Top tips for looking after your car on a budget

Broken down car

It’s important to look after your car and undertake regular checks– not only will this keep you safe behind the wheel, it will also keep your car living for longer

There are lots of ways to keep your car healthy and happy without breaking the bank. You can undertake basic checks yourself, which will save you money that you would have spent at the garage. Here we look at some top tips for looking after your car on a budget…

Check your windscreen wash levels

Open the bonnet and find the windscreen washer reservoir. All you need to do is look at the minimum and maximum markers on the reservoir to see if there is enough in there. If you need to, add extra windscreen wash until it reaches the full mark. If you are short of cash, you can simply add water until you have some spare pennies to get screen wash from a petrol station.

Check your oil level

Firstly, you need to remove the cap of the oil tank counter-clockwise. Use the dipstick provided under your bonnet to check your oil level. To do this, grab the dipstick and give it a wipe to remove any oil that is already on there. Once it’s clean, dip it right the way into your oil tank until it rests at the bottom. When you lift it back out, you can look at the wet mark to see how full or empty it is. If required, fill up your oil to the required level and replace the cap.

Check your tread depth

You can use a 20p coin to quickly and cheaply check your tread depth. All you need to do is put the coin into the main tread grooves of your tyres. What you need to check is whether the outer band of the 20p coin disappears into the tread. If you can still see the outer rim of the coin, your tread is too shallow and you will need to get them replaced. The tread must be a minimum of 3mm.

Carry essential tools in your boot

You can also save yourself cash by carrying your own tools in the boot of your car in case of emergency. It is useful to have a trolley jack and axle stand in case you get a flat tyre. They give you the ability to lift your car safely and securely, so you can change a tyre yourself. That way, you can avoid paying a hefty bill at a garage! It is also worth keeping a snow shovel, torch and a tyre inflator just in case.

By undertaking regular health checks yourself and carrying some basic tools and equipment, you can save tonnes of cash and keep your car running smoothly. Win, win!

Image: avemario/

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