Top tips for keeping your car out of the garage

VW Beetle

VW BeetleWhile some car enthusiasts and vintage car restorers enjoy spending almost as much time making repairs to their vehicles as they do driving them, the average driver wants to make as few trips to the garage as they can.

Here are our top tips for ensuring that your car spends as little time with the mechanic and as much time on the road as possible.

When you should take your car in to a garage
While most of us would love it if we never needed to make another trip to the mechanic in our lives, there are some cases when it simply can’t be avoided. For example, whenever you are scheduled for an MOT, you should make sure to have it performed at a local garage. This will ensure that any issues are nipped in the bud before they have the chance to develop.

If a warning light appears on your dashboard, you should take your car into a garage immediately, as ignoring these warnings could lead to serious problems or even endanger you and your passengers. Take a look at this guide from the RAC for a rundown of the meaning of the most common warning lights so you can get a better understanding of what is wrong with your vehicle. While it can be tempting to avoid the inconvenience of a trip to the mechanic, if one of these appears, make sure to get it checked out at the garage as soon as possible.

How to keep your car out of the garage
While these instances require the help of a professional mechanic, there are some quick and easy bits of maintenance that, if you perform regularly yourself, will keep your car in the best condition possible.
Check the tyre pressure

Keeping your tyres at the pressure recommended by the manufacturer will not only improve your vehicle’s performance and make it more efficient, but will also make it safer. This will make you less likely to get into an accident, and therefore less likely to need to have your car repaired.

Furthermore, tyres last longer if they are kept at the correct pressure, so checking your tyre pressure every week and topping it up if needed will extend their lifespan and keep you away from the garage for longer. An air compressor, such as this one by Ring, will allow you to set your tyres to the correct pressure quickly and easily, making it a great investment.

Change the engine oil
Your car’s engine oil is an absolutely crucial component of any vehicle’s mechanics. Oil lubricates the moving parts of your engine and stops it from seizing. To keep your car in optimum condition and prevent engine failure, you should make sure to frequently change your oil, which deteriorates over time. Take a look at this guide from Wikihow to find out how to do this yourself, and make sure you change oil every 3,000 miles or so for optimum performance from your vehicle at all times.

Check the lights
Another common cause of premature visits to the mechanic is a broken light. As it is illegal to drive on the roads without fully functioning lights, it is important to check them regularly and replace them in plenty of time so that you aren’t stuck needing an emergency trip to the garage. You can do this by parking your car with its rear a few feet away from a wall. Put your car in neutral and switch on the ignition, and then check that the headlights and rear lights work, then both indicators. Check the reverse and rear brake lights are working by looking for their reflection on the wall behind you. If any of your lights are dim, order a replacement bulb and make the repair in your own time to avoid an emergency trip to a garage.

Keep these tips in mind and your car is likely to need as few trips to the garage as possible. Of course, if you have a serious problem with your vehicle, then make sure to take it in to be seen by a mechanic as soon as possible.

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