Top 10 DIY car maintenance tips
Basic car maintenance will save you money and reduce the risk of a breakdown. All you need to do is spend a few minutes each week to make sure your car is running safely and smoothly.
Here are some basic safety checks that everyone can do:
- Check all exterior lights are working. E.g. Headlights, indicators and brake lights.
- Check glass surfaces are clean and free from chips, cracks and scratches.
Windscreens, windows and associated components should be in such a condition that the driver has a clear field of view under the normal range of climatic conditions.
- Check the windscreen wipers and washers operate efficiently.
- Check wiper rubbers are secure and in good condition.
Replacing wiper rubbers is something easy you can do at home!
- Make sure the horn works.
- Test the handbrake to ensure it holds the car on steep hills.
If the handbrake light stays on after the handbrake has been released, check the brake fluid level.
- Check the oil and fluid levels, battery water level, windscreen washer fluid, engine coolant, power steering fluid and brake and clutch fluid.
- Check the tyre pressure and tyre condition including tread depth
Tread should always be at least 1.5mm across the entire tread width
- Check your dashboard
Generally if a warning light comes on when driving or doesn’t switch off when the engine’s running, you should stop when it’s safe, investigate and seek assistance.
- Check the condition of the seat belts for wear, and make sure they lock when you give them a tug.
Apart from your own maintenance, it’s important to build a relationship with a trusted mechanic. Your mechanic should keep you up to date with major repairs coming up, giving you time to budget for the more expensive services. For peace of mind use our RACQ Approved Repairer search tool.