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Little Maintenance Jobs You Need To Do Right Now

You’re probably quite good at taking care of the big things when it comes to servicing your vehicle, such as keeping up with the regular services and the oil changes and the like. You definitely know not to run out of fuel – or battery charge, depending on whether your drive of choice is an EV or an ICE.  I hope you’re in the habit of checking the oil and the water regularly to keep an eye on things.  Back when I got my first car, my dad told me that oil and water ought to be checked once a week, which seems a bit over the top now, but I guess that my first car, like yours, was an old thing that’s probably a real collector’s item by now (wonder what happened to it once I sold it).

However, there are probably some little jobs that you don’t really think about doing quite so regularly.  There certainly aren’t little red, green or orange lights that light up your dashboard like a Christmas tree for them, with a few exceptions in some models.  But they still need to be done to make sure that you drive safely.  I know that I need to take care of some of them on my recently acquired Toyota Camry , as the previous owner had neglected to do so.  In fact, I probably ought to go and do them as soon as I’ve finished writing this.

  1. Change the wiper blades. Wipers wear out over time and when they do, they don’t do quite as good a job of removing rain, etc. from your windscreen. You do not want to find out that they aren’t removing everything when you’re driving behind a heavy truck on a rainy day and the truck spins up the contents of a muddy puddle all over your windscreen.

    If you can relate to this, you need new wiper blades.

  2. Top up the fluid in the windscreen washer reservoir. Related to the previous task, if you need to wash a splattered insect off the middle of your field of vision, then you’ll need to have something in that little tank.  You can use a proprietary product designed for washing windows, water with a splodge of dishwashing detergent in it or just plain water, depending on your fancy.  Just make sure that something is in there.
  3. Clean the inside of the windscreen. The inside of your windscreen might look clean but it can accumulate a fair amount of grime from whatever mysterious source it comes from. Unlike the outside of your windscreen, which gets regular washes and can be cleaned with the click of your wiper switch, the inside gets overlooked. However, all that mystery gunge will show up very strongly and will interfere with your ability to see the road when the sun strikes it at the right angle, which often happens in winter. The best way to remove that annoying film of whatever-it-is is with a soft cloth, either a proper chamois or a microfibre cloth or even an old cotton T-shirt. Don’t use wet wipes or anything that will leave a residue. Yes, I have made this mistake in the past.
  4. Make sure the spare tyre is in good condition. So you got a flat tyre a few weeks ago and had to change the tyre. However, what with the demands of daily life, it’s easy to make the mistake of just keeping on driving and forgetting that the tyre you put into the compartment under the boot (or on the back of your 4×4) is flat as a tortilla.  Best get it seen to ASAP so you don’t get caught out. Even if you haven’t had to change a tyre recently, then you should still keep an eye on that spare tyre to make sure that it is ready for you if you do get a puncture.
  5. Put a first aid kit in the glovebox. Even if you don’t get into a ding of some sort, you never want to be without a first aid kit, especially if you do a fair bit of driving on rural roads like I do.  If your main driving takes the form of Mum’s Taxi Service, then having a few sticking plasters, bandages, disinfectant, tweezers and paracetamol tablets handy will be useful now and again.
  6. Take the collection of second-hand clothes to the charity shop. Every kilo of extra clobber in the boot or on the back seat is an extra kilo that your engine has to work to shift. To improve your fuel economy, better actually drop that bag of old shoes and clothes into one of those bins or at the shop door itself.  The same principle applies to all the other odds and ends that accumulate inside the luggage compartments.

No procrastination now!  These might seem like small jobs but a lot of them are important to ensure that you can drive safely.

Now, where’s that jug that’s got just the right spout for the windscreen wash compartment?

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