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A recession, the price of fuel, home insurance, car insurance, the weekly shop, pets, socialising, days out with the kids, travelling to work, M.O.T’s, servicing the car, car tax, cleaning the home and car, heating the home, meals out, phone bills, rent and mortgage going up, and everything in between. All of these can happen in just one short week so why wouldn’t you want to try and save some money these days?

For me running the car is one of my highest expenses second only to the house and I’m pretty sure that goes for a large majority of you too! After a few years of driving I am now reasonably happy with the price of my insurance but it still feels like a challenge to pay for it, the insurance combined together with road tax, M.O.T’s and the price of fuel moving like .. So today I’m going finally settle down and carry on writing and release my tips on saving those pennies the article that started all of this off was my how to save money on your fuel consumption which received great feed-back and was shared around multiple sites! So thank you to those who enjoyed it and found it useful! Today will be my tips on maintenance and vehicle safety.

OK so let’s start with some basics and start from the bottom up. Tyres, they are critical in vehicle safety not only for traction but can also bring some penalty points on your license, depending on if you have any points they could be the reason you lose your license,  impact your fuel consumption and cost you financially. What can you can you remember?

  • Tyre pressure contributes to excessive fuel consumption
  • Incorrect tyre pressure can lead to tyre wear and damage
  • Over inflated tyre can expand and lead to a blow out
  • Under Inflated tyres can be damaged when cornering
  • Tyre pressure won’t fail an M.O.T but under inflated tyres will stop the testing centre carrying out the test
  • Must not show any bulge, lump or tear that compromises the structure
  • The tyre must not have a tear or cut that exceeds 25mm or up to 10 percent of the sectional width
  • Must not have damage that has reached the cord, play or have and cord or ply visible
  • The legal limit on a typical car (up to 8 persons) for tyre tread depth is a minimum of 1.6 mm
  • 1.6mm of tread must be maintained through a continuous band in the centre of the tyre
  • A defective tyre could bring in a court fine of up to £2,500 and three points on your license

Spare tyres are not a legal requirement and when stowed it does not have to comply with legal requirements either. However, when the spare tyre is being used on a vehicle all legal aspects and law are applicable. A spare tyre is not tested with an M.O.T but an M.O.T testing examiner could mention the quality and integrity of the tyre.

Oil Changes are crucial to gaining extra miles on the clock and a longer vehicle life, this is surprisingly easy, just requiring some common sense, moderate strength and a couple of tools. Remember to always change the oil filter when changing the oil. Follow these points and save yourself the money.

  • Gather the recommend tools and oil for your vehicle
  • Park the vehicle on a flat, level, clear surface and let the vehicle cool down but not completely cold, this will help the oil flow out more freely
  • Raise/jack the vehicle up using the jacking points on the front side of the vehicle and secure the vehicle with axel stands
  • Remove the oil filler cap on the top of the engine, this will help the oil flow.
  • Locate the sump plug and using the correct size/tool undo slowly
  • Be careful when removing the sump plug as the oil could be hot and flow out quickly
  • Catch the oil in a suitable container making sure the size can hold the amount of litres
  • When the draining oil slows down locate and remove the oil filter by hand or with the correct tool like a oil filter wrench ensuring the rubber gasket “O” ring is removed too
  • When the oil has drained completely replace the sump drain plug ensuring a secure fit and starting it by hand to make sure the threads do not cross
  • Carefully secure the new oil filter with the new “o” ring rubber gasket fitting correctly and tighten by hand. Use the filter wrench again for the process tighten securely, do not over tighten.
  • Refill the oil to the manufacturers recommendations, and secure the cap back on
  • Start the car for 3 seconds and turn the car off and check the oil level, top up if needed
  • Start the vehicle and check for warning lights and check visually underneath the car for leaks
  • If no steps need to be repeated set the car back down safely.

These points will start you on your way to saving the pennies and improve your vehicles lifetime with more miles out of your vehicle. But remember safety is priority so have someone with you if you are unsure about any stages and if completely unsure go to the garage.

Next time we will be going further into vehicle maintenance and servicing

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