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    How to maintain your vehicle

    Correct maintenance improves reliability, extends vehicle life, keeps newer cars within manufacturers' warranty terms, and preserves used values.

    Whether we like it or not, there is no escaping the fact that owning a car brings with it a number of responsibilities. Along with the paperwork, it must be maintained to a safe and legal standard.

    Maintenance doesnt just mean an annual service. As we use our cars, parts wear out or require attention so it is essential your vehicle is checked regularly. Most drivers appreciate that tyres must have sufficient tread depth for your and others safety but some checks can help prevent expensive failures. For example ensuring there is the right amount of oil in a vehicles engine can improve its life (and an engine failure at speed can be dangerous).

    We are fortunate that newer cars have warning messages to tell us when some things go wrong but they dont monitor everything and we shouldnt rely on sensors as they can fail too. Nor should we wait for an MOT test as this wont capture issues in the first three years of a cars life or for the 12 months between each test.

    This section steps through the areas of essential maintenance from keeping your car clean and basic seasonal checks to looking at some of the more straight-forward mechanical and electrical items.

    Expert articles on Car Maintenance