car finance australiaIf you've recently bought a new car, you need to ensure that it is well maintained. This will ensure your car is still running as good as new, and you aren't losing money in the long run.

Check your tyre pressure

Believe it or not, checking your tyre pressure can have a big impact on our environment. An under-inflated tyre creates more rolling resistance and therefore more fuel consumption. By keeping your tyres inflated to their proper levels, you can help maximise your car's fuel economy and minimise its impact on our environment.

Wondering what your tyre pressure should be?

Tyre pressure is actually determined by your vehicle's load and driving application, i.e. speed, not by the type of tyre or its size. 

You will find a manufacturers tyre placard usually inside the driver's door sill, glove box, fuel filler cap or under the bonnet. The placard also displays the manufacturers recommended tyre sizes. Tyre pressures should be checked when the tyre is 'cold', as pressure increases as the tyre becomes 'hot'. Take the "cold" reading and check them against the recommended tyre pressures from your placard.

Heavy loads or towing puts an extra strain on your tyres. So if your vehicle is fully loaded with passengers and luggage, the general rule is to add 28kpa (4PSI or 4lbs).

Your tyres will wear out twice as fast at high speed as when you drive at 70-80 km/h. If your tyres are under-inflated by twenty per cent tyre life can be reduced by thirty per cent. 

It is also extremely important to remember to get your tyres rotated and balanced, and have an alignment done when needed.

 

Check your fluids

If you don’t know how to check your oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and windscreen wiper fluid – you should take the time to learn how to check those fluid levels. In some cases, you can see the tank level directly, but most have gauges or dipsticks you can pull out to check current levels against a notch that indicates optimal levels. If you're running low, add more (if you can) or get it changed. Most importantly, never ignore a leak.

 

Have your timing belts replaced when necessary 

A timing belt is one of the more expensive maintenance services your vehicle will endure, but it sure is worth it to avoid the even more expensive cost of having to replace your engine! If you avoid having your timing belt replaced, your risk it stretching, deteriorating or breaking, at the cost of your engine – so it is well worth it!

You may have been told that your timing belt needs to be replaced every 100,000km, however, this is not always the case. Manufacturers’ recommendations differ depending on the make and model of your vehicle, and could be anywhere from every 40,000km to every 150,000km, depending on the engine. Check your vehicle’s manual, or with the manufacturer, to find out how often you should be replacing yours.

 

Check your battery and clean the contacts (if necessary)

Most modern batteries don’t require much maintenance, but it is handy to know where it is and to check that it’s not leaking and there’s no build-up on the contacts. If there is, make sure you clean it with a battery cleaning brush. Also be sure to have a battery tester, jump starter, or jumper leads on hand in case you run into battery troubles!

 

Replace your windscreen wiper blades

If you’re finding your windscreen wiper blades are leaving streaks on the windscreen, you will need to replace your windscreen wiper blades. They are cheap, and easy to replace yourself. It is important to be able to see clearly through your windscreen, so while you’re at it, why not give the glass a good clean inside and out!

 

Change your spark plugs

If your spark plugs are worn out or covered in buildup, your engine isn't working efficiently. That can cost you money in fuel for one, but it can also lead to a breakdown. It may sound daunting, but in some cases checking and replacing them isn't that difficult. If you don't feel like doing it yourself (or it's a big and complicated job for your vehicle), follow your manual's recommendation and get them changed regularly.

 

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