WITH more and more families finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, many expenses are being cut in the annual family budget.
One area that you cannot afford to scrimp on, however, is car maintenance - it not only leads to better fuel efficiency and extends the life of the car, but can, in may cases, be a the difference between life and death.
While many people can sort out the basics themselves, serious car maintenance will require a professional. It might cost a few bob, but will certainly be worth it in the long run.
Generally speaking, most vehicles will require an oil change every three months or 3,000 miles, although this may vary from model to model. This can be dealt with quickly and inexpensively by your local mechanic. Regular oil changes protect your engine by offering optimum lubrication. Along with oil changes, brakes and belts should also be checked.
All fluid levels such as brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil, power steering fluid, and antifreeze should also be checked every 3,000 miles. Head, signal, brake and parking lights should always be in full working order. At least once a year you should have a professional examine and flush your radiator which will indicate any holes or flaws which can occur over time.
The state and quality of your tyres is also a massive consideration Your tyres should be checked and rotated every 7,000 miles or to prevent the threading from wearing unevenly and make your tyres last longer.
Be sure also to check your threading with a coin regularly and ensure your tyres are inflated properly, thus allowing for greater fuel efficiency and reducing the risk of a puncture.
Always have your windscreen washer water tank full - clean windows aid visibility, especially during poor weather conditions and at night. Dirt on the windscreen also wears down your wiperblades prematurely.
Regular professional servicing and a keen eye will allow you to keep your car in peak operating condition.
By doing so you are not only saving money but also helping ensure the safety of your passengers and others on the road by reducing the risk of an accident.