lights are located on the dashboard to flag problems with your vehicle. These warning lights flag up as either orange or red. Orange means the engine has detected a fault and red denotes a serious problem that needs to be resolved quickly. It is important that you pay attention to your dashboard warning lights as they can help you to identify a problem with your car and avoid a breakdown and potentially save you some expenses if you look up the warning sign in your owner’s manual yourself. If you are unsure of what a warning light suggests, it would be worth taking it to a trusted servicing garage to ask for advice.


Regularly checking your tyres is an important step in practising basic car maintenance. Look out for any cuts or bulges in the sidewall and checking the tyre pressure by using a pressure gauge (your owner’s manual will inform you what the recommended pressure is). You should also check the tyre tread- legally this should be at least 1.6mm in a continuous band across ¾ of the width of the tyre, which can be easily checked on with the edge of a 20p coin. If your tyres are not meeting the required depth, then you can face being fined up to £2,500. We would recommend that your tyres are at least a 3mm tread depth as this is a far better grip on roads in wet and icy weather.

Contact F & G Car Services

Knowledge is power when it comes to basic car maintenance. We hope this has helped you with some of the basic steps in practising regular and safe checks on your car. If you have any further questions on this or any enquiries about the services we offer. Please feel free to get in touch with our team by filling out an online form, or call us today on 0207 609 1502.