How To Make Your Car last Longer
Cars are expensive. In fact, the price of a new car has increased by 44% since 2008 alone. With the average cost of even a ‘small’ car being somewhere between £10,635 and £12,715, purchasing one is a big financial decision to make; perhaps second only to a mortgage. For some drivers, then, it’s imperative that their cars last for as a long as possible. Here are a number of ways to keep your car road-worthy for as long as possible.
Top Up Your Fluids: Think of all the various fluids and liquids in your car as its blood, circulating around its various organs. Failing to replenish them can have serious consequences on your car. Once a fortnight, check your oil levels with the included dipstick, make sure it’s at an appropriate level. You’ll know if it is by seeing whether it’s between the minimum and maximum markers. In petrol cars, inspect the quality of the oil; if it’s unusually dark or dirty it needs to be replaced. Make sure to also keep an eye on your coolant, keep it topped up with a mixture of 50% antifreeze and 50% water. For your windscreen washer, try to purchase proper screenwash as washing up liquid can damage your paintwork through its salt content.
Look After Your Battery: A simple but critical component of your car, your battery can degrade and go flat if your car is left dormant over an extended period of time. Should you then try a jump-start, you may damage the battery by straining it. Try to drive your car at least once a week, or consider employing a trickle charger. Trickle chargers Trickle chargers charge batteries at an equal rate to their self-discharge rate. This can keep your battery fully charged whilst not in use. Signs of wear and damage to your battery include calcified acid around the edges and acid deposits around the negative and positive terminals.
Keep Your Tyres Inflated: It sounds straightforward, but making sure your tyres have the right pressure can have a big impact on your car’s overall condition. An even spread of appropriate pressure levels will take the strain off of your suspension system. This, in turn, puts less stress on the overall metalwork of your car. It’s also worth getting your tyres rotated and that the wheels are regularly aligned. Your front tyres usually take more wear and tear damage than those in the rear, by swapping them around you even out the stress being placed on them. Consider rotating if you’re regularly taking long journeys, not uneven wear or hear a humming sound.
Keep Tabs On Spark Plugs and Leads: We’ve accustomed ourselves, as drivers, to taking ownership of a limited number of maintenance checks; deferring to garages for the rest. Spark plugs and leads may sound somewhat intimidating, but checking they’re still in a good condition is actually a fairly straightforward process. When checking your spark plugs, check that they have a light brown insulator and electrode, that there are no signs of wear, deposits or melting. If the spark plug’s in a poor condition, it should be replaced as soon as possible; it could also indicate problems with your car’s engine. If you leads have cracks or look worn, get these replaced via a reputable garage.
Keep Your Car Clean: Keeping your car clean isn’t just a question of pride or self-respect, it can also have an impact on your car’s longevity. Dirt, debris and grime can get into your car’s chassis and then into its moving parts. This can lead to corrosion and an increased rate of wear. In winter, road salt can prove to be especially corrosive. Car washes don’t tend to get rid of fine traces of dirt, so it’s often best to clean the car by hand. Use proper cleaning solutions and try to polish the vehicle once a year in order to add a layer of protection.
The Autoserve Club can keep your car moving. For just £8.99 a month, Club Members can receive huge fuel discounts via The Fuelcard People, up to 40% off servicing, 15% off new tyres and access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.