6 DIY service hacks to make your car live longer


Jade Poole

DIY car hacks

Become the car-owner you were destined to be with these effective home-hacks to look after your car

Becoming a car owner is incredibly exciting! You have kilometres of smooth rides to look forward to IF you take the time to be a proud and responsible car owner. Keeping your car in tip-top condition doesn’t have to only be your mechanics job. There are simple, routine maintenance checks you should always put on your to-do list to help your car last for as long as possible.

1.   Learn the manual

It’s the age-old advice that you never like to hear: Read. The. Manual.

Everything you need to know about your car is packed into that manual in a very organised fashion. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the different sections and details of your car. Obviously, we aren’t asking you to memorise the manual, because we are asking you to keep it in your car at all times. Keep in mind that selling your car without the manual is nearly impossible and you will get more money from a sale if your manual is in good condition.

If you want two copies in case, there are car service providers who will offer the manual to you in a digital format.

2.   Maintain the interior

You spend a lot of time inside your car and so do the passengers you take from A to B. Not only is it important to take a sense of pride in your vehicle, maintaining the interior is a big part of making sure your car functions well.

Vacuum your seats and mats once a week. Clean and sanitise your dashboard and the points on the car you touch the most like your steering wheel and doors.

Discover: The Oneplan car essentials checklist.

Clean your air filters

One of the interior elements of your car that needs attention is your air filters. Check your air filters on a monthly basis by taking them out and holding them up to the sun. If the filter is cloudy or doesn’t let the light through, get them replaced.

3.   Maintain the exterior

Now for making sure your car is as squeaky clean on the outside as it is on the inside!

Cars that become rusted or compromised by grime or dirt are obviously not going to last long. You can protect your car from overexposure to UV rays or chemicals by using wax to polish the exterior. This will also maintain the paint and colour.


The four air-filled tubes that give you the option of movement? Yep, they’re pretty important! Looking after your tyres is going to save you a lot of money and keep you safe on the roads. Unroadworthy tyres are the cause of thousands of road accidents and are exceptionally costly to repair or replace. Be aware of the grip and tread. 

Read: At-Home Simple Tyre Safety Inspection: 5 Expert Tips

4.   Monitor your fluids

This is the DIY hack that’s going to make you feel super cool and hands-on.

Brake fluid

Not keeping an eye on your brake fluid can set you back a couple of thousand rands. All you need to do is check that your brake fluid is sitting 2.5cm from the top. Look in your manual to see where the brake fluid reservoir is located in your car.


Open to the hood of your car to make some space for checking your oil. Remove and wipe the dipstick from the pol reservoir. Use some paper towel or an old cloth with no residual dirt or fibres. Once it is clean, place the dipstick back into the engine and you will see the mark on the stick of how much oil you need to fill up with.


On your coolant reservoir, you will see the words FULL. This is where you want your coolant levels to be all the time. Engines get super hot, which is why you need coolant to protect your engine against overheating.

5.   Know the signs and signals

We’re lucky to live in a time where we don’t need to take our cars apart every time something sounds a bit funny. Our dashboards will let us know almost immediately when something is wrong and even better, it lets us know which part of the car is being affected.

Don’t leave any warning lights unattended and make sure you get those problems sorted out ASAP before they snowball into something worse.

6.   Get comprehensive car insurance

You can control how you maintain your car at home, but you can’t control what happens on the roads. Before you step into a car, you need to find the best possible insurance policy to protect your finances and your property.

At Oneplan, all of our car insurance policies are completely comprehensive. We offer insurance solutions that suit your budget and your lifestyle. Read more about car & home insurance designed with your budget in mind.

Yours in comprehensive car insurance,



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