The motor car is something we take for granted. After the initial purchase, it’s just a question of filling it up with fuel and changing the tyres and battery now and then. With more than twenty thousand moving parts, a car needs regular maintenance, otherwise things start to go wrong.

The engine

The engine, which is the powerhouse of the vehicle, needs regular attention, if it is to run efficiently. The engine oil, which lubricates the cylinders and crankshaft, must be changed at least every 5,000 miles, along with the oil filter, which traps tiny particles of metal as the oil flows through it. The air filter should either be cleaned or replaced at the same time, and the engine coolant, power steering, and brake fluid level should be checked at weekly intervals, and topped up when necessary.

The tyres

The tyres are what makes contact with the road, so they must be in good condition, which means the tread must be at least 5mm deep, and inflated to the correct pressure. One should make weekly inspections for bumps or tears in the wall, or any foreign objects embedded in the tread, and it is a good idea to swap the tyres around on a regular basis, as this promotes even wear.

The brakes

Brake pads should be replaced every 50,000 miles, and should they wear down to the rivets, it will damage the disc and that will be an expensive repair. If there are any brake fluid leaks, this would become evident during the weekly fluid checks, and if one has to replenish the fluid often, it means there is a leak somewhere, and this could be disastrous.

New cars

A new vehicle will be under warranty, therefore all of the essential maintenance will be carried out by the dealer. This usually lasts for six months, or a certain mileage, whichever comes first. The service details will all be logged into the service booklet, and when the warranty has expired, the owner has a choice of having the car serviced, or doing it himself. If you are thinking of buying, there are cars for sale in Canberra, both new and used, and with a range of makes and models, there will be something that’s ideal.

Protect your investment

If you have just bought a new car, a full service history is not only important for the well-being of the car, it also gets you top prices when you decide to sell. If a vehicle does not have a full service history, it will be harder to sell, and it will affect the price.

Manufacturer’s recommendations

These should be followed religiously, as no one knows better than the people who made the vehicle, and the owner’s manual will cover everything, and should be referred to whenever a service is due, or something is wrong. The car is designed to give optimum performance, and with the right maintenance, should continue to do so for many years.