Seize power!  There is a lot you can do on your own when it comes to car maintenance

Worried about the cost of cars? Then don’t be afraid to do some DIY! Here’s how…

Spotting a flat tire, seeing a warning light appear on the dashboard, and even the thought of an upcoming MOT can strike fear into a driver’s heart.

They generally spell “money,” and according to a recent YouGov poll of Hafords23 percent of us who maintain or operate a motor vehicle are currently experiencing the costs of driving.

But the good news is that you often don’t have to worry because there is a lot of car maintenance that you can do yourself.

Seize power! There is a lot you can do on your own when it comes to car maintenance

Whether it’s making sure problems don’t happen in the first place or fixing them when they do, you can save money with a little bit of DIY.

The problem is most don’t have the confidence to do this – only 12 per cent said they’re very knowledgeable about basic car maintenance

So what can you do easily – and what should be left to the experts? Here’s our helpful guide:

Check your fluid levels

From the fuel in the tank to the oil in the engine, your car is full of different fluids and it is important to ensure that they are filled regularly and changed if necessary.

So every month, open the hood and check you have plenty of screen washer, coolant and power steering fluid in your engine – there should be very clear ‘max’ and ‘min’ levels to show you.

If it’s low, go down to Hafords For more – screen wash starts at £3.99 for two liters, coolant (aka anti-freeze) at £5.29 a litre, and power steering fluid from £7.29 for 500ml.

Screen washing is vital during the winter season with all the drizzle on the roads, so keep yours covered

Screen washing is vital during the winter season with all the drizzle on the roads, so keep yours covered

Another incredibly important fluid is oil – without it, your engine will simply fail, and this is a very expensive repair.

There may be an oil dipstick on your dashboard or infotainment system, but you may need to go through a few menus to check the level, so use your oil dipstick or, if appropriate, read your car’s oil level to check every two weeks, and top up if required – motor oil starts at £7.99 per liter at Hafords.

It should also be changed regularly – refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for how often the oil in your car needs to be changed – but this is best left to the experts.

Keep an eye on your tyres

The engine may be the powerhouse of your car, but the tires are surprisingly important, too. First of all, their tread legally must be at a certain depth (1.6 mm) in order to grip the road well and reduce the chance of accidents and aquaplaning.

If not, you could be fined and get points on your license, your car will fail the MOT and any insurance claim you make may be voided.

Having your tires at the proper pressure will help them last longer and reduce your fuel cost

But they also have to be at the right pressure (which will be written in your manual) as not only will they last longer, but they will also cost you less to run as it takes more fuel to run lower inflation tires.

Halfords has 20 percent off a range of Michelin tire inflators through December 24 if you feel like DIY but if you’re not sure, leave it to their experts. Halfords offers a Free tire checkTheir experts check your tire pressure and tread depth, and let you know if it’s safe and legal.

Lights, battery and brakes

All three are very important, so keep an eye on them. If an external light, such as an indicator or headlight, goes off, pop up to Hafords who will have a replacement.

You can replace it yourself – just buy a manual for your car that will guide you through it or follow one of the how-to videos available online.

But if you’re worried, Halfords will do it for you – costs start at £9.

With your brakes, if you hear squeaks when you apply them or if it takes longer to slow down than normal, this is generally an indication of a problem. Halfords garages will Check them out for you for free.

Peace of mind: Halfords can check and replace the lights, battery and brakes if needed

Peace of mind: Halfords can check and replace the lights, battery and brakes if needed

They will also perform Battery health check (again, it costs nothing) to make sure you have plenty of energy to get you through the winter.

You only need to connect to the Internet halfwords.com and book your car in.

Visibility matters!

Being able to see well from your car is vital, so keep your windshield as clean as possible.

If you use your wipers, they smear, squeak or jump, this is a sign that you need new wipers. You can fit them yourself – instructions come on the packaging – or you can let Halfords experts do it for you (from £5).

At this time of year, being able to see the road and traffic is more important than ever

At this time of year, being able to see the road and traffic is more important than ever

Keeping your car completely clean will help you avoid having to do a lot of expensive maintenance and repairs as it removes dirt and grease that can cause rust and corrosion over time.

Always check that there are no grit stuck under the wiper blades as they can cause scratches on the windshield which could lead to MOT failure.

And be on the lookout for chips in your glass and fix them – it’s much cheaper than replacing a shattered windshield.

Remember…you don’t have to do them yourself

If you still don’t feel confident enough to perform these checks – or if you’d simply prefer to leave it to an expert – don’t worry. Hafords I can help.

If you sign up for their Motoring Club (halfords.com/motoring-club.html), you’ll get 10 Car Check Points (£15 value) for FREE!

The club costs nothing to join and comes with a range of other benefits, including exclusive discounts for members and £10 off your MOT.

Halfords offer a 10 point car check, which is FREE if you sign up for their car club!

Halfords offer a 10 point car check, which is FREE if you sign up for their car club!

All figures, unless otherwise noted, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2105 adults, of whom 1441 own a car and 1337 have responsibility for car maintenance. Fieldwork was conducted November 7-8, 2022. The survey was conducted online. The numbers are weighted and represent all UK adults (over 18 years of age).

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