DIY car maintenance checklist: how to save money on servicing

Everyone needs a bit of TLC from time-to-time, right? With modern car technology now so advanced and manufacturers delivering ever-increasing levels of aftersales service, it’s sometimes easy to forget that our cars can benefit from a little personal attention, too. Our car maintenance guide and checklist runs through the DIY tasks you can do at home to keep your vehicle performing as it should and save some money into the bargain.

We’ve all been there… driving along trying to clear a grimy windscreen, only to find the screenwash is empty, or maybe being handed an easily-avoidable MoT failure due to a tiny blown bulb. The fact is, regularly checking the basics on your car can save you time, money and, most importantly, ensures your vehicle is as safe on the road as it possibly can be. Even something as straightforward as a quick visual ‘walk-around’ inspection could highlight problem areas that need addressing.

While it’s important to use a trained mechanic to properly inspect your car and carry out any more advanced maintenance work that’s necessary, there are some simple checks that you can perform and things you can fix yourself, so your vehicle stays roadworthy and avoids you being saddled with unwanted bills in the future.

See and be seen: wipers, screen wash and lights

Elderly windscreen wipers can scratch the glass, restricting your vision, and may even cause an MoT failure in extreme cases. Renew them at least once a year to be sure – the Bosch Aerotwin wipers are our current favourite. 

Thankfully, modern flat-blade designs tend to be far easier to replace than the fiddly fittings on older cars. Set the car in wiper service mode, if it has one, raise the wiper arm, release the clip to remove the blade and reverse the process to install the new one.

Although you can use water to top up your screen…

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