Top tips for looking after your first car

A breakdown of everything you need to know after picking up the keys. 
Learner driver holds up car keys while behind the wheel.

Congratulations! Buying a car is a big step and while it’s easy to be overcome with emotion, the journey has only just begun.

Follow our handy tips and you’ll be equipped to handle the responsibility that comes with looking after your own car.

Don’t fall behind on servicing

You wouldn’t skimp on your own health and wellbeing, so follow the same strategy with your car to prolong its life. Stick to the manufacturer’s servicing schedule and don’t skip any. You can also keep an eye on things in between services by regularly checking your oil, engine coolant, power steering and transmission fluid (if possible) and keep an ear out for any strange sounds or notable differences in driving quality.

Read the owner’s manual and logbook

It might not be the most enthralling of reads, but the information inside is essential for maintaining your car.  The owner’s manual and logbook will include your vehicle’s servicing history and schedule, what fuel to use and what tyre pressure to run.

Learn how to change a tyre

Learning how to change a tyre is a rite of passage and important in those moments where phone coverage might be minimal and you need to get back on the road.

Check your lights and tyres

You can be fined for driving on unroadworthy tyres and it is unsafe. Tyres need to have at least 1.5mm of tread all over. You can also be fined for driving with non-functioning headlights or taillights, so check them on a regular basis.

Maintain your car battery

All batteries look the same from the outside, but the inside can be a different story. Follow the tips in the video below and keep your battery’s health in top shape.

Wash your car

Aside from keeping your car looking its best, regular car washes will protect your vehicle from the elements. Dust and debris can damage your car’s paint and cause rust, so try to wash it at least once a fortnight. 

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.