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The Basics of Car Maintenance: What Every Car Owner Should Know

The Basics of Car Maintenance: What Every Car Owner Should Know

It’s no secret that, as Australians, we just LOVE our cars.

With our continent being so huge, it’s no surprise that the total number of registered vehicles is now at 20 million; and for a country of over 26 million people, it’s clear that most Aussies rely on their trusty vehicles.

However, many car owners neglect basic vehicle maintenance.

A big part of car ownership is the responsibility of routine maintenance, which helps keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

Whether you just got a car or have been driving the same one for a long time, following certain car maintenance tips can help your car be at its best. If you need some guidance or a checklist of tips to keep your car in optimal condition, this is a useful read.

Importance of regular car maintenance

When you perform car maintenance at regular intervals, it keeps your ride in proper working order and helps prevent expensive mechanical repairs down the road – literally. Even if you aren’t concerned with car performance, when it comes time to sell or trade in the vehicle, having detailed service records can help boost its car sale value.

The average age of registered Australian cars is 10.7 years old. This means maintenance skills are even more important as older cars require more regular upkeep to keep them in tip-top condition.

Vehicle maintenance does require an investment of time and money. Yet, taking care of your car can often help you avoid major repair costs associated with breakdown or malfunction, making it a worthwhile investment.

5 basic car maintenance tips you should adopt

5 basic car maintenance tips you should adopt

You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to own and operate a car, but the following car maintenance basics are essential for all drivers to know:

  1. How to change car headlights

    It’s unavoidable: headlights burn out eventually, and when they do, they should be replaced ASAP. Headlights are one of a car’s most important safety features — they help you see, and they help others see you.

    How many car owners does it take to change a headlight bulb?

    Well, with the proper skills, just one! Changing a car headlight is a fast and simple fix that anyone can DIY. 

  2. How to check tyre pressure

    Most of us understand that tyres can be dangerous when they’re old and worn out, but did you know they’re also dangerous when running at the wrong car tyre pressure? The correct tyre pressure PSI allows your car to effectively accelerate, corner, brake and grip the road.

    It also enables your car to run more efficiently, so you’ll spend less on fuel. Optimum tyre pressure varies depending on the make and model of your car. You can find the specifics for your car on the manufacturer’s information plate, usually located inside the driver’s door panel. It’ll also be in your owner’s car manual.

  3. How to replace your wiper blades

    With hours upon hours spent facing the Australian elements, windscreen wipers can take a real beating, so it’s important to stay on top of their performance. Once you notice leftover water streaking to the windshield after every swipe, it may be time to swap them out for new ones. You can always try wiping down the rubber with a washcloth to see if that improves performance.

  4. How to jump-start a dead battery

    When attempting this, the most important thing is to make sure you do not mix up the leads. A positive terminal must connect to a positive terminal and a negative to a negative. A helpful hint to prevent this is that the colour red is associated with positive and black with negative.

  5. How to change a flat tyre

    Every driver should be able to change a flat tyre. Unfortunately, temporary spares have become less and less common, replaced by space-and-weight-saving emergency inflation kits.

    Still, the ability to jack a vehicle up, remove a flat tyre and install a spare is an important skill to have, especially if you get a flat where mobile service is not available.

It always pays to have basic vehicle knowledge when it comes to maintaining your car

As you can see, you don’t have to be a mechanical whiz to master the basics of car maintenance. By following these simple steps, you can help yourself avoid more serious issues down the track. However, if car maintenance doesn’t fix the issue – maybe it’s time to put your old car to rest.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards a new car, it helps to have a vehicle expert who can guide you when purchasing a car. If you have questions about the latest vehicles and how you can choose the right one for you, simply reach out to us for a chat.

Find the right vehicle for you with Private Fleet.

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Backed by decades of vehicle industry experience, fleet buying power and a network of car dealers across Australia, we are here to ensure that buying your next car will be as straightforward as possible for you.

Buying a new car is a memorable experience – let us make it hassle-free, too.

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