Basic car maintenance is a great skill to have; not only can it save you money, but it can also help you reduce your risk of being involved in road traffic accidents.
Sometimes, if you have a problem with your car, it is essential to go to a garage and seek assistance from a trained mechanic; however, sometimes, it may be possible to fix simple issues yourself, especially if you have basic knowledge of how the engine works and experience of working on cars in the past.
Reducing the risk of road-related injuries: Simple car maintenance
Car crashes are fairly common and, although most are caused by driver error, sometimes, mechanical problems with the car are to blame. Keeping your car in good shape is really important, so check your tyre pressure regularly, take your car for a service when advised and top up the oil and water as required. If you hear unusual noises, you experience changes when you are driving, such as a loss of power or the car veering to the left or right, or you notice warning lights illuminated on the dashboard, it is a good idea to take your car to a garage; even if there is nothing wrong, it is best to get the car checked out.
Road safety: How to change a car battery
If you fancy yourself as a bit of an amateur mechanic and you are planning to change your car battery, here are some tips:
- Park your car on a flat surface and ensure the hand brake is on and the key is removed from the ignition.
- Wear safety goggles to prevent eye injuries.
- Open your bonnet and secure it, so that it doesn’t slip and hit you; if you need PIN codes for electronic equipment, such as a digital radio, make sure you have these to hand before you remove the battery.
- Check your vehicle handbook to help you locate the battery.
- Remove any sleeves or trimmings from the battery and then remove the negative connection; always do this before the positive, as doing it the other way around can damage the car’s electrics.
- Gently loosen the negative clamp and then repeat the process for the positive clamp; it’s a good idea to label the cables so you don’t get mixed up.
- Undo any fastenings holding the battery in place and then take the battery out.
- Place the new battery inside the engine and connect the fastenings to hold the battery in place.
- Remove the protective covers from the new battery and then connect the positive clamp and then the negative clamp.
Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid an accident on the road, but often, somebody else is to blame. If you’ve been injured on the roads and you were not to blame, contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 for more information about car crash claims.
Date Published: March 6, 2014
Author: David Brown