It’s important that you ensure that throughout the year you take your car in for a service. This way you will end up paying less for vehicle repairs, and will also be more prepared for your yearly MOT. But you can also carry out your own car service at home to keep it in good shape throughout the year.

Why Carry Out A Car Service At Home?

Although it may seem like a strange idea to carry out your own home car service, even though you are not a professional you can still help prepare your car for its service at the garage or an MOT. As well as servicing your car at home yourself, you will still need to take it in for a full service in a garage, but a home service can help keep your vehicle in good condition throughout the year and minimise the chance of your car needing repairs at your service.

Cars are a costly investment, so you want to make sure that its well looked after. The only way to do this and ensure that it doesn’t break down is to have regular servicing – although the way you drive your car can often affect the condition that your car stays in. If you want to keep your vehicle in better condition all year round and want to make sure that it’s in the best possible state before your next official vehicle service, then keep reading! We have devised some of the best checks you can do yourself at home to check that your car is prepared for its next car servicing Milton Keynes or MOT.

Check Your Windscreen Wipers

Your windscreen wipers are an incredibly important aspect of your car, although they are often forgotten about. When driving home in heavy rain, you will need your windscreen workers to be in the best condition possible to keep your windscreen clear and to have full visibility. Even when it’s not raining you will still need your windscreen wipes, roads are naturally dirty and have plenty of debris that can fly at your windscreen. Without working windscreen wipers how are you meant to clear your windscreen of dirt or residue from the road?

Your local car garage carrying out your vehicle MOT can fail you for having faulty windscreen wipers, and they can even fail you for not having any windscreen wash. Although this seems petty, they will fail you because it is such a forgotten about, yet important part of having a safe and efficient car. Always ensure that your car is topped up with windscreen wash and that your windscreen wipers are in good condition. You can often tell when your windscreen wipers need replacing; the wipers will not properly wipe off any water or residue from your windscreen. Over time it will build up, and you will have odd marks on your windscreen from parts that your wipers can not clear. If this starts to happen then make sure that you replace them as soon as possible, or if they begin to become loose or unattached.

windscreen wipers

Oil Check

A lot more car owners forget to check their oil than you would think. Although it is such a small part of your car, it’s one of the most crucial elements and can affect the way that it runs. The oil in your vehicle lubricates your engine. The vast majority of the parts that combined make up your engine are metal; therefore they need a lot of lubrication and oil to run smoothly.

When your oil begins to run low your car may sound louder than usual and may be driving a lot less smoothly. This is because your engine will be struggling to run without it, if your oil reaches an extremely low point, your car won’t even drive. Your car will not reach an empty oil level, your car’s engine will of already seized up by this time. This could require an entirely new engine replacement and in worst case scenario can even write off your car entirely. These repairs do not come cheap and can take a while to carry out, so we recommend making regular oil checks if your car does not have a warning symbol when it needs filling up. Take a look here for advice on how to change your car’s oil.

Check Or Even Change Your Air Filter

Air filters are not only crucial for your car, but also for your own health. Your air filter is located under your vehicles front bonnet and is designed to help your cars engine breath, as well as yourself. The air filter catches anything that could be irritant to you or your car’s engine — for example, any allergens or dust that could enter in through your cars vent.

It’s important to remember that all of the emissions and fumes that are let out from your vehicle and its engine are toxic and can cause great harm when breathed in over a long period of time. If you spent an hour driving inside your car while breathing in all of the fumes your car emits, you would make yourself seriously ill, which is why it is so important that your air filter is clean and fresh. We recommend that your air filter is replaced after every 12,000 miles driven. If you don’t drive this much, it is still recommended that you check your air filter – especially those who have older vehicles.

dirty car air filter

Check Your Tyres

Car tyres are the most common component that people fail for on their MOT. Efficient car tyres are essential for a safe driving experience and can affect the way that your car runs if old or worn out. Having a tyre tread depth below 1.6mm means that your tyres are illegal and that they are unsafe to drive with. If you get caught by the police with a tyre tread depth lower than this, then you can actually be fined or even arrested. As well as this, with such a poor tyre tread depth, you are guaranteed a fail on your MOT, and your car will be non-drivable.

Therefore it’s important to always check your tyre tread depth and ensure that they aren’t balding, as you make yourself prone to skidding, spinning out or sliding on the road. As well as tread depth, you also need to verify that your tyre pressure is enough. You can do this from home with a tyre pressure gauge. Deflated tyres can mean that your car’s engine has to work harder, especially when travelling at high speeds. Because of this it can dramatically increase your fuel consumption and cause your fuel bills to skyrocket. Also remember to change your tyre pressure if you’re making a journey with a heavy load, for example, if you’re moving house.

Check Your Lights

Your headlights are vital, especially for driving during the night. If you have a headlight out you can get pulled over by the police. When driving in the dark, it’s essential that you can see the road in front of your clearly, otherwise you are opening yourself up to dangers of road collisions and accidents.

Even your fog-lights need checking that they work, if you’re out driving and visibility is extremely low or it becomes foggy, your fog lights are going to be the only thing that can improve your visibility. If these aren’t working, then you could be in serious danger. When taking your car in for MOT testing Milton Keynes, if you have a headlight out or one of your bulbs is missing, they can fail you right there and then. Although it’s a simple fix, it’s a pain failing your MOT over it. You can change your car bulbs from home easily if you know that one of them is out, take a look here for a step-by-step guide on how to change your car bulbs.

car headlight bulb

Brake Pads

As you can imagine having fully functioning brakes is crucial to a safe journey as well as a comfortable driving experience. The quality and condition of your brakes are responsible for your stopping time, as well as your stopping distance. If you car hear slight squeaking or scraping when your brake, this could be a sign that your brakes need replacing (unless it’s been raining and your brakes are wet). This grinding noise is an indication that your brake pads have worn down past their use, and the scraping noise is the scraping of the metal plates which hold the brake pad.

Once your brakes reach this point, they become unsafe and you could end up causing an accident. Most car garages will advise you to replace your brake pads if their worn, and brake pad replacement Milton Keynes could be what you need to get back on the road safely. Worn brake pads are one of the most common causes of collision and increase the risk of your rolling into the back of someone, or not stopping in time and going into the back of someone at a higher speed. If your journey to work is over 30 minutes in a built-up area with lots of traffic, you are at highest risk of wearing out your brake pads. If you are consistently stopping and starting and driving down high speeds down bypasses or motorways and then suddenly coming to a stop, this will wear down your brakes significantly. Your brakes are a crucial component of your car and we cannot stress enough how important they are to keep you as well as other road users safe. Check the condition of your brakes from home before you bring it in for car repairs Milton Keynes. Drive your car slowly and listen out for a scraping or screeching noise when you come to a halt. If you hear this, this could be a sign your brakes are on their way out.

Seatbelts

Most car owners will forget to check the condition of seatbelts. They are the key to a safe journey and can save your life if you were to be involved in a crash or collision. You can be fined for not wearing your seatbelt, and if your seatbelt is broken then it’s likely you will be in more trouble. Most car owners if one of their backseat seatbelts is broken will not even realise, so when they drive with a passenger, they will have no choice but to wear no seatbelt.

Even if your seatbelt is still attached and appears working, it may not be. The shock absorber system incorporated into your seatbelts mechanism may have stopped working, if this is the case then your seatbelt is practically useless. The point of a seatbelt is to prevent you from being propelled from the car in the event of a crash and holds you in place for security and to avoid worse injuries. If this aspect of your seatbelt is faulty, then it will have nothing to hold you in, and it is essentially pointless. If servicing your car at home before you take it into a garage, be sure to check this as it is so important.

plugging in seatbelt

Bring Your Car In For A Service

Although you can service your car from home throughout the year to check that it is safe and in good condition, this is not legally binding, and you will still need an MOT, as well as professional servicing from a garage. Although we do recommend carrying out home services to reduce the risk of car faults or breakdown. We are currently taking booking for repairs, as well as a variety of our other services, so for more information, then please feel free to contact us today.

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