Servicing your car is an essential part of maintaining the safety and performance of your vehicle. However, there are plenty of things you can do in between your visits to the garage. Performing some general maintenance on your car can help to prevent the need for extensive services and reduce your MOT bill.

1. Keep an eye on your tyres

Naturally, your tyres are one of the most important parts of your vehicle so looking after them should be a priority. The easiest way to do this is to make sure they are at the right pressure: this can help to increase their lifespan and improves your driving performance. Another thing to keep an eye on is the thread depth. This is the depth of the grooves in the tyre which help it to grip the road and deal with rougher surfaces. You can test if these are at a safe depth by putting a 20 pence piece in: if the outer band of the coin is obscured by the thread then you are within the legal limit.

2. Learn the meaning of dashboard indicators

If you’ve seen a light flashing on your dashboard and had no idea what it means, you’re not alone. However, learning the meaning of these indicators is one of the best ways of understanding your car and keeping yourself safe. The main lights on the dashboard include the check engine light, electrical fault light, brake warning light, anti-lock braking systems light, coolant warning light, oil warning light and service engine light. If you know what your car needs, you’re in a much better position to act on what it needs.

3. Liquid levels

This is the easiest way to keep your car in good condition. Your engine contains many parts which endure friction when the car is running. To counteract the heat and stress caused by this friction you need engine oil and coolant. Checking the level of these two liquids helps to keep your engine running smoothly by reducing the stress the engine experiences. These are easy to replace as most modern cars have filling levels indicated on their oil stick and coolant tank respectively.

Having your car serviced is an essential part of keeping your vehicle running properly. However, it’s also important to have a good understanding of your car. This can minimise the number of issues that need to be resolved by a garage, which saves you money and keeps your car in better condition.

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 23.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 23.88%, 47 monthly payments of £234.69 followed by 1 payment of £244.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), total cost of credit is £3,775.12, total amount payable is £11,275.12.

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