Worried about the cost of motoring? Then don't be afraid of DIY

Worried about the cost of motoring? Then don’t be afraid to do a bit of DIY! Here’s how…

Ad Feature by Halfords

Spotting a flat tyre, seeing a warning light appear on the dashboard, and even the thought of an upcoming MOT can all strike fear into a driver’s heart.

They generally spell ‘money’ and, according to a recent YouGov survey for Halfords, 23 per cent of those of us maintaining or running a car are currently struggling with the costs of motoring.

But the good news is, you often don’t need to worry because there’s plenty of car maintenance you can do yourself.

Seize the power! There’s so much you can do yourself when it comes to car maintenance

Whether it’s making sure problems don’t occur in the first place or fixing them when they do, you can save money with a little DIY. 

The problem is most don’t have the confidence to do so – only 12 per cent say that they are very knowledgeable about basic car maintenance

So what can you easily do – and what should be left to the experts? Here’s our handy guide:


From the fuel in the tank to the oil in the engine, your vehicle is full of different fluids and it’s important to make sure they’re regularly topped up and changed if needed.

So every month, open the bonnet and check you’ve got plenty of screen wash, coolant and power steering fluid in your motor – there should be very clear ‘max’ and ‘min’ levels to show you.

If they’re low, pop down to Halfords to pick up some more – screen wash starts from £3.99 for two litres, coolant (aka antifreeze) at £5.29 for a litre and power steering fluid is from £7.29 for 500ml.

Screen wash is vital during winter with all the spray on the roads, so keep yours topped up

Another incredibly important fluid is oil – without it, your engine will simply seize up and that is an incredibly costly repair.

There could be an oil gauge on your dashboard or infotainment system, but you may need to go through some menus to check the level, so use your dipstick or, if fitted, the oil level read out in your car to check it every fortnight, and top up if needed – engine oil starts at £7.99 for one litre at Halfords.

It also needs to be changed regularly – refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation to see how often the oil in your car needs changing – but this is probably best left to the experts.


The engine may be the powerhouse of your car, but tyres are surprisingly important too. First of all, their tread legally has to be a certain depth (1.6mm) so they grip the road well and lessen the chance of accidents and aquaplaning.

If not, you could be fined and get points on your licence, your car will fail its MOT and any insurance claim you make could be invalidated.

Having your tyres at the right pressure will help them last longer and cost you less in fuel

But they should also be at the right pressure (which will be written in your handbook) as they’ll not only last longer but also cost you less to run as it takes more fuel to power under-inflated tyres.

Halfords has 20 per cent off a range of Michelin tyre inflators until December 24 if you’d like to DIY but if you’re not sure, leave it to their experts. Halfords offers a Free Tyre Check, in which their experts will check your tyres’ pressure and tread depth, and let you know if they’re safe and legal.


All three are incredibly important, so keep an eye on them. If an exterior light, like an indicator or headlight goes, pop down to Halfords who’ll have a replacement.

You can replace it yourself – simply buy a manual for your car which will walk you through it or follow one of the instruction videos available online.

But if you’re worried, Halfords will do it for you – the cost starts from £9.

With your brakes, if you’re hearing noises when you use them or it’s taking longer to slow down than usual, it’s generally an indicator of a problem. Halfords garages will check them for you for free.

Peace of mind: Halfords can check, and if necessary replace, your bulbs, battery and brakes

They’ll also perform a battery health check (again, it costs nothing) to make sure you’ve got plenty of power to get you through winter.

Simply go online to halfords.com and book your car in.


Being able to see well out of your car is vital so keep your windscreen as clean as possible.

If when you’re using your wipers, they smear, squeak or jump about, it’s a sign you need new ones. You can fit them yourself – instructions come on the packet – or you can let Halfords’ experts do them for you (from £5).

At this time of year, being able to see the road and traffic is more important than ever

Keeping your whole car clean will help to prevent you having to do a lot of maintenance and expensive repairs as it removes the dirt and grease that can cause rust and corrosion over time.

Always check there’s no grit caught under your wiper blades as it can cause scratches on the windscreen which could potentially lead to an MOT failure.

And be on the lookout for chips in your glass and get them fixed – it’s far cheaper than replacing a shattered windscreen.


If you still don’t feel confident enough to do these checks – or if you’d simply prefer to leave them to an expert – don’t worry. Halfords can help. 

If you sign up to their Motoring Club (halfords.com/motoring-club.html), you’ll get a 10 Point Car Check (worth £15) for free!

The Club costs nothing to join and comes with a host of other benefits, including exclusive member discounts and £10 off your MOT.

Halfords offers a 10 Point Car Check, and it’s free if you sign up to their Motoring Club!

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2105 adults of which 1,441 own a car and 1,337 have responsibility for maintaining a vehicle. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th – 8th November 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). 

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