Motoring experts Haynes have revealed top tips that if followed could save UK motorists £6.7bn, encouraging road users to carry out simple maintenance jobs themselves.
The list comes to coincide with the launch of Haynes Online Manuals which will see the firm’s 50 top car care guides made available anytime, anywhere and on any internet or mobile device.
A further 50 titles will be added at regular intervals throughout 2012-13, and the electronic manuals will also be available for purchase via trade customer websites as the programme rolls out.
Car maintenance is often seen as something too complex and challenging for anyone other than an experienced mechanic, but following these simple tips from Haynes could save Britain’s 31 million motorists over £200 each.
1. Fit your own windscreen wiper blades.
A garage could charge you £40 plus to fit new windscreen wiper blades, but they can be bought for just £10 and are very simple to fit, it’ll take less than a minute. Potential saving: £30
2. Fit new front brake pads
Having reliable brakes is essential to keeping you and your family safe on the road. Fitting new brake pads is not difficult providing you are patient and follow instructions to the letter. Potential saving: £49.95
3. Fit new direction indicator bulb
You wouldn’t call an electrician to your house to change a light bulb - why get a garage to fit a new bulb to your car? How to change the light depends on the make and model, but most exterior light bulbs are easy to replace once you know how. Potential saving: £88.50
4. Change engine oil and filter at least once a year.
The engine is the heart of your car, and it’s essential that you look after it. Changing the engine oil is the single most important thing you can do to prolong engine life, and is easy enough to be done by anyone. Potential saving: £20
5. Use a proper screen wash additive.
People often try and save money on screen wash by using water, and although this will work pretty well during the summer months, that is not the case in the winter. Plummeting temperatures could cause the water in the washer reservoir to freeze and split the reservoir, so it is essential to buy a screen wash additive with antifreeze. Potential saving: New reservoir and pump, £30+.
Total saving: £218.45
Haynes manuals have been helping motorists perform these simple tasks and much more for over 50 years, and the new Manuals Online include all the content from the printed manuals with the additional benefits of a glossary of terms, searchable menus, quick links and ‘how to’ videos.
Jeremy Yates-Round of Haynes said: “Haynes Manuals Online are incredibly easy to use and make car maintenance more accessible than ever before. The ‘how to’ videos clearly demonstrate a range of repairs and the quick links and search facility make identifying and fixing faults very straightforward.
“There is a widespread misconception that modern cars are too complicated to do your own maintenance. That is simply not true and our research shows the huge savings that can be made by taking on simple tasks, like replacing windscreen wipers or changing a light bulb, can save you over £200 a year.
“Our experience in the United States, where online manuals are already available, shows that Haynes Manuals Online become an extension to your toolbox, available at home or on the road.
“This is a world where our natural instinct is to ‘Google’ how to fix something. Haynes Manuals Online will put the answer at your fingertips.”