Logbook Loans Tips – Car maintenance: All you need to know

Next in Logbook Loans Tips Series, here are our top tips for car maintenance…

Many car owners have a guilty secret. They don’t generally share it with other car owners because they fear being judged or criticised or perhaps even ridiculed. But on the odd occasion one is indeed brave enough to share it there is a communal sigh of relief. Because many of us are in the same boat.

So what is this secret? It’s that we don’t maintain our cars!! Yes we take them for a service now and again, and get the MOT done (if we remember!). Occasionally stick them through the car wash if we get round to it – and maybe even check the tyres before a long journey. But for many of us that’s as good as it gets.

The problem is that we do need to do a bit more than that to ensure that our car is in tip top condition. Not only will proper car maintenance ensure that the car is safe and runs effectively – perhaps saving fuel in the process – but it is also an important part of keeping the value of the car. If you reach the point of wanting either to sell your car or use it as security for a logbook loan then you will be glad that you have made the effort to keep it in the best possible condition.

We are all busy people so here is a list of the absolute essentials of car maintenance. As the title says – everything you need to know about car maintenance but were afraid to ask! If you just get into a routine of doing the following checklist on a regular basis then you can rest assured that you are maintaining your car as well as you can.

    • 1. Tyres
      Get into the habit of checking your tyres every couple of weeks. You need to check your tyre pressures and adjust as needed. Also check the condition of your tyres to make sure there are no cuts or wear and that your tread is within legal limits.


    • 2. Engine oil
      You need to check oil levels every couple of weeks, using the dipstick provided and top up if needed. Also do this before embarking on a long journey.


    • 3. Water
      Check your coolant level every week to make sure it is in the range between the MIN and MAX marks. Remember to check your antifreeze in cold weather and top up as needed.


    • 4. Screenwash
      Many of us do not know that it is a legal requirement for your screenwash system to work. Check it regularly and keep it topped up with a good screenwash additive that will clear grime and keep it from freezing.


    • 5. Windscreen
      Also check your windscreen regularly for signs of damage. If there are any chips – for example caused by stones – then get them repaired as soon as possible before they get the chance to grow and crack. If the damage is significant, your windscreen may need to be replaced.


    • 6. Windscreen wipers
      These should be replaced once a year to prevent smearing.


    • 7. Lights
      Check all your lights every week. Remember to include indicators, reversing lights, brake lights and fog lights as well. Replace any blown bulbs and clean up any dirt on the lenses. If there are significant cracks on the lights you need to get these repaired.


    • 8. Power steering
      If your car has power steering you need to check the hydraulic fluid levels at least once a month and top up as needed.


    • 9. Bodywork
      Check your bodywork regularly for any damage. It is so easy to pick up scratches through no fault of your own but get them seen to rather than letting them spoil the appearance of your car. Small dents and scratches can often be flattened out quite easily – seek advice from your local garage. If you find rust on your car there are treatments for this from car stores or, again, you may want to seek advice from your local garage.