Basic car maintenance you should know and understand

After passing your test one of the first things you will do is go out and look for a car, there is nothing better than the excitement of buying your first car. However, as a new car owner, there is a few basic car maintenance tips you need to do to your car to ensure it runs perfectly and last you a long period of time.

Basic Car Maintenance

Having a car allows you to be independent as well as being mobile. But if you want to enjoy all the benefits of having a car, it is imperative you stay on top of regular maintenance intervals. Some of the many benefits of car maintenance are that it can improve the safety of your vehicle. By making a comprehensive car maintenance list and sticking to it, you can ensure your car runs a lot more efficiently. Regular maintenance also allows your vehicles critical components are running smoothly and functionally.

Unfortunately, around half of car accidents are caused by secondary faults such as a faulty brake system, poor tyre tread or worn out cambelts, all of which can be assessed through a home maintenance check. Specific components of your vehicle are more prone to wear in comparison to others, by performing a regular maintenance check you can ensure each of these parts is running to their optimum functioning. You will also be more confident in knowing your vehicle is much safer to drive.

Warning Lights

As part of your driving test, you are always made aware of certain warning lights on your vehicles. However, it is paramount you know about the different lights on your car and exactly what they mean. To extend your knowledge and fully understand what warning lights mean we recommend taking a read of Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide.

Warning lights

Tyre Tread

Tyre tread is a nice and easy check you can make on a regular basis. Tyres are designed to handle all types of weather, which is why you do not need to change your car tyres every time the weather changes. Your tyre tread should never go below 1.6 millimetres; it is illegal for them to go any lower than this and you could be given a fine. Not to mention you could also cause a significant accident if your tyre tread is low. We recommend checking your tyres every couple of months with a tyre tread gauge, this way you can keep on top of tyre maintenance as well as know when it is best to change your tyres.

tyre tread

Tyre Pressure

Another aspect of your tyre which you should check on a regular basis is the tyre pressure if they are slightly deflated or over inflated they can have an impact on the fuel economy of your vehicle. Your vehicles owners manual will provide you with the right tyre pressure. Alternatively, you can look on the inside of the driver’s door, and you should find the PSI level, it will provide you with both front and rear tyres along with a minimum and maximum. More modern and slightly more expensive cars will have a setting within the car that will tell you when the tyre pressure is low, but if you do not have this luxury, we recommend taking it to your local petrol station and checking the tyre pressure there.

tyre pressure

Oil Levels

A car’s engine contains a lot of vital components, which allow your car to run effectively and smoothly. If the car parts are not receiving oil, then they can soon cause friction, which produces a significant amount of heat, which can also reduce the overall performance of the engine.

To check your car’s oil, make sure your vehicle is parked on level ground, and it has not been running. You will want the car to cool down before you start checking the oil. When it comes to pulling the dipstick out make sure you have some kitchen roll or an old towel, as it can get a little messy. When your first pull it out wipe it clean, so there is no oil on the dipstick, once you have wiped this clean you can reinsert. By doing so, you can see exactly where the oil level is on the stick. Your oil should be within the minimum and maximum mark. If it is below this, it is vital you fill the oil up otherwise you could cause your engine to blow. You should also check the colour of the oil; it usually is amber in colour. Oil should not be black if it is this could indicate there is an issue with the car.

oil check


Lights may not seem like an essential part to your car, but they play a significant role in the safety of your vehicle. Indicators allow you to inform other drivers of what direction you will be going in. Therefore it is paramount they work effectively. It is relatively easy to check your indicators, simply ask a friend or family member to walk around the vehicle while you have your hazard lights on. If one of your indicator bulbs has gone, we recommend picking new ones up from, you can search be registration which makes it so much easier to look for the ones you need.

Why Carry Out Regular Maintenance

As we mentioned before, performing regular car maintenance is a great way of ensuring your car is safer to drive. But it also saves you a considerable amount of money in the long run. To replace certain parts of your car, it can become very expensive, with regular car maintenance you can prevent parts of your car from becoming damaged. We always recommend that while basic home car maintenance is great for those regular checks, you should always book your car in for a car servicing Milton Keynes. Regular basic maintenance and a years car service will also increase your chances of passing your MOT test.

When you do come to selling your beloved first car, you will find it much easier to sell it. A well-maintained vehicle is more likely to have a higher resale value in comparison to one that has not. Car buyers are now more meticulous than ever about their choices, so by having all of the right car servicing papers and basic car maintenance in order, you can show your vehicle is working smoothly and efficiently.

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